Name Calling, Insults and Teasing

A Guide To Anger, Conflict and Respect

Introducing a New Blog

“You’re a jerk!” “You’re a piece of trash!

It is no secret that when we are treated disrespectfully, we may have feelings of anguish and be moved to tears, or even suicide.  To deal with these rough feelings it often helps to keep the following in mind:

Illustration by Lois Hubertz

We have all experienced name calling, insults and teasing, even the greatest presidents, the most talented athletes, and every member of your favorite band.  If someone insults you, calls you names, or teases you, it does NOT mean that you are a bad person.

Although being treated disrespectfully does not mean that you are a bad person, skillful handling of these types of situations can have an enormous influence on how much you are liked and respected.  This blog, Name Calling, Insults and Teasing: A Guide to Anger, Conflict and Respect, is designed to help you to learn these skills.  In coming blog posts, you will learn to identify why someone is treating you disrespectfully and to respond to these interpersonal challenges in a manner that enhances your reputation.
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This blog can be used as a free emotional and social intelligence curriculum. After reading the above first lesson, whenever you are ready to move on to the next lesson, all you have to do is click on the Newer Entry link. Although you can click on the newer entry button in this paragraph to take you to the next lesson, in other posts that provide a lesson, you will find this Newer Entry link below this paragraph just after the “POSTED IN” message.  It appears in red just below the “POSTED IN” message toward the right of the screen.  After each of the other lessons, you can again go to the very next lesson in the curriculum by clicking on the Newer Entry link that appears in a similar place toward the bottom right of each lesson.

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83 thoughts on “Introducing a New Blog

  1. Richard from Colorado on said:

    Even if you don’t think that your words hurt, they can. I’m gay and struggling with it. I don’t want people to know yet, but it still hurts inside when someone says that’s so gay because it puts me down.

    • Hi Richard,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, there are certain statements that we hear that are really hard to bear. I’m wondering if you have found a response to such comments that you feel works for you. And when you use that response, what kinds of reactions do you get? I think those of us following the blog would be interested in this and your experience.

      • Josh Newman on said:

        Stumbled upon this site by chance & been hooked for hours.

        Would be interesting to know the outcome of Richards response and the reaction(s) he got.

        Hi Josh, I hope you are finding the blog post valuable. I too would have liked to have heard back from Richard. I hope he’s doing well.
        Jeff

  2. E. Mark Stern on said:

    A whole other area, but one that is rarely thought of in this context. My wife is in local politics. And though she decided to run for office knowing that there would be political opponents, she had not bargained for the name calling and personal attacks on her being. I have sent several letters to one of our regional newspapers on the topic of “political bullying.” One may think of such bullying as much in the American tradition – a to be expected risk that elected officials need to grin and bear. But when attacks get personal, and one’s being is fair target, then it gets intolerable and the people one serves suffer for it. If this site is to amount, then it ought to take steps to explore ways of responding to the worst of attacks. Certainly we can all share stories, but we can form a brains trust to help all see some light.

    • E. Mark Stern, it is good to hear from you. Wow! I’m so sorry to hear about what your wife has gone through from the “political bullying.” Certainly this blog will be seeking to take steps to explore ways of responding to the worst of attacks and to form a “brains trust” to help all see some light. It is interesting that I saw the blog chiefly as a way to promote wisdom with regards to interpersonal conflicts (one person dealing with one other person) and intrapersonal conflicts (Mark dealing with his own disappointment about how he acted). With regards to the intrapersonal conflicts, I was on the golf course a couple of days ago and you should hear the insults the players threw at themselves—it was enough to make a Brooklyn boy blush. Well, OK, maybe not a Brooklyn boy, but pretty much anyone else. The type of conflict you raise is quite a bit different than the interpersonal or intrapersonal conflict I intended to focus on. The type of conflict you have brought up typically involves a team of people (the candidate and her campaign team) designing a communication that really is NOT aimed at the other candidate, although it may sound as if it is, but rather at the group of people who are potential voters. Moreover, the voters often may end up voting for a candidate that they end up NOT liking or respecting, but vote anyway for the candidate because the other candidate is perceived to be even less desirable. And so, a candidate can win even if disliked and disrespected. In interpersonal and intrapersonal conflicts winning is a whole different thing, is it not?

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  8. I think it has a lot to do with self-esteem. If you feel okay about yourself, the name-calling won’t bother you so much. I am a writer. I have just come out with a memoir about my mental illness called This Hunger Is Secret. Recently, I read aloud to audiences two nights in a row. I am an excellent reader. I say this because not only do I write well, but I read my own writings very expressively and passionately, so my audiences are well entertained by me. The first night, I felt very confident and refreshed by my experience. I guess the audience did, too. I won the door prize. So I came away with this very nice glow. The next night, I came into the room with the glow of confidence from the night before and began to read. This was a club where they really didn’t want prose writers, but fiddlers and harmonica players. I swear, in my whole life I’ve never been kicked off a stage before, but they came up to me in the middle of a sentence and asked, “Is this going to go on much longer? We want to do our raffle.” They didn’t give a hoot. I could have been standing there naked or had ten heads and they wouldn’t have noticed a thing. They cared more about the raffle. Another factor was that I was not their nationality and not a member of the club (this was a club specifically for immigrants) so I was considered an intruder. I decided I was treading on ground where I did not belong. I ended my reading as politely and with the least amount of awkwardness as I could, and thanked them profusely for allowing me and my little service dog to take the stage. Most importantly, I did not leave in a huff. I stayed and smiled graciously at everyone. After all, they were the hosts. If there is one thing I do, maybe this sounds a little extreme, but if, say, a cabbie is rude to you, make a point of overtipping. You’ll feel one heck of a lot better.

    • Hi Juliemadblogger,

      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comment. I admire how well you handled your rather difficult reading aloud experience.

      It’s interesting that you attribute your ability to act so maturely to your high self-esteem. I’m afraid that my self-esteem is usually in the toilet, so I have to come at acting maturely from a different path. Before I go to a place where I will be speaking, I rehearse in my mind several times how I will react if my audience doesn’t respond in a favorable manner. I go through in my mind acting pretty much as you did. In the event that someone asks me at a presentation that didn’t go down well how I thought the presentation went, I have this very brief well rehearsed response prepared–“I don’t think I connected as well as I would have liked with the audience. I’m disappointed about that.” Then I act friendly and listen to what others have to say. When I get home, I take some time to allow the waves of disappointment wash over me. I have the belief that I have the ability to transformed these feelings of anguish, sadness and tears into something creative, something helpful and beautiful.

      Warm Regards,

      Jeff

  9. It also depends on who is doing the disrespecting and in what context. If your spouse is being disrespectful and it is within a sensitive topic area, emotions are bound to flare. A spouse is someone from whom you might expect more support and understanding tah just anybody else. Siblings might be hurtful also since one might expect support from a family member, but then again many siblings have a history of friction and have been conditioned to expect it.

    • Hi ML,

      Yes, I agree that depending on who is doing the disrespecting and the context I find myself responding differently. That’s why when I rehearse in my mind how I hope to act in the future in some tough situation, I imagine the specific scene and person who I will be engaging with. I find that this often helps me to handle tough situations better.

      My Best,

      Jeff

  10. Cassandra Freeman on said:

    I’m feeling so traumatized by the entire medical system that I am hitting out at people I love. I have 3 doctors and they won’t work together. I have so many injuries I can’t heal and migraines, I don’t want to keep living like this. I was an athlete once and I didn’t even get out today because my GP just cut me off a drug so I was trying to cut down on it and didn’t sleep properly.

  11. Hi Cassandra,

    Wow! Three doctors and still no help! Yipes!

    I’m not a physician and giving medical advice without meeting you, anyway, would be in no one’s best interest. I wish I could offer you some helpful advice.

    I once had worked with a teenager who had migraines and shortly after teaching him to meditate, he reported that he dramatically improved. I describe a simple meditation technique in my blog post titled, Anger, Rumination and Meditation. Perhaps you might want to give that a try after conferring with a physician that knows you. There is some research that suggests meditation can help some people with what you are going through. I wish I could be of more help.

    My Best,
    Jeff

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  73. Anonymous on said:

    It doesn’t matter if the person is insulted because they are rich , poor, disabled or their ethnicity, the hateful words have a tendency to stay with you for ever, which causes a person to question themselves as a human being and some serious psychological damage that linger on your entire life. Marlinda Flowers

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