“My colleagues try to dominate me and make fun of me. And if I try to answer them, they just laugh at me. I don’t know how to reply.”
“I have 3 roommates, and I’m the butt of every damn joke. They’re all witty, and I can’t seem to think of anything quickly. When they make fun of me, I can’t think of a rebuttal. They make inside jokes and jokes that are only directed at me. They come up with new things every day.”
If you can relate to these quotes from our readers, this guide is for you. There’s a difference between two friends joking and someone making fun of you or trying to dominate you. If you’re looking to get more respect in general, you should read our guide with several tricks that make people respect you.
In this article, you’ll learn how to deal with someone who makes fun of you.
- What to do when someone makes fun of you
- Reasons why some people make fun of others
- Common questions
What to do when someone makes fun of you
When someone puts you down or makes you the butt of a joke, it’s normal to freeze up. Your mind might go blank, or it may seem like everything you say or do in response to the bully only makes the situation worse. Fortunately, there are several simple strategies you can use to shut down teasing and harassment.
Here’s how to deal with someone who makes fun of you:
1. Don’t give a predictable reply
If you respond to the bully in a predictable way, you are implying that they have said something funny, even though they haven’t. When you rise to the bully’s bait, they will feel encouraged to keep on having fun at your expense.
Here’s an example showing why a predictable reply can validate a bully’s comments and make the situation worse:
Bully: “So what movies do you like, you know, except for dirty movies? Hahahaha.”
You: “Haha, yeah right!” or “Shut up!” or “Haha, no I don’t!”
Bully: “I knew it! HAHAHA.”
Everyone around you will probably laugh along too, not necessarily because they don’t care about your feelings, but because they just don’t realize how bad you feel. And since the “funny one” got the response they were looking for, they’re more likely to do it again in the future.
2. Agree too much with the joke
This technique is effective and easy to use for beginners just starting to find their voice against the “funny guy/girl.”
Here’s the trick: While keeping a poker face, agree too much with their stupid question or statement. Don’t laugh or smile. Just give them your answer with a straight face.
The reason this works is that your response will be the opposite of what they expect. They will either be at a loss for words or they will look like a complete idiot if they try to push the joke further.
When you respond this way, everyone will see your disapproval and will realize that what the “funny one” said wasn’t funny at all. The situation will end awkwardly for the bully because they will be laughing alone.
Here’s an example of how you get the upper hand on the funny guy/girl by agreeing too much:
Funny one: “So what movies do you like? You know, except for dirty movies? Hahahaha.”
You: “Oh, you didn’t know? I only watch dirty movies.”
Funny one: “… well then.”
When the bully has backed off, change the subject and continue talking as if nothing happened.
If possible, keep ignoring the funny one and any further attempts they make at the same kind of joke. Being non-reactive while you “agree” makes your disapproval crystal clear to everyone. You’re basically treating them like your irritating little brother. This shows that you do not tolerate bad behavior like that and gives you the upper hand.
3. Ignore the bully
Sometimes, ignoring the bully is the best solution. It can work well if you aren’t a quick thinker or aren’t sure what to say when they make fun of you.
When you don’t respond to a bully, you take away their sense of gratification. That takes them out of the conversation and leaves them with no control over the situation.
So how do you actually ignore the bully?
- Don’t react at all. Pretend that you never heard their comment. At first, this might be difficult to get right. Most people fail when trying to ignore someone because their body language shows that they are annoyed. But it may get easier with practice.
- Continue the conversation as though the bully never spoke at all. This makes it clear to both the bully and the other people you’re talking to that you don’t accept, and won’t tolerate, their behavior. This is an important step because if you fall silent, it’s not clear whether you disapprove or just don’t know how to reply.
- If you blank out or don’t know how to reply, it’s better to use the previous technique of “agreeing TOO MUCH” with the bully.
To see how well this technique works, imagine this conversation between two friends, Cary and John, plus a bully:
Cary: “Who’s joining me at the beach tomorrow? It’s supposed to be a gorgeous sunny day.”
Bully: “Definitely not John—he’s too pale to be allowed to take his shirt off. He’ll blind you if you don’t have your sunglasses on!”
If you were John, you could respond like this:
“Going to the beach sounds lovely. I’m free after 12 if that works for you?”
Do you see how John’s response makes the bully seem rude? This example also shows that you don’t have to sink to a bully’s level by being rude or mean.
When you ignore the bully, they might try harder to fit into the group. So instead of making insulting jokes, they’re more likely to follow the vibe of the conversation.
If you ignore a bully’s comments for long enough, they may start playing nice to fit back in. In some cases, they might resign from the group altogether. Either way, if you can effectively ignore their comments for a long period of time, they might stop.
4. Ask the bully to clarify what they mean
Sometimes you want a good comeback to make someone shut up when they make fun of you. This can be quite tricky when you blank out or only come up with a reply when it’s all over. (Read more about how to never be nervous around people.)
Here’s a comeback you can use in almost any situation:
Interesting that you’d say that. How do you mean?
This one is good if you want to confront someone about what they said. It takes all the fun out of it for them when they have to explain themselves. And just like the method of “Agreeing too much,” it doesn’t give them the response they expected.
5. Memorize and use comeback phrases and quotes
If you want to be a bit wittier and are prepared to be slightly mean, you could try using some comebacks. Here are a few ideas:
- Remember when I said you’re smart? I lied.
- If I wanted to kill myself, I’d climb your ego and jump to your IQ.
- You should eat some makeup. That way, you’ll at least be pretty on the inside.
- Acting like a dick won’t make yours any bigger.
- It’s amazing how stupid people can be. Thank you for the demonstration.
- You’re about as useful as a raincoat in a desert.
- Your ass must be jealous of the shit coming from your mouth.
- Do you ever think about how your life would be if you grew up in a better family?
- You’ve got all your life left to be a douchebag. Why not take the day off?
- I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings when I called you dumb. I thought you knew.
- You know what? You always make me so happy…when you leave.
- Too bad you can’t use makeup on your personality.
Use these phrases with caution. In certain situations, they might backfire. For example, if you’re dealing with someone who is highly confrontational, a comeback might make them very angry. When you use them, it’s important that you do it in a joking manner—you don’t want to risk starting a fight.
6. Draw attention to their bullying tendencies
If you’re dealing with someone who often makes fun of you or puts you down, you can deal with their comments by acting as though their behavior is just an immature, embarrassing habit rather than something you should take personally.
This spoils the bully’s fun because although you’re acknowledging their behavior, you aren’t letting it get to you. It’s an unexpected response that may leave them confused.
You can do this by smiling, chuckling, or rolling your eyes and saying something like, “Ah, classic [Name],” or “Oh right, there he/she goes again!” The trick is to act as though they are merely a nuisance rather than a threat.
Here’s an example showing this approach in action. Imagine that you’re telling some friends about a second-hand car you bought recently. One member of the group, James, often puts you (and others) down. He knows you earn a low salary and sometimes takes shots at your job and income.
You: I’m finally picking my car up on Thursday. I can’t wait! It’s not brand new, but I got a good deal. It’s hard to get around this area on public transport.
James: Amazing, I’ve never seen someone get so excited about a second-hand car. But I guess you have to get excited about simple things if you earn peanuts.
You: Haha, classic James!
You: You know, putting people down? [Laughs] It’s your thing.
James: It’s not! I’m only saying that it’s kind of pathetic to get so excited about a cheap car.
You: See! [Smiles, rolls eyes] Typical James! Anyway… [Changes topic]
This technique puts the bully’s character under the spotlight and diverts attention away from you. Don’t engage with their comments or get drawn into an argument—that’s what they want you to do. Just label their behavior, dismiss it, and move on.
7. Learn how to be more assertive
Research suggests that being more assertive might protect you from harassment. According to a 2020 study into workplace bullying published in the International Journal of Nursing Practice, people low in assertiveness may be more at risk of bullying.
This may be because assertive people stand up for their rights and defend their personal boundaries, which might make it easier for them to shut down teasing and other disrespectful behavior quickly.
If you feel that you’re too submissive, you might want to read about steps you can take to be more assertive.
8. Work out whether you’re dealing with a toxic person
It’s important to know the difference between a real friend who has made a mistake and a toxic friend who doesn’t truly care about your feelings. A real friend is always worth a second shot, but you need to cut toxic friends out of your life.
However, try to remember that nobody’s perfect. For example, most of us make ill-judged comments or zone out of a conversation from time to time. Don’t be too quick to assume that someone is toxic just because they’ve been rude a couple of times. You want to look out for patterns of behavior before jumping to conclusions.
Here are some signs that your friend may be a toxic person:
- They do things without your permission and may disrespect your boundaries. For example, they might borrow your possessions without asking first.
- They try to make you feel guilty or use emotional blackmail to get what they want. For instance, they might say things like, “If you really cared about me, you’d lend me $50 for gas” or “If you were a real friend, you wouldn’t mind babysitting for me,” even if they know that you don’t want to lend them money or take care of their children.
- They are nice one-on-one, but they try to boss you around when you’re in a group. Real friends treat you with respect, regardless of who is around.
- They don’t pay much or any attention to you during conversations; they might use you as a sounding board or therapist.
- They don’t apologize when they hurt you or let you down, even when you let them know how you feel.
- When they tease you, they focus on the things that they know make you insecure. For example, if your friend knows that you are self-conscious about your weight, it would be toxic and unkind of them to make jokes about your size or shape.
9. Ask the other person to change their behavior
Here’s a more diplomatic route you can take if you value a relationship. Keep in mind that this sentence works in any type of relationship where you are both motivated to get along.
It’s your responsibility to tell the bully how you feel if you want them to stop. They are at fault, but since they’re usually not aware of how their behavior affects you, you need to make them aware of it.
Here are some tips that will help you make yourself clear:
- Don’t generalize. Don’t say something like “You always try to dominate me.” Generalizations make other people defensive, and they aren’t particularly helpful because they don’t spell out exactly why you are hurt. Give a specific example instead.
- Tell the person how YOU feel, not what THEY should and shouldn’t do. This is achieved by using I-statements. No one can disprove that you feel a certain way, but they can argue back when you tell them how they should behave.
- Give them the benefit of the doubt and make it clear you don’t want to attack your friend and just want to fix the problem. For example, you could say, “You probably didn’t mean to hurt me.”
Here’s an example:
“Sometimes you say things that I don’t like. One example is when you joked about my new sweater. I feel belittled when you make comments like that. You probably didn’t intend to come across as mean, but I want you to know how that made me feel.”
It takes courage to open up to someone who’s causing you harm, but standing up for yourself will be worth it in the long run.
10. Tell someone that you’re being bullied
Opening up about your experiences can make you feel better, which will give you a mental edge the next time someone tries to put you down. Talk to a friend or relative about what’s going on. They might have similar experiences to share.
You could also try talking to a therapist who can help you come up with good strategies on how to deal with bullies both practically and emotionally.
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Reasons why some people make fun of others
If you’ve been on the receiving end of bullying, harassment, or malicious teasing, you might have asked yourself what drives people to behave so badly.
It’s hard to know for sure why someone makes fun of others, but psychologists have made some progress in uncovering the root causes of bullying.
Here are some of the reasons why some people humiliate or bully others:
1. Low self-esteem
Some people may try to feel better about themselves by making fun of others.
A meta-analysis published in the journal Aggression and Violent Behaviour found a modest link between bullying behavior and low self-esteem.
According to an article by Harvey published in the Journal of Business Ethics, biological differences, such as genetics, may help explain why some people are prone to bullying behavior.
In 2019, Veldkamp et al. ran a study with identical and non-identical pairs of school-aged twins. Their goal was to work out if a person’s genes or environment make them more or less likely to be a bully. The researchers found that genetic influences can make children more vulnerable to becoming a bully or a victim.
3. A lack of empathy
A 2015 review published in the journal Aggression and Violent Behaviour states that there is a negative association between the ability to feel empathy and bullying behavior. People who find it hard to imagine what those around them are thinking and feeling are more likely to make fun of others. This may be because they don’t fully understand how their actions affect their victims.
4. A need for control
Some people may bully because they want to control their environment. For example, an employee might bully others in the workplace because they want to control who works on their team, who works particular shifts, and how the work is done. By intimidating and making fun of their coworkers, an employee may be able to have things their way.
5. Desire to increase their status
Some people try to become more popular by bullying others. The results of a 2020 study published in the American Journal of Sociology showed that bullies often try to establish dominance by picking on people in their social circle, including people they would describe as friends. For example, a bully might try to make themselves look smarter or funnier than someone else by repeatedly putting them down.
6. Learned behavior
Bullying can be learned behavior that people pick up from their environment. For example, an employee who sees a coworker go unpunished for making fun of others might be more likely to follow suit than an employee who works in a place with a zero-tolerance bullying policy.
7. Personality disorders
There is a positive association between personality disorders and bullying behavior. Vaughn et al. analyzed the results of a large-scale survey involving 43,093 adults and discovered that histrionic, paranoid, and antisocial personality disorders were increased risk factors for bullying.
8. Adult Bullying Syndrome
Psychologist Chris Piotrowski has coined the term Adult Bully Syndrome (ABS) to describe the behaviors and tendencies of people who often bully others.
In a 2015 paper, Piotrowski explains that people with ABS show a set of distinctive traits; they are controlling, callous, self-centered, manipulative, and Machiavellian. These traits are often seen in people with personality disorders.
How can I deal with a coworker who makes fun of me?
There is no universal solution for dealing with a workplace bully. In some cases, ignoring them may work. If the problem persists, you could try spelling out why you feel hurt and ask them to stop. You could also try asking a member of senior management or your team leader for advice.
What should I do if someone makes fun of me online?
In many cases, ignoring is the simplest way to deal with an online bully. Remember, you don’t have to respond to unkind remarks. On social media, consider blocking or muting the person who is making fun of you. If they repeatedly harass you or make you feel unsafe, report them to the platform.
199 CommentsAdd a Comment
Very helpful thank you.
I was onc bullied by a guy at a bar he kept inventing up wrong names for me, touching my ass what more is he kept following me. I was frightened and frozen and terrified. Moved to another city!
These tips are really great. Thank you.
I am an American but now I live in Europe. Learning to speak German and adapt to my new life have not been easy, but I’ve really tried. I work as a mail carrier and everyday I have to come into contact with a man who always belittles me. He will usually make fun of my German. His coworker is so nice to me, I feel like she’s overcompensating just because she feels bad that he’s so rude. Almost everyday I meet people who tell me that my German is great, and of course that makes me feel good, but as soon as I come into contact with this particular man, I feel like a blubbering idiot. I would never try to make someone feel so small. I don’t understand why he’s doing it to me.
Since he doesn’t appreciate your efforts of speaking to him in his native tongue, then speak to him in English. If he can’t understand you then that’s his problem. When people mock my Spanish, I just look at them and say, ”if you prefer, I can speak to you in English.” Usually, English is not their first language, so they tend to get the drift and back up.
Ah my answer was similar but I hadn’t seen yours, yes excellent ideas.
Can you compare your German to his English like “better than your English, dude” or just tell him F.U. in German?
Just a thought. Bullies usually do it because they feel bad about themselves; I try to remember to pity them rather than get mad, but it’s not easy in the moment.
My mom and dad always tries to dominate me. i always thought that they will understand me and kept patience but time went by and they never understood my needs and with time i became aggressive and now when i tries to make them understand that reasons for my nature they always blame that it is beacause they gave me more opportunities to study and that has made my this aggressive and rebellion . whenever i tries to make them understand something’s they say that I am argumenting and sometimes the thing become too much for me . previously i ysed to handle such situations but now my patience is loosing and i easlity react .
They actually blame the fact that they gave you opportunities to study, for making you rebellious? Well good! Learning is supposed to make you stronger and better able to stand up for yourself! Thank them! 🙂
I have known people that feel so small that they are jealous when their kids do better than them. I knew a girl whose mom refused to let her take a sports scholarship for college, and told her coach “no, she has chores to do.” Horrible!
I just told my crush recently that I like her and all of her friends and her friends friends are making fun of me. Even my crush is avoiding me and we were fairly good friends. I’m probably going to use the comeback method. I already use the “ignore it” method but sometimes people are just too persistent.
you should probs confront them
These boys always call me a lesbo and lesbian when I am not. There is nothing wrong with being lesbian it’s just I’m not. They constantly say mean things about me and won’t stop. Even when I ignore them. I cry a lot and they don’t realize that I have had a lot of crappy stuff happen this year. A lot. I just really want them to stop.
Leave them or you will tell to someone who help you to stop it
Just ignore them and don’t laugh or say anything just look at them straight face and say your hilarious
I feel the same way. On Valentine’s Day I was saying how I loved my 22 year old brother because he worked the night shift and brought me back a donut for breakfast, and gave it to me before he went to bed, and the boy next to me said me and my brother liked incest, which is not true, but he obviously doesn’t understand what it is like to love your siblings as family, but it bothered me so much because he shouted to the whole class, IN FRONT OF THE TEACHER, “X likes incest!” and I was so pissed because I thought that the whole school was going to know that, when it’s not true AT ALL. My school has a big problem of saying ‘no bullying is allowed’, but then saying ‘well, boys will be boys, girls will be girls, and there’s really not much we can do about it’. This will definitely help me a lot, and that’s saying a lot, because all of my immediate family (mom, dad, brother, and sister) has been bullied and still can’t help me.
I’m an adult, who isn’t afraid to be herself, even if that means being unconventional, take risks and reap the rewards. I’m kind, generous and believe in treating people the way I want to be treated. I don’t have a boyfriend (because I was neglected and physical abused as a child so used to being on my own and doing things on my own) and haven’t had one in a long time. I became friends with a group of people and they always make fun and look down on me. One who is insecure and afraid to do anything in her life shoots her mouth off and tells people I must be gay or asexual because I don’t have a boyfriend, (especially at a time when I’m figuring out my sexuality). Another is ghosting me, I keep messaging to meet up and she ignores me but when we see each other she tells me to message her to arrange a date.
The other day we (the group) are playing a card game which describes characters and wheather or not we would date them. One was describing a character who was desperate and clingy, and the one friend said to the whole group well you won’t want to date S**** then. I was shocked that someone would make that joke, at a party (which I forced myself to go to) and I felt so angry and hurt. especially as the one who always mouths off laughed. She was the only one who did but it still hurts. But it got worse, I was so shocked I looked at the first person had said, Another friend (who i do believe was trying to help) said don’t worry S**** I’ll have you. I felt so small and worthless.
I don’t understand the huge focus on one person in particular. Why not reach out to meet in person. It might solve the uncomfy feelings right off the bat. Especially if that person doesn’t necessarily bother you or talk to you at all. Nobodyis perfect but to completely isolate them and try to bully them does not seem very productive especially with so much time put in. I mean do you really care or is it just satisfyingto try to see what will get a reaction. Doesn’t seem fair. Maybe it’s just me but you cant just go and control someone because you think that might be a good strategy. Hindering them and bullying or manipulation is just childish. Let them know what is going on. If you don’t care then leave them to make a path on their own. I would love to chat with others who might be feeling the same. Sorry if I’m way off.
First of all, I admire your courage for sharing your story and for reaching out! You also appear to have the wisdom to know that the abuse you suffered earlier in your life was NOT YOUR FAULT. Many people never quite make that connection.
Second, I can identify only TOO WELL with what it feels like to be on the outside looking in. Or, that proverbial game of “keep away” only it’s not AT ALL fun and games when you’re the one in the middle of from whom that object is being kept.
Granted, I don’t have all of the info about your relationship with the people you curse you call your friends. I’m really inclined to suggest that you look for new friends. Based on the info you shared, it seems like those individuals. are mean spirited, self centered and insensitive to others needs. Maybe my age (I’m in my 50’s) has made me intolerant of such JUVENILE behavior. I’m not sure I should just impart this but quite frankly, after I told them to GROW UP, I tell them to go f**k themselves. Furthermore, It also make it abundantly clear that my sexual orientation (confusion about it or not) is NONE of their DAMNED business. Or, to put it more diplomatically, it’s not their concern.
Personally, I’d tell them to go straight to Hell and to keep going once they arrive. But that’s just me. I’d rather be by myself than with people who made me feel bad. Besides, don’t mind my own company, in fact I enjoy it. Again, that’s just me.
I gather you’re young (I don’t mean it as being good or bad. Just an educated guess). If you’re in school (high school or college) it can seem like we’d rather hold on to a troubled social network than stand alone. Which can make for a difficult predicament.
Given the fact I don’t want to encourage anyone to burn bridges because I don’t know what this group of so-called “friends” is about. I guess one thing to do would be to take “inventory” of your relationship with this group. For example, ask yourself if you were to tell off the people the group who are giving you the most grief, would their reaction and/or retaliation have a negative impact on your future for months or years to come? How could it affect you from that point forward? Do being a part of this group serve your greater good? What’s in it for you? (You have the RIGHT TO BE HAPPY TOO)! Do you typically have fun and feel good about WHO you are when you’re with these folks or do you feel downtrodden and sad? That’s very important.
Some thought provoking questions, I know. However, honestly answering those questions can mean the difference between a happy fulfilling future or one that is rife with fear, self loathing and hopelessness. It’s understandable that you’re not too comfortable “opening up” to others. In this case, I’d keep my cards close to my chest. In other words, I’d hold off telling.those folks my deepest darkest secrets or Smyth I g that could be potentially damaging. ABOVE ALL ELSE, you DO Not have to tolerate disrespect. You do NOT have to suffer in silence at the hand of a toxic abusive person. ABUSE, OF ANY KIND IS NEVER OKAY!
Peace and I wish you the very best on your life journey
I was in a similar situation as you describe and frankly I’m probably still not over it. What I wish I had done was respond something like, “You’re kidding, right? Anybody would be lucky to date me; I’m the next best thing to a supermodel. Now YOU on the other hand…”. If the others are mean, they’d most likely laugh but at least you wouldn’t be the focus anymore. I can never seem to come up with a quick retort when I need one. If you don’t want to give up these so-called “friends” who seem to delight in making you feel bad, then you’ll probably have to learn to ignore the jabs and just let them roll over and then off of you. That will come with practice and believe me I know. Search how you really feel and maybe you could find some friends you’d actually enjoy doing things with and wouldn’t have to force yourself to go. As you said, you are “kind” and “generous”, not small and worthless. Good luck and God bless.
What if you live with the person who mocks and bullies?…what if you’re married and have a house and dogs and a business together? There’s no “walking away” for that moment…. I love him and most of the time he is sweet, but sometimes, like tonight, we will get into these epic “discussions” when he will ask a question and I will foolishly and blindly follow him into this wrestling ring where I completely get beat up. When I try to “fight back” or answer questions (historical origin of christmas, topic of tonight) he will just grill me with more questions and if I don’t know all the details like dates and all the names, he starts mocking and saying he doesn’t believe what I’m saying (since it’s a lie???) and that I don’t really know anything, and that I believe stupid things from online and he doesn’t have to believe anything I say, that he already knows. I get upset at the super mocking and teasing exaggerated tone and try to confront or ask why he even asks something if he doesn’t like the answer, but he starts just talking over me so he doesn’t have to hear a word I say. I ask what the problem is, oh there’s no problem, I’m the problem, apparently. One minute Dr.Jekyll next Mr Hyde. I’m so bad at this game, I don’t understand it at all and I just fall flat on my face every time, hurt and sad. I speak nine languages. I thought I was pretty good at communicating with different people, cultures and different parts of the world. Apparently not.
See if you can get him to go to counseling with you. If you can’t, go yourself. He is trying to destroy your self confidence. He may be patterning things that happened in his childhood, but this is not a “sweet” man. He went out of his way to pick a fight and destroy your happiness, on Christmas, and using Christmas as a weapon. I think, in the end, you will have to divorce him, unless he is willing to go to counseling and change. But don’t hold your breath. People like your husband have deep, deep personality issues, which may not be possible to change.
Hi, I’m Andy! I’m from Philippines! I know people who commented here do know the pain that I’ve experienced and still experience. I just came here to kick out all my feelings and all the pain that I have.(sorry for my grammar✌). I just don’t know what to say like, I want to make people forget about me because I don’t know what’s happening to me. I just feel like, If I could donate my life to other people who needs it, I probably would have done that! But I can’t! It’s impossible! I’m starting to not care about all the people who loves me or cares about me and I don’t know what to F’ing do! ISFU! (no need to know the meaning of that) But, what should I do?
Oh dear! Serina – I met one of those about a year ago. I wonder if it’s the same guy? OK, not funny, but your story has me concerned, especially the part where you said he talks over you. I believe mine is a “narc” (narcissist). That is exactly one of the characteristics they display, although narcissism is a complex subject. We do not meet much in person although he has been to my place several times. I am suspicious that he may have another “honey.” In June 2019, I met him at the gym. It only took about a couple of weeks before I fell for him. He hit me like a tsunami, and I was helpless. The guy is extremely intelligent, funny, cute, and a charmer. He singled me out of a group of women that he had also charmed. After several months I tried to ask him what his intentions were. No answer of course. He is a genius at changing the subject, cracking a joke, and derailing me so badly that I don’t even remember what I asked him in the first place! If I do manage to get his attention and get him to focus on my original question, he just starts yelling louder. He has had two rages with me that made me cry; one over the phone and one at my house. With the phone conversation, I asked him to stop yelling. He would not comply. His inappropriate, hurtful yelling continued until I finally hung up on him, an action that triggered him ignoring me for over a month! When I saw him again, he cleverly made himself the victim, “No one hangs up the phone on me!!!”, he declared. Now, like you say, the Jekyll & Hyde personalities are at play. That’s how they get you. You cannot fix these people. They are very sick. You can have compassion for them, but you cannot tangle with them. They will literally kill your soul! Since meeting him, I have been reading everything I can on Quora about narcissism and NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). These two mental illnesses are not the same thing. Hard to explain. I am also reading books. Most of the population of humans, say 90% (I’m guessing), have no clue about this problem. I told everyone in the gym about what he did to me & now they just ignore him. He is pissed at me for doing this because I let him know that I told them. Since I do not have a degree in mental/behavior health, I can only compare the symptoms and manifestations of his behavior to what I have read. He sure seems “textbook narc” to me. Now I am in the process of trying to forget about how cute, funny, and smart he is. One other thing – I am a musician and very sensitive to sonority (different pitches of sounds). It took me a while to realize that his deep, gravelly voice was a huge part of my attraction to him. The teasing and mocking you refer to are simply wrong and not normal. I experience this with him all the time. We only have phone conversations now since the COVID-19 epidemic, although he has announced that it is a “hoax!” Yeah, right, that’s why there are so many people dying from it. In one year, he has never invited me over to his place, making excuses that it belongs to his father who doesn’t live there, and other relatives are coming and going in that house. I said, “So? Are you embarrassed of me?” Then he quickly changes the subject. I will be praying for both of us and all those who are duped by these devils.
My freinds in my group always makes fun of me in my any behaviour or action. If my friend are making fun of other in group than that guy shift monemtum on me and again i became the victim. They make fun of my weight,colour,hairstyle everything. I am good in study in comparison to them instead they make fun of my study. Every body unites to make fun of me but one on one they all treat me good but in group i am like a toy or source of laughter for them. Should i left the group?. Otherwise give me a tip to make back fun to one who make fun of me more. The one who make my fun a lot is very bad in study and anything else he plays little bit guitar but cannot play well. Please give feedback to me……
go have a nice dinner with them and enjoy in PMEC campus
This might sound weird, but I am 61 and still deal with people/friends that hurt my feelings/put me down, ever since childhood. I know they are basically joking, but it still gets to me sometimes. These people all talk to me normally at times, call me and invite me places or to parties, etc. and sometimes even help me out. Sometimes I am able to come back at them with something but they are much more aggressive at it when there is a crowd. Then it’s like they all pretty much gang up on me and it doesn’t seem to matter if I have a comeback or not, they are just relentless and can say some pretty nasty things to me/about me. Especially if there is someone there who I don’t know or don’t know very much which makes me feel even worse because then I feel those people then tend to form an opinion about me. I even get put down by female friends occasionally which makes me really cringe. It’s one thing if your buddies do that but to me it’s much, much worse getting it from the opposite sex. The thing is I don’t know why I am always the brunt of the jokes, I feel I’ve always been a normal person (ok when I was a kid maybe I was a little weird—but none of these people even knew me back then). And I have other friends that treat me with respect and some who even look up to me. I don’t show any anger or just portray to them that I’m just laughing it off but deep inside I feel tormented. Then when I am alone I feel really bad about it. I’m not really looking for solutions because I’ve tried them all. Guess I’m just getting it off my chest because right now I feel pretty bad after being insulted by a female after another male asked her jokingly if I was going home with her.
I never knew what’s is causing me harm from a long time until one day it stuck it’s my friend.
I went to the therapist to talk but she just wants to dig more and cause more harm making me prove that it’s unreal. You don’t want to talk what is causing you harm. I would always enjoy with her because our mental abilities are just the same or if you want to call it intellectual talk. Honestly, I saw changes in me and bad changes and it really took time for me to understand the cause of my downfall.
She is a good person, so am I right in my own way.I get involved with only few people and because she is so clingy I couldn’t ever get rid of her then even started liking the way she would treat me but I always knew it was harming my values.She never did intentionally but someone else taking charge over me is just not acceptable. She acts like my mother, toxic.
Although once you understand then You can anytime convert to healthy by ignoring or by leaving them.
My classmate always try to dominate me and I couldn’t do anything because she’s my friend’s friend. I just stay quiet and try to ignore her words.
Some of the boys in my grade always say some gay comments to me or talk about me in front of their friends.
When they see me they will ask something gay straight to my face like “kiss my lips” and other stuff and that all act gay around me like putting their butt or bending over in front of me. I don’t know what they mean or how to stop them doing those things and now more people also doing it to me.
something I would do is say “it looks to me like your the one/people whos Gay”; following up with, “but there is nothing wrong with that. It’s good to get things out in the open” Then You could say if they respond with something boring like “Naah I’m not” ” obviously by the fact your bending over you want to take it from me, but clearly I am the one whos actually straight so I suggest you bend over elsewhere”
Then if you have the confidence after that hold your head high and walk away.
If this is during class; say these responses out loud so everyone including the teacher can here.
If you have no support network I suggest joining a martial art; you will gradually get much more confident. You have to say it to yourself too; I am going to become more confident. I hope you will be ok
Mike from UK
There is this girl who always make fun of me and my mum , she never give up….she is into prostitution work and believes that no one can talk to her or correct her. Each time she sees us , her fun begans and am a kind of person that things can easily hurt. Am always heart broken
She’s jealous of your innocence.
She is broken and wishes she could go back inside of her life and be more like you.
So I’m trying to find ways to manage a colleague who can tease/joke at others but gets upset when it’s done back to her.
I lead the team where we work and other members have shared the same observation and frustration as I have regarding her. Some backstory: her jokes towards others are a constant (if not, daily) occurrence. The receiving party is clearly not too happy about being the brunt of the joke (who would be) but accepts it as he/she/I understand the context of the conversation and know that she did not have any malicious intent. So the receiving person just accepts it and plays along. The moment a joke is directed at her, she shows and voices her unhappiness upfront, coldly, and then proceeds to ignore you for as long as she wishes. Basically, steps you advised above. It does kill the joke atmosphere and everyone feels awkward, but everyone feels the same way – that she can do it but no one else can.
How do I manage her without using “if people can take it when you do it, why can’t you take it when people do it to you?” – I’ve tried this before and the response was “that’s just me” or “I’m like that” or “then it’s ok I just won’t talk to anyone anymore” .
I must say though, she is a valued team member for her work, and she is also very helpful to team members, and is generally a good friend to colleagues. It’s just tiring for her friends-colleagues to be walking on eggshells with her emotions.
Ok so I tried to talk to her today to stop teasing me. I told her how I felt when she teases me, how she should stop, but she just kept telling me to shut up which annoys me a lot. I don’t think I will ever get her to stop teasing me. She is always racist about other people too, but mostly me just because i’m Indian, which i’m proud to be, but she keeps on roasting me.
I don’t know what I should do now.
My name is Samir but people call me Sam. Yea, so i’m in 6th grade and there’s this really mean and annoying girl in my class. She kept judging me because of my shoes, she said i’m ugly, and she keeps bragging about her grades. She said she always has A’s and B’s and I have D’s and F’s. She always tries to pick a fight with me and I tried to tell her to please stop being mean to me but she does not care. She keeps on judging me just cause i’m Indian, which I am. Almost every time I tell her to stop talking to me she just keeps on talking because she wants me to hit her or something. Sometimes when she is alone, she starts to feel kinda “nervous”, but EVERY TIME she is with her friends, she starts to be mean, as usual. She keeps making fun of me and it makes me feel less than.
I saw this today and I think it will help me talk to her to stop teasing me. Thank you for this advice.?
i came across this looking for what is wrong with me. people say don’t be too nice. but then you seem rude. I don’t seem happy enough. I’m not open. I’m too open. I’m too angry. whatever! I don’t understand why today people analyze everything and take four aspects they see in someone and fill in the blanks themselves after three encounters or something
I am insecure. but I’ve always felt like the punching bag. I try to be happy and stay positive. but this always always backfires. I end up being that one person everyone makes passive aggressive stabs at.
then people say it’s all in my head. this is why I give up on everyone. It is just mean.
Do you think they might be gaslighting you when they say it’s all in your head? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaslighting
There’s this really annoying boy in my class. I told my ‘best friend’ something extremely private and told her not to tell anyone, but she told that annoying boy and he told his friends and now they are all tormenting me and making fun of me. So, this helped a lot. Thnx
There’s a friend in my social group that uses this phrase :
“I don’t know why you didn’t just”
In opposing anything anyone just did.
My response is
“Oh.. you don’t know? ”
Or “You don’t know why?”
I am small and often got threatened. When I was in the 7th grade a person threatened me by saying they would beat me up. I said ” What , then brag about beating up Kelly McDonnell, anyone can could do that”. They shrugged their shoulders and walked away . It worked . In grade school I would go out another door that day. All that bullying and only 2 fights. Yes I did think about killing myself in the 8th grade. It is tough to sneak out a door when you have to ride the bus which is a rolling jail at best. I think there are 4 types of people in the world, the bully the bullied the person who watches and does nothing and the person who speaks up.
My supervisor, recently started wanting to be “friends” we are the same age and have some things in common, we have hung out one on one a few times, and with her “other” friends a few times too. It is common for her to put me down about certain qualities I have, calling me “weird”, making fun of me for embarrassing things that have happened at work. I recently confronted her about this asking her why she feels like she has to put me down 1:1 and around friends, and her response was, “that’s how I joke, and my friends and family”, “you’re too sensitive, It’s funny, I was joking”. As a well as “I don’t want to have to walk on eggshells around you”, and “maybe we are very different”. I asked why insulting my intelligence and pointing out different things about me was funny to her? Her next response, was not an apology; but a “maybe I need to set better boundaries.” and “I know you like your friends a certain way and maybe I’m not that” HMMMM could she not see that is what I was exactly trying to do???? MY FRIENDS DON’T PUT ME DOWN!! YES! I have high standards for my friendships. AS I SHOULD! I realize she may have never been my friend to begin with.
Some people are just like that, I have been facing things like these from childhood around friend circles. I just act like what they say doesn’t get to my skin, but inside it’ll be grinding me. I feel it’s best to ignore such people. If its something like you have to work together then always have a kind response to rudeness, eventually what they say or do won’t bother you.
Just agree to anything they say even if it sounds stupid, because by this time it shouldn’t matter, and by this time after giving many responses, you’ll be way ahead from feeling low and stuff. 🙂
I am 76 years of age and only in the last 5-6 years I find people are making fun of my name,
being Mary they start quoting “Mary Mary quite contrary”, or ” Mary had a little lamb” never never so they say “Mary is a grand old name ” These are people mostly in their 60-70-80 age bracket. I find it very disrespectful and I do not do it to other people, in fact I am always saying “what a pretty name “. I have pulled about 6 men up in our Table Tennis Group and they were very gracious about it and haven’t done it since. However when I approached a lady who said it, I said, we don’t do that here Fay, we have respect for other peoples name and I would appreciate you did not do it, she told me to “get a life” and was very angry and said “don’t you say anything about my name ” and then accused me of being angry and that she was not an angry person.
What is going on here?
That lady sounds like a very troubled person. That is not a normal response.
Sorry people are being so mean and disrespectful, it’s good that you tell them that you expect to be treated with respect.
Thank you so much I’m so happy I randomly discovered this as I am the victim of a narcissistic psychopath who has called me everything bullied and tormented me on Facebook even told me to go kill myself I have tried to get help through the police and that’s just a whole other story and even said that he’s going to send his father who just got out of jail for murder to my home and my dad’s and then he goes to my family is going to destroy it and he did literally from the inside out
How about a simple, ” STOP with the teasing.”
Then walk away. Now if you are in a car… “That’s enough!”
Or “No more!”
Now these are stuff that worked for me!
Thank you for publishing this great article! I noticed people bullying me throughout my life growing up and even recently. I’ve grown in confidence and resilience tremendously! But this article is definitely that extra cherry on top.
I was facing bullying and lot of unecessary comments recently. First I tried to laugh it off but things really went out of my control when in an authorative voice I had to say “Stop, it is enough now!”. After that I have not talked to them and hope to keep them out of my life as much as possible. It really hurts to have received such a behaviour from a friend I trusted so much.
My husband of many many years is a sneaky bully. His new favorite phrase is “who cares about that?” Or “nobody cares about that” He says this when I say something like… “the dogs are barking” or “the chairs will get wet if it rains” or my favorite ” flys are coming in the house when you leave the door open for the dogs and besides we have the air conditioner on too” And he does this daily and even leaves the house sometimes after he does it. This is just one example.
I am no one to tell you what to do but still I’m sharing this piece of advice, hoping that it will be of some use to you.
Whenever your husband tells you “Who cares” look at him sternly and say “I do” ,may be he isn’t realising that it affects you so much. If he still continues you can do something to annoy him for once and say Who cares and then ask him, “See how it feels?” Hopefully, he’ll realise and change for better.
Hope you an amazing life.
This article has been helpful to me and I plan to share it with my daughter who also struggles with this issue. I’d love more tips on how to handle workplace situations where you have to maintain working relationships. For example, how do I diffuse people who take credit for your work, or talk about others behind their backs?
So glad to hear that mediamaven!
I think this article might give you some more insight into how to handle workplace situations when you don’t want to burn any bridges:
This has been helpful though, I needed this. I just wish there were some support group here. Thank you. forgive me if I said a lot, no one to confide it to, not even to my brothers and sisters, not even to my other kids. They find it OA.
I wish there was a support group too but there isn’t and we have to deal everything on our own coz this is life. But on a positive note, with every stand we take for ourselves, we become stronger and more independent.
If your daughter is being a jerk ask her to get out. Make her realize that you’re the kind one who allowed her to stay under your roof when she was needy. May be sometime after this display of anger you can tell her that you didn’t mean her to leave but that she’s getting too much over the head and tell her how both if you need to compromise and work together in order for things to work between you. And then make her realise how much you love her and always want the best for her.
Again, this is just my opinion. I can’t imagine myself in the situation. But, hopefully, this advice might be of some use to you.
Hope you have an amazing life.
help me. though am trying to stay cool, my adult daughter I think is getting dominant, obviously disrespectful, though it just might be abused by words, still we argue repeatedly especially if I do not give in to what she is saying, she wants me to stop working for her 8-month-old baby, but with her character, I feel me and my autistic son will always be at her mercy. I took her in without question when she had a baby, she sees I have been working home-based, paying bills, putting food on the table, she was formerly working, and now with the small food business and also working in an international call center. When we argue her voice is higher than mine and she won’t go down or stop bickering. I am trying to keep my cool by giving her now the silent treatment, but I love my granddaughter, taking care of her from morning till say 6-7 pm and I worked from 5 am to say8am on weekdays and on weekends 5 am straight to 11 PM, she works in the morning in an office, just giving you the scenario.