Insults and Putdowns – Dealing with them & Responses

The first part is about dealing with insults and putdowns while the second goes deeper into responses.

Part 1 – How to Deal With Insults and Put-Downs by Neel Burton
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Insults can be physical, such as punching, slapping, or spitting. More usually, they are verbal, whether direct or indirect. Examples of indirect verbal insults are jokes and ironic comments, backhanded compliments, mimicry, and false fascination. Ocular and facial expressions can substitute for speech; and things like a cold or constant stare, a false or exaggerated smile, or a raised eyebrow can, depending on their intention, also count as indirect verbal insults.

All of the above involve actively doing something, and therefore count as insults of commission. But insults of omission are equally if not more common. Examples of insults of omission are not inviting or including someone, not deferring to her age or rank, and not responding to her friendly gestures, including basic eye contact.

So, what is the best way of dealing with all these insults?

1. Anger.
This is the weakest possible response, and this for three main reasons. First, it shows that we take the insult, and therefore the insulter, seriously. Second, it suggests that there is truth in the insult. And third, it upsets and hurts us—which can invite further insults.

2. Acceptance
This may seem like a very weak response, but in many cases is actually the strongest response of all. When someone insults us, we ought to consider three things: whether the insult is true, who it came from, and why. If the insult is true or largely true, the person it came form is reasonable, and his motive is worthy, then the insult is not an insult but a statement of fact and, what’s more, one that is potentially very helpful to us. Thus, we seldom take offense at our teacher, parent, or best friend.

In general, if you respect the person who insulted you, you ought to give thought to the insult and learn as much as you can from it. On the other hand, if you think that the person who insulted you is unworthy of your consideration, you have no reason to take offense, just as you have no reason to take offense at a naughty child or barking dog. So whatever the case, you have no reason to take offense.

3. Returning the insult
There are several problems with the put-down, even if it is a very clever one. First, it does have to be clever, and, second, it has to occur to us at just the right moment. But even if we are as sharp as Oscar Wilde, a witty put-down is unlikely to be our best defence. The problem with the put-down, however witty it may be, is that it tends to equalize us with our insulter, raising him up to our level and bringing us down to his. This gives him and his insult far too much credibility. The witty put-down should only be used among friends, and only to add to the merriment. And it should be followed by something like a toast or a pat on the shoulder. In other words, it should only ever be used for humor.

4. Humor
Humor is an especially effective response for three reasons: it undermines the insult, it brings the audience (if any) on side, and it diffuses the tension of the situation. Here is an example of the effective use of humor. Cato the Younger, the Roman statesman and stoic philosopher, was pleading a case when his adversary Lentulus spat in his face. After wiping off the spittle, Cato said, ‘I will sweat to anyone, Lentulus, that people are wrong to say that you cannot use your mouth.’

Sometimes, it might even be appropriate to exaggerate or add to the insult so as to make a mockery of the insulter and, by extension, the insult: ‘Ah, if only had known me better, you would have found greater fault still!’

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5. Ignoring the insult
One downside of humor is that it requires quick thinking. In contrast, ignoring the insulting is easier and, in fact, more powerful. One day, a boor struck Cato while he was out at the public baths. When the boor realized that it was Cato whom he had struck, he came to apologize. Instead of getting angry or accepting his apology, Cato replied, ‘I don’t remember being struck.’ Subtext: ‘You are so insignificant that I don’t even care to register your apology, let alone take offense at your insult.’

In conclusion, we need never take offense at an insult. Offense exists not in the insult but in our reaction to it, and our reactions are completely within our control. It is unreasonable to expect a boor to be anything but a boor; if we take offense at his bad behaviour, we have only ourselves to blame.

Acknowledgement: The principal ideas and examples in this chapter are from A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy by William Irvine.

Part 2 – First-Class Responses to Second-Class Putdowns By Linda Sapadin, Ph.D
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Wouldn’t it be great if people went out of their way to appreciate what you did right instead of berating you for what you did wrong? Wouldn’t it be fantastic if people nixed their insults, squelched their criticisms and, instead, supported and encouraged you? Before you interrupt my starry-eyed fantasy, let me enjoy my moment of reverie.

Okay, micro-vacation over. Back to reality, where people blame and criticize all the time — and that’s on their good days! On their bad days, they throw in insults, curses, ridicule and humiliation.

When you’re on the receiving end of such put-downs, how should you respond?

Most people are familiar with only three strategies:
– Explain or justify why you did what you did
– Respond offensively by attacking the attacker.
– Say nothing and silently stew.

Such responses frequently result in attacks and counterattacks or passive-aggressive behavior laced with blame and shame. Thus, it’s a good idea to expand your repertoire of responses. Here are seven ideas for you to try on:

1. Agree with what’s been said. Disagree with the negative value judgment.
“Yes, I agree. My room is a mess. No need to call me names, though. I’ll clean it up this evening. Promise.”

2. Respond to what’s happening (the process), not to what was said(the content).
“I can see you’re upset with me. Can you calmly explain what I did that’s bothering you?”

3. Agree that you did something wrong and apologize.
“Yes, I should have called earlier to cancel. I apologize. I’d like to set another date now if that’s OK with you.”

4. Disagree but try to understand the other person’s viewpoint.
“I didn’t think I did anything wrong but I see you’re upset. Tell me more about what’s upsetting to you so I can understand.”

5. Enlighten the person about your sensitivities.
“I feel demeaned when you use that tone of voice with me. You may think there’s nothing wrong with it, but it feels patronizing to me.”

6. Offer the person another way to phrase what he said.
“I don’t mind if you call me ‘sensitive’ but it feels like a putdown when you say I’m ‘overly sensitive.’

7. Be succinct.
Often, the less you say, the more powerful your message. “The name you just called me is totally unacceptable. I don’t deserve to be treated that way.”

If you believe that you’ve been unfairly put down, your goal should be to respond with valuable, constructive information in a confident, strong tone of voice.

You may also find this post helpful – How to Handle Criticism and Negativity

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A Cyclist’s Response to Whingeing Car Drivers

I’ve heard them being described worse than Whingeing Car Drivers so good job to whoever wrote this. Lets face it, even cyclists who get behind the car wheel feel a little bit of that car jackass / road rage monster popping out. BUT, here’s the thing about the car privilege …

Now if only the whingers could read.

Bonus: James O’Brien on why the motorists who give cyclists a hard time have got it all wrong.

“Any argument against cycling is an argument in favour of pollution, obesity and early death”

Bonus: I am not a cyclist, I am a human being

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What You Are Doing is NOT Yoga. You are doing Asanas/Poses, which is 1/8th of Yoga (Spread The Word)

I beseech all yoga lovers, yoga teachers and truth spreaders to spread this message. You know it means a lot when you see ‘beseech’ in a sentence.

A sad video on a new yoga gimmick called Beer Yoga was the last straw for me. Every now and then a new craze would pop up with the word yoga in it and I knew I would end up writing this posts sooner or later.

What you know as yoga is really called asana/pose/posture and only an eight of what true yoga really embodies.

Below is a summary of the 8 limbs of yoga followed by pictures to make it clearer:
1 – Yama (abstinence)
Non-voilence, truthfulness, non-stealing, continence, and non-greed.
2 – Niyama (observance)
Purity, contentment, accepting but not causing pain, study of spiritual books and worship of God (self-surrender).
3 – Asana (posture)
4 – Pranayama (breath control)
5 – Pratyahara (sense withdrawal)
6 – Dharana (concentration)
7 – Dhyana (meditation)
8 – Samadhi (contemplation, absorption or superconscious state)

To read more click here – The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Satchidananda

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Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup by Terra Perma

Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup by Terra Perma
Such a great talk with lots and lots of great info. Summary below for my future reference. * means that it blew my mind.

Terra Perma – Food Gardens workshop for City of Joondalup from Terra Perma on Vimeo.

– Pests and weeds have a beneficial ecological role. Pests attract good predators so let it happen.
– Analyse your site to see where the sun is passing. In summer a lot of intense sun will be bad so you can plan shady plants and trees at multiple heights. Same for winter, breeze/winds, etc.
– Where you walk past most often is where you can plant things that need the most attention. Think about design function in this way. Raised beds are easier to reach further in.
– Instead of the usual pets, why not chooks?
– Hi production plants like herbs are better in containers instead of crappy sand.
– TORK soil – Texture (sand/silt/clay), Organic matter like compost/mulch, Rock minerals, Kelp. Fill haft a jar with your soil and the other half with water, shake it up and let it settle. You’ll see the 3 textures so you’ll know what to add.
* Apples don’t just give us fruits. It comes along with birds and bees and beauty and and and!
* Annuals are when you plant something, it grows, then you grow it again after it goes to seed while perennials will be there for 3-5 years so more reward less effort. I’m sure I missed a part about the magic of deciduous trees that give a good shade in the summer and shed leaves in autumn/fall/winter so they are good as other plants get more light.
* SEED SAVING (this one really blew mine mind even though it was pretty obvious). You don’t only save seeds because they’re free or you keep on cycling but you save them because every generation will be stronger and more adapted to the soil. It changes genetically! (I’m so excited to learn this!)
– Talks about water tanks, clay in the soil to hold the same amount of water when it rains. Grey water or access to a bore. Tap water has chlorine which is antibacterial while the soil needs the bacteria so think about other options. Types of drippers. Wicking beds.
– Shade cloths are good pest solutions. Pests and weeds were all part of nature and human life. Also if you kill things like rats in a nontoxic way you can just put it under a tree and you don’t need to get blood and bone. I use a couple of facebook groups to know more about plants and animals. WA gardeners and Insects of Perth & South West Western Australia. So find out what the bugs and things are and then find out natural predators or solutions like getting frogs etc. – Benefits of ponds and Q and A to Z time.

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Excellent Talk on Negotiations – How Creatives Should Negotiate by Ramit Sethi

Excellent Talk on Negotiations – How Creatives Should Negotiate by Ramit Sethi

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My Notes:
– Reframes negotiating as a good thing and you can use it anywhere! Gyms, credit cards, phone companies, etc.
– Gives you scrips you can good. Links with other goodies below.
– Build rapport by talking about how long you’ve been with them. Stay cool.
– Ask what else can they do or offer.
– What to do when others negotiate with you.
– Ask open ended questions not yes or no questions.
– In a job interview never answer salary requirements question.
– Women find it harder to ask but they also smile more which helps.
– How to take or turn down offers that are close to what you do like wedding photography. I don’t have the equipment right now, I’m not an expert but I’ll try.
– Don’t feel bad for charging what your worth is and first sell yourself to yourself. Creatives should not underestimate themselves. Don’t feel bad monetising your work. Don’t defend yourself, take it or leave it.
– Start of with an hourly rate and see what competitors charge.
– When you work for free tell them what your normal rate is and say you’re doing it because you want 3 referrals or whatever condition you decide because sometimes there are other things more valuable than money.
– Be prepared to answer ‘your greatest weakness’ question. Tell a good story as humans cannot stop listening to a good story.

Show notes from original post on Tim’s blog – http://tim.blog/2016/06/15/how-creatives-should-negotiate/
Optimizing your spending with credit card companies, cable and telephone providers, the gym — you name it. [07:46]
Ramit’s word-for-word negotiation script (tested with tens of thousands of people and multiple companies). [11:43]
Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about negotiating. [13:01]
Mock negotiation (waiving a credit card late fee). [14:50]
The importance of rapport. [17:28]
Is rent negotiable? [18:50]
Negotiating even when you’ve already got the best price in town. [21:21]
How can you negotiate if you don’t have a perfect track record or the advantage of being a long-time customer? [22:28]
What to do when clients use your negotiation tactics on you? [23:18]
Are there gender differences in negotiation? [25:32]
How to answer the “What are your salary requirements?” question. [28:19]
The difference between theory and practice in negotiation. [31:21]
Your credit card was just sold to a new company. How long should you wait to negotiate with the new company? [31:55]
Can you negotiate insurance? [33:34]
Can you negotiate with monopolies? [34:32]
What Ramit learned by videotaping his negotiation style that changed everything. [35:43]
Why being “too busy” is a good problem for creatives to have. [43:08]
How to overcome the mindset of “I hate selling myself.” [43:53]
Understanding the needs of your client base, upping your rate, and justifying it (to yourself) without guilt. [50:25]
When you’re comfortable with your rates, you can be okay when clients say “No thanks.” [53:54]
Finding ways to overdeliver. [56:40]
How do introverts talk business? [57:47]
How much should you charge? [59:12]
Should you ever work for free? [1:00:40]
How to go from one client to many. [1:05:55]
How do you research what your competitors are charging when many of them don’t discuss it until they’re trying to close a sale? [1:08:10]
How do you handle price shoppers? [1:10:41]
For hourly consulting, is it better to price in packages? [1:13:22]
Do you have to tell a story to convey emotion every time you’re pitching a client? [1:14:52]
How powerful is a smile? [1:17:35]
How to answer, “What is your greatest weakness?” [1:20:56]
Reiterating the importance of storytelling. [1:26:44]
How to answer the “Among all candidates, why should I choose you?” question. [1:28:13]
How can you practice? [1:36:14]

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