My husband & I were watching a true crime TV show not long ago, as we often do. On it, a man shot & killed another. At the time, he was very high on drugs & paranoid. He mistook a simple comment made by the victim as insulting & disrespectful, which infuriated him enough to shoot this man.
I thought about how ridiculous this is. Even if the man had been insulting, who cares?! That was no reason to kill the guy!
Growing up with narcissistic parents, people often go one way or another. Some turn out like what the comedian Christopher Titus referred to as an insult Navy seal. After your parent has said unimaginably cruel things to you & called you dreadful names, no one else’s insults can hurt you. You’ve built up a high tolerance to insults, & it takes a LOT to upset you. Then there are many other people who have gone the other direction. They have a thin skin when it comes to insults, & are easily devastated. You are the folks I am writing this post for.
Nobody likes to be insulted. Pretty sure that is just a given. That doesn’t mean insults need to be devastating though. For one thing, no one can please everyone. You can be a beautiful person, inside & out, highly intelligent, successful in every area of your life, & someone still will have something negative to say no matter how perfect you are simply because no one can please every single person.
For another thing, emotionally healthy people aren’t judgmental or critical. They are usually way too focused on managing themselves, learning, growing & being good people to worry about picking someone else apart. This tells me that the majority of critical people aren’t emotionally healthy, like critical narcissists. Do you really care about the opinion of someone like that?
Many insults are said out of jealousy. For an example, a person struggling in college may be very critical of their friend who appears to be sailing through without any problems.
There is also something called morbid envy. Narcissists are quite prone to this. They envy someone so much that they are excessively cruel to that person. They can be extremely nit picky towards the subject of their envy too, such as criticizing small things like a woman having a broken nail or a man’s hair being slightly disheveled. Another common sign of morbid envy is when a person receives a complement & the narcissist immediately insults either the receiver or giver of the complement or even both. In any case, morbid envy makes a person very insulting towards others!
And don’t forget.. there is a big difference in someone being insulting & offering constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is worded to offer help & be as not offensive as possible. Insults aren’t said to help, but only to hurt.
My point in sharing these thoughts with you is to help you realize that when someone is insulting to you, Dear Reader, it’s not about you. It’s truly about that person.
What they say also has no basis in reality, only in that person’s dysfunction. An insulting person is trying to hurt or control you by any means possible. That doesn’t mean that what they say is true. In fact, most likely it isn’t even close.
If you can remember these points when you come across someone who is insulting & mean to you, it really will help you to avoid being upset by that person’s nastiness. A different perspective can be a truly helpful thing sometimes, in particular when it comes to dealing with very dysfunctional, hateful people.