Updated: Aug 17, 2021
Sometimes there will be people who intentionally want to make you look awkward. Whether it’s to embarrass you or belittle you, it’s not always fair. You can’t control how other people act, but you can control how you act.
If someone intentionally says something to make you look bad, always take the high road. If you lash out, you’re the one who just made yourself look like a fool. Don’t do that.
Do this instead: Repeat what they said back to them in a curious tone, like you’re asking an honest question. Doing that in a slow, confident manner is sometimes all it takes to make the other person accountable for what they just said to you.
Here’s an example:
If someone says to you, in a snarky tone, “Did you seriously just say that?” you would pause and then say, “Did I seriously just say that?” in a totally non-snarky tone.
Just pause as if that is such a peculiar question to ask somebody. If they say nothing, respond, “I guess I did, [Name], thanks for asking.”
They will feel like the odd one for even mentioning it. Remember, this is not meant to be said spitefully or sarcastically. Just say it as bland as you can, without a care in the world, like “Huh, I don’t even know what you’re saying.”
The key here is not to blame or get angry. Just state it like it’s a simple question that doesn’t even deserve your full energy. Let them figure it out; they’re the ones who put themselves in that situation. And then move on— their negativity is not your problem. Being unbothered is the best comeback.
For more examples and tips to be more confident, check out this book It’s the Awkwardness for Me by Maeve Ronan.