Trial Attorney Explains What To Say When Someone Belittles You

The next time someone tries to make you feel small, have these tips in your back pocket.

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We've all been in situations where we felt belittled by someone else. And whether they meant it or not, those comments can stick with us for a long time, causing deep emotional damage.

So, when dealing with someone trying to bring you down, what are the best responses? Trial attorney Jefferson Fisher shares advice on what to say during those moments.



Trial Attorney Explains 3 Things To Say When Someone Belittles You

1. "I need you to repeat that."

Fisher says asking someone to repeat what they just said is a surefire way to turn the tables. When a person is forced to repeat their initial comment, you take away their fun.


"They won't get that dopamine hit they were expecting," explains Fisher. Instead, putting them on the spot flips the script and makes them nervous.

So, calmly let them finish their statement, and then say, "I need you to repeat that," or, "I want you to say that again."

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2. "Did you want that to hurt me?"

Now, whether they say it again or not, move on to asking them questions about their intent. These are questions such as, "Did you want that to hurt me?" or "Did you intend to embarrass me?"

This holds up a mirror to their behavior that will make the person think about what they said and why they said it in the first place, which will make them uncomfortable.


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3. Nothing.

The greatest response is sometimes no response at all, says Fisher. If you respond with silence, it will leave them scrambling to find an excuse. They might say they were joking or backtrack in order to excuse their poor behavior.

Harvard Business Review writes, "Being silent allows us to channel our energies. It gives us the clarity we need to calmly face challenges and uncertainty.”

So, when confronted with a tough situation or a frustrating person, silence can often be the best way to regain your power.



Learning how to stand up for yourself when you are dealing with someone who belittles you is not easy. For those who've never done it before, it can be downright terrifying.


"Never feel guilty about standing up for yourself," writes Select Psychology.

But it's understandable. If you've never stood up for yourself before, you'll likely struggle to do so in the first place. Take a deep breath, and remind yourself that your emotions are valid. If possible, try practicing beforehand so that you'll be ready to do it at the drop of a hat.

However, by incorporating these small tips, you can better stand your ground without losing your cool.


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Marielisa Reyes is a writer with a bachelor's degree in psychology who covers self-help, relationships, career, and family topics.