It’s their problem
‘If someone says something that’s unkind, remind yourself that this may be less about you than it is about them,’ suggests Stephanie Dowrick, psychotherapist and author. If you can see that it’s the other person’s issue, there’s no reason for you to get worked up about it.
Ask yourself what they really mean
Are you certain the comment was meant to be critical? ‘We forget that everyone has different motivations,’ says Nina Grunfield, founder of Life Clubs. ‘If you’d made the comment, you may have meant it a particular way, but this isn’t necessarily true of someone else.’
Let them have the last word
It’s easy to spend hours, or days dreaming up the perfect comeback, but you’ll rarely get the satisfaction of actually saying it. Instead, advises Grunfield, make a choice to ‘give’ the other person the last word. ‘This way you keep your self-control, and the other person comes across as the one who’s behaved badly.’
Put yourself in their shoes
When we feel threatened or hurt, it’s harder to be objective – but it’s important to keep your situation in perspective. ‘It helps if you imagine someone else in your position, and ask yourself how you would advise them to react.’ says Grunfield. It’s often easier to sort through situations rationally if we take ourselves out of the equation.