Almost all of us have experienced rude comments, mean compliments, offensive jokes, and even outright insults. These situations leave us feeling uncomfortable and wondering which answer is the right one.

The good news is that there are plenty of ways to stand up for yourself without coming off as offensive or aggressive, and without letting their words bother you.

We have put together a guide for you to deal with thoughtless comments and set firm boundaries with people in a subtle yet assertive way.

Answer With A Question

Answering a question with another question is one of the oldest tactics in the book to change the subject. Also, acting concerned about the rude person’s behavior will remind them that they are the one who has problems to solve and that their aggressiveness is just a reflection of their insecurities.

Say, “Thank You.”

While it sounds counterintuitive to respond to a rude comment with a “thank you,” this response is one of the most effective ways to end this unwanted conversation.

When you respond with a “thank you,” you acknowledge their sincerity without letting their harsh words bother you.

Acknowledge The Concern

Often the people we love the comment on our appearance from a place of love. Little do they know, their words are hurting us on a deeper level.

That’s why setting healthy boundaries is the best way to save the relationship and keep both parties satisfied.

Even if you acknowledge that they are coming from a good place, you can let them know that their words are still hurtful no matter what. In this way, they will learn to be more careful with their comments in the future.

Tell Them That Their Words Are Of No Help

Receiving constructive feedback is one of the most effective methods to improve our skills. But sometimes, many people disguise their small ideas and present them as constructive comments.

An effective way to respond to their words is to let them know that you understood what they said. Later, tell them that their words don’t help to hint at the fact that passive-aggressive communication is rarely effective.

Say, “I Appreciate Your Perspective.”

Being honest is certainly a precious trait, but many people use the “I tell it like it is” card to bring people down with their unsolicited opinions.

The response, “I appreciate your perspective,” shows how smart and mature you are, as you responded civilly and didn’t let yourself be dragged down. After all, at the end of the day, being honest is being respectful and considerate.

Say, “Okay.”

Taking someone’s backhanded compliments too seriously isn’t always the smartest thing to do. The person giving them may not know how to deal with their own feelings, or they may be deliberately trying to hurt you.

So acknowledge that you heard what they said with a firm “okay” and get on with your day.

What is your favorite comeback? What was the worst backhand compliment you ever received and how did you respond?