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Stun Gun the Meanie

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fogging mean people

Every so often, we meet people who make comments and we are stunned to the extent that we don’t know how to respond. It could be a simple remark about your attire or even a derogatory comment.  Stumped in the moment, have you ever rewound the situation after the event and played out what you could have said or how you could have acted?

Bullies or meanies, as I like to call them are essentially cowards or folks trying to raise their own self esteem by putting others down. I remember as a kindergartner in New York, there was a meanie in my class. The good news was that she bullied everyone; the bad news was that I got more than my fair share of nasty hurtful comments.  None of the parents took our complaints seriously since Stacy (I have changed the name) was absolutely angelic when the parents were around and in fact she had a wonderful mother who in spite of being a working mother helped out at the kiddie events the school organized for us.

On one occasion things got out of hand and I turned to my father whom I considered an authority. Instead of promising to talk to the class teacher, he told me I had to learn to stand up for myself and suggested I first find out from her why I was being given the special treatment. 

It took tremendous courage on my part but the next time she hit out at me, with great trepidation, I asked her, “What is it about me that you don’t like?”

Stacy the bully was stumped and ran off blustering incoherent words.

 

We did talk later about the root cause of her particular attention to me. Her parents were divorced and she only met her father for a few days during the holidays. Her anger against me was because my father dropped me off to school every morning. 

 

When I told her that my father was a busy person and that the morning walk to school was the only time I really saw him during the week as I was in bed by the time he returned, melted her a bit. The happy ending to this story was that she targeted another kid and left me alone. 

 

Looking back, that was a lesson in assertiveness for me.  Very often, by asking for a clarification, it forces the aggressor to back off while buying you time to think of an assertive response.  It is a far better technique than becoming defensive or crying.

So calmly ask the person who makes a derogatory remark

“What is it about my suggestion/idea/comment that you find ridiculous?’

 

 

“Can you tell me what it is about me that you find unacceptable?

 

 

“What is it about me that you don’t like?”

 

If the other person is targeting you to vent their frustrations, they will have to think twice. Quite possibly, there is something in your behavior that is upsetting them and they are having trouble being articulate. This might be the beginning of clarification and change of behavior; theirs, yours or even both.

Ever had to deal with a meanie? How did you approach the situation?

 

 

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Written by: Vatsala Shukla
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One Response to “Stun Gun the Meanie”

  1. An important post for all ages to be thoughtful about and, where needed, speak new words.

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I believe the world would be a better place if high achieving professionals accepted setbacks and challenges to their careers as Wake Up Calls to embark on a Journey where their empowered course correcting actions create a New World Order that encompasses achieving their career aspirations & potential with authentic life balance.

Using a combination of intuition and analytical skills, I help my clients identify their real issues with exercises to still their mind and allow their inner feeling to emerge in a place of confidentiality and trust.

I work with driven, passionate, talented and ambitious professionals who’ve hit a speed breaker in their business or career create their desired breakthrough reclaiming control of their situation with customized strategies and tactics that work.

When my clients first come to me, they are not in a very happy place and need clarity about themselves and their chosen vocation. Their professional problems are playing havoc with other areas of their life. They know they need to take radical steps to change the status quo but they also know that they need support and accountability to get them their desired result.

I really get it, because at one point, I also experienced getting lost in my work rationalizing decisions that were detrimental to the other aspects of my life. I’ve struggled with and won battles of stress management, life balance and career decisions to emerge in a place where I can confidently say that I live my desired life according to my personal Manifesto and have created a business that provides me with a platform for my desired lifestyle and self-expression for myself. I want that for you too!

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