Advice

When to Stand Up for Yourself and When to let it Slide

No matter who you are, what you do, or where you’re from, there’s always going to be somebody to throw a monkey wrench in your system with an unfair comment. When you’re in a good mood, you probably won’t mind as much. When you’re already in a bad mood, you’ll find that you have more of a tendency to react violently. For such a situation, you can’t let raw anger cloud your judgement. This is a lot easier said than done. Before fists go flying and before anyone says something they’ll undoubtedly regret, you should consider the following circumstances. This is when to stand up for yourself and when to let it slide:

The Attacker

Every one of these situations has this. The person who says this comment is crucial to how you will react. It could be some bar-goer who doesn’t know you at all anyway, so why bother with them? However, it could also be someone who used to be near and dear to you who has learned a lot of your dark secrets before the falling-out and now he or she is using them against you. This hurts a lot, and the magnitude of this friend break-up will affect your reaction as well. You can’t always take the high road and walk away (probably leaving this friend to feel like an idiotic ass if they have a sense of shame). You can retort with a comment just as stinging to be on equal grounds (after which the argument may escalate or the two of you coolly decide to leave it). Only, try not to engage in physical violence or even raise your voice, this is most likely the reaction they are trying to draw out of you.

The Comment

It can easily be as searing as a sexist, racist, homophobic, or any sort of prejudice comment. Or it can be as pointless as: “You’re a stupid poopy-head and nobody like you” (the obvious reaction is to walk). But you probably wouldn’t be consulting the internet if it was just an insult of toddler-like contortions. In a harshly persecuting insult, it’s easy to take up arms and you may even be justified in doing so ninety percent of the time. You can take three approaches to this comment: take the super-high road and silently pity this person for not being in sync with the 21st century with their bigot remarks; take the low road and settle the score with a response that harms their race, gender, etc. as well (though you run the risk of being no better than they are and that’s never really good); or take the neutral road and call him/her out on their crap. No one wants to be pegged as a group-hating person. In fact, people who overhear may come to help you out if you’re amongst a nobler crowd.

Place/Situation/State

Church/wedding/happy for your friend as she walks down the aisle = never a good time to be unpleasant to that bitch who said you looked like a slouching horse in that cheap dress (though everyone agrees that you look amazing). Bar/night out with girls/drunk as a skunk = a fight is bound to happen after an insult. You can be forgiven for retorting to a harsh comment in the latter, but you’ll be scorned for causing a scene in the former. It’s just not worth losing your head about.

All in all, ask yourself: is this fight really worth the consequences that can come with it?

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