No matter who you are, you’re going to encounter rude people (whether unintentional or not).
Even close friends can blurt out questions like, “Why have you gained so much weight?” or “When will you ever get a boyfriend/girlfriend?”
It can really hit you below the belt and get you angry.
But instead of saying something that you’ll regret, why not come back at them with a witty response?
If you’re wondering how to handle someone who can’t seem to keep their mouth shut, this is the article for you.
Let’s go over some tried and true comebacks you can use the next time you encounter rudeness.
1. “Thank you”
A simple “thank you” is powerful when you encounter rudeness.
It shows to them that their words won’t affect you.
You’re comfortable with who you are and what someone says about you doesn’t impact you.
After all, we usually say “thank you” to acknowledge someone who has done something positive for us.
However, by choosing to say “thank you” when someone insults you, you’re acknowledging the person’s rudeness and showing that it doesn’t affect you.
People are usually rude because they want to get a reaction from you. Don’t let them. Say “thank you” and move on. The rude person will look like an asshole and you’ll be the better man/woman.
2. “I appreciate your perspective”
This response will make you appear more intelligent, and you’ll also communicate that you’re not willing to stoop to their level.
A rude person is usually rude because they have their own insecurities and they take out those insecurities on you.
By telling them that you appreciate their perspective, it gives them a certain level of respect that they might not be used to.
This alleviates their insecurities allowing for a more mature and productive conversation.
Remember, a rude person only wins when you join them in the gutter. Keep it classy, respect the people around you (even if they’re rude) and you’ll instantly be a better person than most.
3. “The conversation is now over”
The above 2 responses work well because you reply in a civil manner.
But let’s be honest, when someone is being rude to you it’s not easy to respond calmly.
Sometimes, anger can get the better of you.
So if you find yourself too angry to respond in a calm manner, simply tell them that this conversation is now over.
Using anger to continue the conversation will probably lead to regrets.
You could permanently damage the relationship by saying something that you don’t mean.
So for the time being, take the high road and stop the conversation in its tracks.
This allows you to continue the conversation later on when you’ve gathered your thoughts and you’re able to respond more tactfully.
4. “Why do you feel that was necessary, and do you really expect me to answer?”
This is will really put the rude person into their place, especially in a group setting.
Being rude is never necessary and it will help everyone on the table see that this person is being way out of line.
You’re also showing that you’re not prepared to sink to their level, but you’re also giving them an opportunity to apologize to you and redeem themselves.
If they insist that you answer the question, then respond quickly with, “Well, this isn’t your lucky day” and move on talking about something else.
5. “Did you mean to be rude? If so, you’re doing an excellent job!”
This one is a little more snarky but is humorous at the same time.
It lets the rude person know that their behavior has crossed social norms and you’re less than impressed.
It’s a witty clip to the ears of the rude person and it allows you to gain back control from them.
It also shows that you’re willing to stick up for yourself and you’re not afraid to tell it how it is.
6. “I am so sorry you are having a bad day”
This response adds a little more compassion to the equation.
You assume that the person’s rudeness is because of their own unhappiness or stress and has nothing to do with you (this is usually the case anyway).
A rude person will expect you to act rudely back to you, so this will be a welcome pattern break for them.
And sometimes a rude person doesn’t actually mean to be rude, so this response will allow them to see the error in their ways.
7. “That was rude!”
This is an honest response that gets straight to the point.
If you feel significant frustration and anger about the other person’s behavior, you might say this to make sure they don’t get away with it.
This short response also allows you to move on and avoid further conversation with this rude person.
It also means you’re not accusing them of being a rude person, but rather, letting them know that their comment was rude.
This can give some rude people the motivation to redeem themselves next time.
8. “You may not be aware, but that was rude…”
This gives the rude person the benefit of the doubt. It makes their rude comment a teachable moment.
This response requires a little patience and a non-confrontational tone so that it creates an environment of acceptance and reflection.
You can also use “You may not be aware of it but when you said that…” if you want to quietly let someone know after the fact that what they said may have been rude.
9. “You always have something negative to say, don’t you?”
This can hit a rude person hard because it takes the attention away from you you and onto them.
This is especially powerful if this person has a habit of being rude.
This works great because not only will you draw their focus onto their own words, but also force them to reconsider what they say in the future.
Also, if you’re in a group and this person is known for being rude, you’ll draw the attention of the whole group on this person’s constant rude behavior and many people will likely agree with you.
A rude person will not expect you to laugh in their face, and it will certainly catch them off-guard.
They’ll likely feel embarrassed because their comment was so pathetic and rude that it made you laugh.
You also show that what they think of you is like water off a duck’s back.
People will see that you’re comfortable with yourself and what other people say about you really doesn’t matter.
11. “I hope your day is as pleasant as you are”
This is a brilliant comeback that really puts them in their place. This line especially works if you don’t know them.
There are 2 things that this line shows:
A) It gives awareness to the fact that they’re being rude and uncalled for.
B) You clearly don’t care what they have to say about you because you’re willing to respond with a witty and humurous line.
12. “Try being informed instead of being opinionated”
We’ve all encountered arguments where the more someone is wrong, the angrier they get.
If you know for a fact that what they’re saying is wrong and they refuse to listen anyone else’s opinion, then this line is the perfect line to put them in their place.
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