When you’re dealing with mean people, it is important to stay positive.
Whether it’s a stranger, a co-worker, spouse, or any other person in your life, knowing what to say is essential. You don’t want to be rude in return, as it could only make the situation worse. Plus, it could irreparably damage a relationship that is important to you.
It’s vital that you don’t let people be mean to you, though, no matter who they are. You’ll let them know that the behavior isn’t acceptable by speaking up and coming back with a quick response.
If you have someone in your life who tends to be rude at certain times, remember these comebacks to use next time. These comebacks could stop their behavior on the spot and help them be nicer in the future, too.
Tips for Dealing with Mean People
- Stay positive and calm
- Avoid being rude
- Don’t take on their same attitude
- Be firm
- Think about what you want to say before you say it
- Be empathetic
- Take a deep breath
Comebacks for Dealing with Mean People
1. I’m sure you didn’t intend to sound so rude, but that’s how it’s coming across to me.
Disagreeable people sometimes don’t realize they are being rude. When it comes naturally to them, it may be useful to point it out. Then, they will likely think about how they speak to you or what they say.
This way, they know how they are making you feel. Plus, they’ll know that you are trying to be still nice and positively interact with them.
2. I can see that you’re having a bad day.
If you say this, they’ll start thinking about why you think they are having a bad day. They’ll realize that how they speak is giving you a bad vibe.
Sometimes a simple comment like this is the perfect comeback. The person you say it to may start speaking more nicely when it is pointed out to them.
Another way this comeback could work is that it could make the person believe that you said it because you are worried. This could soften their personality a little when they are communicating with you.
3. What is your motive for asking that?
Sometimes people ask rude questions to make you uncomfortable. They may want to embarrass you in front of others or they just want to hurt your feelings.
When you are in this position, ask the person their motive. You’ll likely get your point across by turning it around and asking them this question. They’ll know that you are not interested in discussing it.
Plus, if others can hear the conversation, it could shame the person who asked. Even rude people don’t want to be called out in front of others.
4. I’ll consider what you said, but I’d like to end this conversation now.
Even if you don’t agree with what was said, saying that you will consider it should normally do the trick. This way, the unfriendly person understands that you don’t want to talk about it and will hopefully stop. Then, you can forget it ever happened or you can take some time to consider it later.
Remember that most rude people say things that aren’t true and aim to hurt you. If you consider what they said, don’t take it too literally.
If you find some truth to what was said, you can make a change. On the other hand, if there wasn’t any truth in it, move on and forget it.
Then, you can answer honestly the next time that person brings it up again. You would tell them you already considered it and don’t want to discuss it again.
5. I’m finished with this conversation.
Sometimes, you have to be blunt. If you’ve tried reasoning with the person and tried other comebacks, it may be best to end the conversation.
It isn’t as rude as ignoring them, but you’re letting them know that you aren’t going to be talking anymore. There is no use in arguing or going back and forth, so end the conversation and move on.
6. Have a great day!
This is another way of ending the conversation. As you end the conversation or walk away from them, a positive statement is the way to go.
They can’t be angry at you for telling them to have a nice day. Plus, you’ll be able to walk away as a better person.
7. Thank you.
If someone makes a rude comment about you, thank them. While you aren’t appreciative of their rudeness, it’ll let them know that you heard them. When you don’t react in the negative way that they were likely hoping for, they’ll be disappointed.
Most people won’t keep trying to get under your skin if they see that it isn’t working. So, when you give this simple reaction, they may let the conversation go.
8. I’m trying to empathize with you, but you’re making that difficult.
When someone is spiteful, it could be because something difficult is going on in their life. For this reason, reminding yourself that they could be having a bad day may help.
However, if they cross a line, it’s important to speak up and let them know. Let them know you are trying to be understanding but are struggling with their rudeness.
9. Could you please stop being so negative?
If you often deal with this person and you know that this is always how they behave, speak up. Don’t let them get you down or ruin your day. Instead, call them out and ask them to stop being so negative.
It isn’t rude, but it gets the point across. Maybe your question will also help them think about their future behavior.
10. I don’t appreciate the way you’re speaking to me. Could you please speak more nicely?
You should always be clear that you don’t like how you are treated. You can do it in this way because it’s stern but polite. If the person continues speaking that way after you’ve nicely asked them to stop, it’s time to walk away.
11. Excuse me?
By asking the person to repeat what they said, they’ll realize that you didn’t like what they said. Oftentimes, they won’t repeat it. If they do, try one of the other suggested comebacks.
12. I appreciate your opinion.
Sometimes, people like to give their opinion when it isn’t wanted. Their opinion probably doesn’t even matter to the situation, which can be beyond irritating to you.
Instead of getting angry or rude in return, thank them for their opinion. After you’ve thanked them for sharing, they shouldn’t have anything more to say. Remember, their thoughts and opinions on your life don’t matter, so try to stay positive.
13. Are you okay?
When you ask someone this question, a couple of things may happen. First, they’ll likely ask why you’re wondering.
If they ask, you could explain to them that they seem in a bad mood. Or, you could be more vague and tell them that they seem different.
The other thing that may happen is they may open up to you. They’ll see that you care and aren’t angry at them for being in a bad mood. If something is wrong with them, you’ve just opened the communication that may be what they need.
14. Anything else?
This comeback will let them know what they say isn’t bothering you. When their comments don’t affect you, they’ll be disappointed. Furthermore, they’ll be even more discouraged when you invite them to say more.
This should stop them from being mean to you at the moment. Plus, it’ll also make them think twice in the future before they are rude to you again.
15. Say nothing at all, just smile and laugh.
Sometimes, the best comeback is to say nothing. Even better, smile or laugh at what the spiteful person has to say. No one wants to be laughed at, so reacting this way will be the perfect response for any rude person.
You will inevitably experience mean people in your life. No matter where you go, you will surely encounter it on a somewhat regular basis. You have to stay positive, though, and graciously deal with them.
These comebacks for dealing with negative people can help you change that person’s behavior. The comebacks will stop the behavior immediately and could even influence that person.
Hopefully, your stern but kind comebacks will help the spiteful person think before they speak in the future. In the meantime, however, these comebacks will help you get through your experience with that mean person.