The post below was written for Chandler following a run-in with his peers at school.
Some people seem to enjoy putting others down. It seems like they are collecting notches on their belts like the old “gun slingers” of Western days. What an unhappy way to exist! Unfortunately, you will occasionally bump into people who appear to thrive on being nasty with words. Your defenses lie in self-talk and in humor. Your self-talk comes into play when you tell yourself the truth. For example: someone accuses you of being fat when you know your body is solid muscle. Another individual makes fun of your very special and greatly coveted shirt. You get to remind yourself that there are people who would pay serious money to own your unique shirt. Even if there is some truth in a mean comment, you can accept the truth as you quickly remind yourself of your many talents.
Humor is a terrific defense when you can use it. Sometimes, you can create humor by agreeing with your adversary and even exaggerating the comment. Sometimes, you can laugh at the absurdity of a thoughtless statement. Occasionally, the best defense is to silently laugh at the person who is being thoughtless to you. Reminding yourself how ridiculous the situation is brings you back to self-talk and self-honesty.
Handling insults well builds your internal strength and integrity. In addition, you get a first hand look at how you want to treat others. When occasions lean toward making fun of someone else, you will remember how it feels to be on the receiving end of mean comments and actions. You get to make the choice to be kind, no matter what. The good news is that, every time you make a good choice about dealing with insults sent your way, you raise your growth toward manhood to a new level.
I will enjoy your comments and questions. Suggestions are welcome.