How to Stand Up to People Who Deliberately Disrespect You to Amuse Themselves and Get Them to Back Off for Good

February 10th, 2021

You’ve encountered that immature type of person who takes great delight and pleasure in deliberately disrespecting you and crossing your boundaries because they know it annoys you, right?

And isn’t it true that the more they see that it irritates you, the greater the effort they put in to repeatedly get under your skin with their bad behaviour just to get a reaction?

So how should we handle ourselves in these situations? What can we do to communicate to them that their treatment is unacceptable and get them to actually stop short?

Perhaps you’ve tried protesting and told these people who disrespect you outright that you find their treatment undesirable, but did that make any difference in getting them to stop? Most times, it doesn’t, does it? Again, doesn’t it usually just renew their motivation to continue, because now they know even more that it’s getting to you?

Ah, the sadistic bullies of the world, huh?

And if telling them directly to stop doesn’t work, what does? What will get through to them and motivate them to stop their unwanted behavior?

Well, isn’t the reason we detest disrespectful behaviour because of the way it makes us feel? It makes us feel small and insignificant, doesn’t it? And which one of us likes to feel like we’re somebody else’s plaything whose purpose is to be made sport of?

Thus, let me make a suggestion:

What if we gave these types of people the same experience they’ve subjected us to? What if we aroused the same feelings in them that their behaviour brings about in ourselves? Wouldn’t that give them a firsthand experience that would get them to witness and acknowledge the results or effects of their own bad behaviour on themselves?

But how do we do that?

Simply by deliberately treating them in the exact same way they treated us – not to get revenge and wage war or be malicious – but to make a demonstration and cause them to feel the same emotions they aroused in us through their disrespectful behavior. After all, what are they to conclude about their own behavior when they witness the undesirable effects of it on themselves?

Won’t we indirectly teach them that if they don’t want to experience unpleasant emotions themselves in the future as a result of our counter-measures, they should refrain from inflicting the same on us?

This approach speaks a language they will fully understand at a deep level and they will comply with it.

If they know that if they treat us in a certain way and we’ve taught them that they will just receive the same treatment in return for it, aren’t they highly likely to eliminate their unwanted behavior for good?

After all, aren’t we all more or less selfish, in the sense that we experience the world through our own perception and look out for our own best interests? And if our experience is unpleasant, don’t we want to relieve ourselves of it?

Can’t this understanding be used to our own advantage in dealing with people who try to bully or disrespect us to amuse themselves and give themselves a kick out of it?

How?

By making an exchange of sorts, an unspoken agreement where the other person refrains from their behavior because if they don’t, we will deliberately treat them the same way.

But wouldn’t it be honorable of us to first give them a warning? Wouldn’t it be just to let them know that there will be consequences if they continue down the route of their disrespectful behavior, and let them know that we’re going to start treating them the same way if they enact it?

If still they fail to listen after this, perhaps they haven’t learned the lesson yet because they haven’t experienced what it’s felt like for themselves yet.

So the next time they enact the disrespectful behavior, go right ahead and dish out the same behavior right back at them. Will they like it? Unlikely. And isn’t there even a chance that they may even become cross with you for it – which is ironic given that they started the dispute with the same behavior of their own in the first place?

So what do you do then? What do you do if they get angry at you for treating them the same way they treated you, meanwhile forgetting their own actions and the part they played in the dispute?

Chastise them and explain the situation by contrasting their reaction with yours.

You might say something like this:

“Wow, you really have a double-standard, don’t you? You treat me in this disrespectful manner and I let it roll off my back. But then I treat you the same way and you throw a massive temper tantrum. You really are quite hypocritical, aren’t you? You can dish it out, but then you get all sensitive and can’t handle the same thing yourself. Pathetic.”

This is almost guaranteed to put things in perspective and shut them up fast, and they will stop treating you in the unacceptable way.

So again, what do you do when someone treats you disrespectfully on purpose just because getting a rise out of you gives them sadistic pleasure?

Humble them!

Warn them that if they continue, you will treat them the same way.

If still they don’t comply with your wishes, the next time they do it, return their behavior back to them.

Then if they get upset, rebuke them and explain how they’re being a hypocrite and chastise them for it.

Problem solved. They will stop and maybe even apologize.

I am not advocating taking any of this to a phsyical level. Assault is a crime. However, self-defense isn't.

 

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