Mean comments affect your self-confidence and make your school or work life less enjoyable. Trying not to let such comments bother you is not easy, especially if you are unsure of the reasons behind them. Relational aggression is the term used to describe the behaviour of a person who gossips, teases or spreads rumours about another person. Relational aggression is usually nothing more than plain old jealousy. Developing a coping strategy is the first step to ignoring mean comments.
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Understand why the person is being mean to you in the first place. The main reason someone makes a mean or snide comment is usually due to envy. Embarrassing you with her comments increases her own self-esteem. People like this usually have no understanding of how to deal with their envious feelings in a positive way. So rather than admire you, she would rather humiliate you.
Respond to his comments with a question. When he says something mean to you answer him with, "I'm sorry I thought for one minute you were being mean to me, were you?" He will then have two options. He admits to being mean for no reason, which makes him look bad, or he walks away with the knowledge he may not get away with similar comments in the future.
Practice positive self-talk. Listening to another person say mean things about you is a major blow to your self-confidence. If you allow her to see she is getting a reaction from you, she is likely to keep making the comments. Instead, practice reminding yourself about all your good qualities. For example, if she calls you stupid, tell yourself she is wrong and remember your achievements, such as good school grades or recognition at work.
Get rid of negative emotions. Anger, fear and humiliation are all powerful feelings. Avoid keeping these emotions bottled up by channelling them in a different direction. Get rid of anger by writing how you are feeling in a journal or notebook. Write a letter to the person making the comments, revealing all your emotions, and then destroy the letter.
Ask for support from friends, family or school counsellor. Talking to someone about how you are feeling can alleviate negative feelings. Having someone else confirm you are not in the wrong or doing anything to encourage the mean comments is often enough to help you ignore them.
Tips and warnings
- Schools and workplaces take a dim view of bullying, no matter how old a person may be. If you feel that you can no longer ignore the person's comments, report him to a teacher, boss or another responsible adult.
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