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How To Respond When Someone Is Rude To You
When someone is rude to you, it’s important to find a middle ground between responding aggressively and playing passively, which you can do by using this three-word response.
In a CNBC Make It article, etiquette expert Sara Jane Ho suggests using this response: "Are you okay?" She explains that it should be asked in a gentle, friendly manner.
"I’m not being offensive back," she noted in the article. "I’m coming from a place of care and that is usually to put the other person in check."
Ho added that this response is appropriate when the rude comment came from someone you’re close with. If it’s a stranger, it’s best to ignore them and move on.
By responding with genuine concern, you’re conveying you won’t tolerate the mean remark in a way that doesn’t sacrifice your composure. This response is even expert-recommended.
Relationship therapist Kimberly Moffit posted a TikTok saying, “Asking questions calls out the behavior and brings attention to how ridiculous it is, making them look stupid.”
This question also makes the other person think about what they said. When you turn the tables and start asking questions, it paves the way for setting clear boundaries.