Insulting a person only shows immaturity and lack of argument

Insulting a person only shows immaturity and lack of argument

Virtually all of us have been the subject of offensive comments and it is even likely that on occasion we have insulted someone. Indeed, the custom of insulting is universal and transversal to all cultures.

In any case, insults are the lowest form of expressing disagreement. They do not contain rationality or argument, but rather close the door to understanding and put an end to any possibility of dialogue. The insult is both the expression of an inability to maintain self-control and the absence of valid reasons with which to dismantle the other's speech. This is why Diogenes said that "the insult dishonors the one who utters it, not the one who receives it".

Why do we insult?

Generally insults are convinced that the fault lies with the other. It is the other who does things badly, provokes us or disappoints us. For one reason or another, the situation makes us angry and we react by insulting the person we consider guilty of making us feel those unpleasant emotions.

Often the insult is also the result of a perceived threat. When we believe that a person threatens or thwarts our plans, we respond by insulting them. Insulting a person, in fact, is a relatively common response when we believe that they have violated the social norms and values ​​with which we identify.

Be that as it may, the insult is a maladaptive way of regulating our emotions. It helps us release the tension and physiological activation produced by anger and frustration. The insult is a primary reaction, a quick and easy way to let off steam. This means that the angrier we are, the more offensive the insult will be.

Furthermore, insults are not only an outlet for emotions, but also serve as a justification. To insult a person is to blame him, whether he has it or not. It is pointing the accusatory finger at someone who, presumably, is responsible for our discomfort and the situation generated. Therefore, insults are also a way to escape our responsibilities.

The most common types of insults

Researchers at the University of Michigan analyzed "highly evaluative" personalities, those people who tend to judge others and themselves in a rigid way. Here's how they found out what the most common types of insults they used were:

1. Useless. Many daily insults focus precisely on highlighting the uselessness of the person. Their goal is to undermine her worth by making her feel useless, incapable or insignificant. This is to diminish the value and merit of the injured person.

2. Stupidity. Since intelligence is a very valuable value in most cultures, it is not surprising that many insults focus on this quality. Labeling a person as an imbecile, stupid or ignorant is an attempt to belittle his ideas and intellectually obliterate them.

3. Moral depravity. All cultures have a set of shared values ​​and social conventions. People who break the rules are at risk of social exclusion because they are believed to threaten the status quo. For this reason, many insults are directed at behavior that is considered deplorable, shameful or unacceptable.

4. Peculiarities. Another type of insult focuses on the most unique characteristics of people, mainly those that are perceived as too far from the norm and that generate a feeling of discomfort. In this case, an attempt is made to present the person as the "black sheep", who does not deserve attention or respect being different.

What should people who insult know?

The insult is abuse. Insulting your partner is abuse. Insulting a child, colleague, friend, parents, or even that person we don't know at all on the Internet is also abuse. It is aggression. Disrespect. Lack of empathy. And above all, it is a sign of incredible intellectual poverty.

In fact, the insult says more about the person insulting than about the one being insulted. He says this person is unable to control himself. Which has no convincing arguments with which to refute the ideas of the other. That his cognitive rigidity prevents him from speaking. That his insecurity is so great that he feels the need to insult. And that it is not able to face the discomfort generated by the different.

The insulting person must also understand that asking for forgiveness doesn't solve much. When insulting becomes a habit it ends up causing a lot of harm to others. In fact, a study conducted at Illinois State University found that even the most subtle insults affect our cognitive performance.

Therefore, if a person is repeatedly insulted, this will have a negative effect. Wounds to the intellect and self-esteem are not so easy to heal and are certainly not resolved by asking for forgiveness.

Instead, people who have the easy insult must learn to disagree without attacking. Living with the differences by listening to the other. Think before speaking so as not to enter the dynamics of frustration and insults. They must understand that things are not just how they see them and that they do not hold an absolute truth that allows them to judge others with arrogance.

How to respond to an insult without losing your temper?

Insults are often perceived as an attack that triggers other insults. That spiral isn't good for anyone. In order not to fall into this toxic vicious circle, the first step is to understand that insulting means offending someone by provoking and irritating them with words or actions, but it also means that we have the power not to give up. An assertive way to respond to an insult is:

• Facts. Describe the situation that bothers us by limiting ourselves to the facts. For example: “I noticed that when I am wrong you insult me ​​by saying that I am useless”.

• Emotions. Express how that behavior makes us feel, without recrimination. For example: "When you tell me that I am useless, I feel sad, frustrated and ashamed."

• Empathy. Empathize with the person, however difficult it may be, trying to understand their point of view. For example: "I understand that you are not doing it with bad intentions, maybe my mistakes have upset you."

• Alternatives. Offer alternative solutions to solve the problem. For example: “I would like you to help me improve, but I need you to change the way you make me see mistakes. I will change more if you guide me instead of insulting me ”.

Of course, it is not always possible to dialogue with those who insult us. If we believe we cannot reach an understanding, it is usually best to prioritize our sanity and forget about it. Sometimes there are battles that aren't worth fighting.

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