Ask Lee: How to Deal with Name Calling

I’ve been getting a lot of requests in my inbox to write an Ask Lee about name-calling, so today I’m here to talk about how to deal with this all-too-common issue. Let’s face it, we’ve all probably run into this issue at one point or another. And, unfortunately, we’ve probably all been guilty of name-calling, too. And we all know that it can result in feelings getting hurt and strained friendships and business relationships. My best advice on this topic? Avoid calling other people names. If you don’t fall into the cycle yourself, you will look like a class act and avoid any unnecessary drama. But for those of you who have been the victim of name-calling, here’s my first-hand advice for how to deal…

Confront it head-on.

Not all name-calling situations need to be confronted, but if your feelings are seriously hurt it might be worth it to stand up and say something. You always, always have the right to defend yourself in any situation where you feel you’ve been wronged. Name-calling is no different. But however you deal with confronting it, do not reciprocate in the name calling yourself. Whether it’s a friend, a family member, or someone you’re in a professional relationship with, you should confront that person and talk to them directly, if it’s truly bothering you. Remember to stay calm and don’t act when you’re feeling angry or emotional—that’s when you might say something you will regret.

Take the high road.

There have always been name callers and there always will be. That is not in your control. What is in your control is how you react. Win by being nicer. Don’t stoop down to their level. Don’t come back with an equally hurtful attack (as much as that seems like a great way to blow off steam at the time). Chances are if someone calls you a name, they’re calling other people names too. Set an example that name-calling is not ok by taking the high road and demonstrating that you will not reciprocate that kind of behavior yourself. As my mother always said: just walk away.

Don’t sweat it too much.

Whether you’ve confronted the situation or taken the high road and let it go, try not to let it get you down. Who cares what that person thinks of you? If they’re judgmental enough to say something negative about you, they might not be someone you want to be associated with anyway. Often times when people call you names, it’s more about what they’re going through than how they actually feel about you. Try to step in their shoes and think about what they’ve been going through that would lead them to say something hurtful about you. Personally, when I’ve been called names in the past, I would do something to hurt that person even more but now I simply try to laugh it off. It’s hard to remember this when you’re in the middle of a tough situation, but keep in mind that laughing it off will make you happier in the long run.

Have you ever been called a name? How did you deal with it? Do you have any tips to add to my list above?

Let me know in the comments below. And be sure to stay tuned for my next Ask Lee post coming next month.

XO Lee

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