15 Responses For People Who Always Try To Demean You

15 Responses For People Who Always Try To Demean You

Dealing with people who consistently try to put you down can be challenging, and that’s putting it lightly. However, it’s really important to stand your ground while maintaining your composure. The next time this person tries to demean you, here are a few things you can say in response (even though what you’d really like to say is probably a lot less tactful).

1. “Your opinion is noted.”

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This response is a polite way of acknowledging their comment without agreeing with it. It shows that you respect their right to have an opinion, but it doesn’t mean you accept it.

2. “I’m comfortable with who I am.”

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No one really ever says this seriously/genuinely, but everyone who hears it gets what you mean here (which is, essentially, “You don’t know what you’re talking about, so please shut up.”) This statement asserts your self-confidence and shows that their negative comments don’t affect your self-esteem. It’s a reminder that you’re in control of the way you see yourself, and you’re not really interested in what they have to say.

3. “Can we just focus on the issue at hand?”

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Use this statement when someone tries to demean you during a discussion that’s not even about you. It redirects the conversation back to the topic and keeps things professional or civil and lets them know that you’re not interested in hearing their comments on you as a person.

4. “It seems like you’re having a bad day.”

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This response can help defuse a situation where someone is lashing out. It shows empathy without accepting their negative behavior. In fact, it actually points out that you recognize their rudeness as their issue rather than accepting that there’s any validity to what they’re spewing.

5. “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

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This statement acknowledges their feelings without agreeing with their demeaning comment. It’s a graceful way of expressing that you’re not affected by their negativity and that you won’t internalize anything that they’re saying to or about you. They’re entitled to their opinion, though it’s clearly the wrong one.

6. “That’s an interesting perspective.”

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This is a neutral way of writing off their opinion without outright telling them that it’s total BS. It shows that you respect their perspective even if you don’t agree with it. Obviously, deep down you don’t respect being demeaned at all, but you’re not always in a position to tell someone exactly what you really think of them, so this keeps things from getting out of hand.

7. “I have a different view on this.”

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Use this statement to assert your own opinion without engaging in a heated argument. It sets a boundary and shows that you’re not easily swayed by their negativity. They can think what they want about you, but you stand by your actions, thoughts, decisions, etc. If they don’t, that’s too bad.

8. “Let’s keep our conversation respectful.”

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This statement directly addresses the issue and lets them know they need to get their behavior in order. It shows that you expect to be treated with respect and that you won’t engage with them otherwise. This is the very least you deserve!

9. “I choose not to engage with negativity.”

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This response sets a clear boundary against demeaning behavior. It communicates that you won’t be part of their negativity. If they want to launch personal attacks, they can do it elsewhere because you won’t put up with it.

10. “Thank you for your feedback.”

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Use this statement when the person tries to disguise their demeaning comment as constructive criticism. It shows that you’re open to feedback, but it doesn’t mean you accept their negativity. Maybe there’s a kernel of truth to what they’re saying, but they’re saying it in a way that’s unnecessarily harsh and cruel. That’s not okay.

11. “I see things differently.”

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I mean, of course you do — hopefully you don’t think the rude things about yourself that are coming out of their mouth. This one will probably be said through gritted teeth, but if you have to maintain your composure, like at work or in another situation where giving someone a piece of your mind wouldn’t be appropriate, this will do.

12. “I believe in my abilities.”

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Use this response to assert your confidence when someone questions or belittles your competence. It’s a firm reminder that you have faith in your skills and abilities, regardless of their negative remarks. You know what you’re capable of, and while you’re not perfect, you’re certainly competent.

13. “Let’s discuss this when you’re calmer.”

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This is an effective way of dealing with someone who is angrily demeaning you. It sets a boundary and communicates that you’re willing to have a conversation, but not in a hostile environment. Plus, you’re kinda doing them a service here — you’re stopping them from going any further and potentially saying something unforgivable that can’t be taken back.

14. “I think this conversation would benefit from more positivity.”

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This response aims to shift the tone of the conversation from negative to positive. It’s a polite way of asking the person to change their negative attitude. Are they going to listen? Not likely, but it’s worth a try.

15. “Is there a reason you’re speaking to me this way?”

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Direct confrontation can sometimes be necessary. This question pushes the person to reflect on their behavior and the words coming out of their mouth, especially since it makes it clear that you don’t appreciate their tone or the content of what they’re saying.

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Sinitta Weston grew up in Edinburgh but moved to Sydney, Australia to for college and never came back. She works as a chemical engineer during the day and at night, she writes articles about love and relationships. She's her friends' go-to for dating advice (though she struggles to take the same advice herself). Her INFJ personality makes her extra sensitive to others' feelings and this allows her to help people through tough times with ease. Hopefully, her articles can do that for you.