Jump to content

When Should I Stand Up For Myself?


rosebud8

Recommended Posts

I am in a bit of a conundrum. I am 32, a strong, well-educated, independent thinker. However, whenever I feel confronted by someone else's rudeness I suddenly freeze and cannot think of what to say. It is so weird.

 

Just today during spin class, this arrogant elderly fellow made some comment to me after I told him that I was an English doctoral candidate. He made some stupid joke (I am paraphrasing) that he would NEVER wear a shirt that says "I'm an English major," but then again, he said, an English major can always put that shirt over our McDonald's uniforms (basically telling me that my vocations is non-lucrative).

 

I thought that was insulting. Yet, I just snorted and kept pedaling. This is a common occurrence in my life. I can stand up for the big things: mother's drinking problem, dad's abusive/controlling behavior, sexism in my family, and more... but for some reason, whenever someone makes a snide or crude comment, something in me spaces out. I am not sure what to do. I have sought therapy about it; my therapist says that simply that ability to respond comes with time and that my time will come. I am starting to have doubts. This odd "frozen" feeling has recurred for the last decade. Any tips?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the key phrase is "stupid joke." I don't know that this is a situation that really even warranted standing up for yourself. He's a stranger (and an elderly one at that, who might be out of touch with the job market in general), his opinion really doesn't affect your life at all, and saying something rude could potentially make a non-situation a whole lot worse. Maybe the tip here is to pick your battles, and if something like this affects you so that you are thinking about it hours later, think about why that would bother you so much.

 

There's also the route of just being honest- smiling and saying that you really think you're job prospects will be just fine, or say that you actually are concerned about that, if you are.

 

Sometimes when things hit a button with us it's good to explore why.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's not what I would have said.....I would have told him to shut the f $%#k up old man.

 

In all honest I would have told him to be rude on someone elses time.

 

I don't see the point in starting an aggressive confrontation over a rude remark. The OP doesn't know who he knows (i.e. someone who can escalate the situation on his behalf) and why ruin the exercise class for the other participants over a ridiculous remark?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My answer to the question of "when should you stand up for yourself?" is you should stand up for yourself whenever you feel someone has crossed a line. Everyone has a different personal line, what they are willing to tolerate from someone before they feel something must be said/done. Perhaps despite the fact that the man was clearly rude and condescending to you, you didn't feel like it was really worth starting a conflict over it. Its alright to just walk away, sometimes its for the best.

I used to have difficulty figuring out what and when should I react to something, but over time I discovered that it was okay to voice my opinions, especially if they feel that it was OK for them to say what they had to say. for tat.

I occasionally come off as somewhat of a b*tch, but really I just don't have time or patience for people that say or do stupid or rude things. If I were you, in that situation, I probably would of been a bit confrontational and catty. As my mother always said, "DON'T poke the bear!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This video helped me figure out how to deal with those totally rude strangers or near strangers who seem to feel free to come at you in public during the weirdest times. I've used it since to some pretty good results. The "Uh-huh, okayyy sweetheart," then turn around and ignore them or roll my eyes and continue what I'm doing just makes them fold up and slink off. You've clearly signified to them and everyone around you that you know they're acting mental, you treat them with a sort of kind contempt and condescending "there there" attitude and it isn't what they expect at all. Bonus points when others laugh too and you nod and go, "Right?" as you walk away.

 

Watch the video, it certainly helped me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was a great video! That woman is really helpful. I have never considered that tactic, of staring at the perpetrator of rudeness dumbfounded, blinking once, then remarking, "OK?"…" I am super-reactive. So, usually, when an inconsiderate comment comes out of left field like that, I either completely flip out, and I mean, FLIP, but it takes a lot. Or I do what I did with that old guy in spin class: I kind of snort and look down and silently smolder inside, then stew to myself about it later. In other words, I feel like I am an incredibly reactive person, whether it be inside or outside of myself, but the point is, my emotional reaction is always HUGE. I rather like the idea of simply not reacting. I will try it. It is very Taoist. Now I kind of look forward to going to spin again…thanks for this!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see the point in starting an aggressive confrontation over a rude remark. The OP doesn't know who he knows (i.e. someone who can escalate the situation on his behalf) and why ruin the exercise class for the other participants over a ridiculous remark?

 

It can be effective when you say it in a cheerful tone with a smile and a strong stare. It shocks the sh it out of them. People don't hear the converstation, but go by tone of voice....no one would even notice the confrontation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Smackie9: You mean, like, you would have SMILED, looked him in the eye, then said, "Go be rude on someone else's time"? or "Shut the f___ up, old man"? I am trying to get ideas here, and get a diverse range of peoples' experiences. I probably would not have said that latter, or maybe even the former, but I am interested to hear your thoughts because there may be an in-between way of dealing with it.

 

You also mentioned that it took you a long while to figure out how to react to people, that you have not always been directly confrontational. How did you actually KNOW when it was time to begin implementing the method that works for you?? Were you nervous the first time you ever did that? Do you ever feel bad afterwards?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...