There will always be people who put you down, but how you deal with them is what really matters. You can make the change.
Whether your sister makes fun of you to no end or a coworker always gives you back-handed compliments, you do not deserve to be around people who put you down. Everyone deserves to be respected no matter their looks, position, race, religion, and everything else.
Dealing with people who put you down is something we all must learn eventually. Whether in the schoolyard, the conference room, or online, we all need to face our bullies and they need to face us.
Facing the people who put you down
It’s like standing up to a bully. Whether it is your boss, your mother, or your so-called friend, speaking up for yourself is one of the best ways to let them know that what they are doing isn’t acceptable.
Saying something like, “I’m not sure why you continuously feel the need to put me down, but it says a lot more about you than it does about me,” should be enough for them to feel embarrassed by their poor behavior. Hopefully, they rethink their actions.
I know it can be scary to fight back verbally. It is your best bet if you want this to stop. Now, be realistic. Even if this is one person in your life, there will always be people putting you down. Whether it is a stranger online or someone you know, we can’t control other people’s thoughts or actions.
We can let them know how it makes us feel. Then, ask them to stop. Beyond that, dealing with people who put us down is something we should do internally.
How to deal with the people who put you down
Although you should never have to deal with the people who put you down, it is part of life. People are imperfect and judge one another. We get hurt and hurt others.
And with that comes internal strength. When you learn how to deal with people who put you down in a healthy way, you can become more sure of yourself and come out of that experience even stronger.
#1 Block them. If someone is putting you down online, it is simple. Block them. It can seem harsh. You don’t need to put up with that. Sure, we know the internet is not always a safe space. You have the right to make what you see as positive as you can.
If the people who put you down are at work or school, avoid them. You don’t need to hide from them, but limit your interactions as much as possible. This is sort of like the advice about ignoring a bully and they’ll get bored and go away.
#2 Respond with a compliment. This can be one of the most difficult ways to deal with people who put you down. However, it is also the most effective. It will either shut them up or lead them to an apology.
Next time someone gives you a backhanded compliment like, “You’re so brave to wear a swimsuit in public.” Or “That came out well, for you,” give them a compliment about anything.
They will be so taken off guard, they won’t know what hit them.
#3 Ask follow-up questions. Most bullies will put you down in a way that embarrasses you in the moment and leaves you feeling defeated. It isn’t until hours later that you think of something clever you could have said.
When you can’t fight back in the moment, ask questions. If they insult your body, your style, or your work performance, ask them follow-up questions. They really should internalize the things they’re saying.
#4 Tell yourself the opposite. Whenever you hear someone put you down, tell yourself the opposite of what they said. Remind yourself that you know the truth. What this person is saying doesn’t carry any weight.
#5 Remember it is about them. When someone puts you down, it says a lot more about who they are than it does about you. If they body shame you, it is a reflection of their skewed way of looking at health and body positivity. It isn’t actually about how you look or who you are.
Most of what people say when putting others down is built out of their own insecurities. Then they force onto others to lift themselves up or ignore their own personal issues.
#6 Know their words do not reflect on you. Whether they put you down with words you know are untrue or with things you already feel insecure about, remind yourself that these are their words. This is coming from them. It has nothing to do with you.
You were there in a moment of weakness when this person felt the need to pick on you. They are jealous or have a false sense of superiority.
#7 Don’t make excuses for them. A reason many people let people putting them down get to them is that they cannot demonize the other person. When you are put down repeatedly, you lose a sense of confidence in yourself and therefore make excuses for poor behavior from others.
Whether you convince yourself the words are true or tell yourself that that person didn’t mean what they said or it was a miscommunication, all of these things disrespect you.
#8 Don’t fire back. If you want to stand up for yourself, do it with poise and kindness. Take a stand and ask them why they feel the need to put you down. Do not put them down with your own degrading remarks. That doesn’t make you any better than them.
#9 Be honest with them. Pull this person or people aside. Tell them how the things they say are hurtful. I know some would say not to let them know they are getting to you. If you feel that they are mindlessly making cruel remarks without considering the harm they are causing you, this could be your best bet.
#10 Defend others. Dealing with people who put you down is a process. Build up your confidence to take back control over how you view yourself. It can then carry into how others view you.
Speak up for others that aren’t there yet. If you see someone else being put down, don’t just sit by. Let the bully know what they are doing or saying is unacceptable. That one small act of kindness could be exactly what someone else needs to gain the strength to deal with their own bullies.
Learning how to deal with people who put you down takes strength and time. But slowly and steadily, you can take your confidence back.