How to respond when disrespected?

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How to respond when disrespected?

Postby mick31 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:44 am

There's many ways people have disrespected me. I've had to deal with bullies who yelled at me, were condescending and mocking/teasing me, constantly cut me off when I'm speaking like they don't care at all what I'm saying, etc. Some of those bullies were psychopaths who would put on a two-face of being aggressive/rude towards me when it was just us in the room, but then act friendly/happy when others were present, and thus manipulate others into thinking I was the one with problems if I asserted myself

In the past, whenever I asked for advice on this, I just got crappy advice like "be more assertive", "stop being so sensitive", "don't react". I'm still very bothered by the amount of disrespect/bullying I've had to deal with even years ago. I just read "A New Earth" and Tolle says the way to not get controlled by my anger over past events is to just be aware of the painbody in me

But that's not helpful enough. What if I get a new job and have to deal with new coworkers/supervisors who continue to disrespect me? They'll just continue to disrespect you. That's what happened to me at a previous job. I tried to calmly confront that psycho and be assertive, but he would continue to be passive-aggressively rude. It was only by being aggressive myself by hitting him that I got him to respect me (he exploded and screamed at me with insults, instead of ignoring me and not taking me seriously)

To give another example, at a different job, I had to deal with a coworker who was very loud, arrogant, condescending, and patronizing towards me. However, my other coworkers clearly liked and respected him more than me. I tried my best to just ignore him. But then at a company gathering, one of my supervisors teased me in front of everyone and accused me of not talking to him enough. If I confronted them and told them to stop disrespecting me, then I'm sure that would've made me look much worse which is why I didn't say anything. Turns out I might as well have yelled at them anyways since I was fired a few weeks later

Tolle says that the key is to be conscious when someone tries to disrespect/bully you, so that you can then see it's just a reflection of the other person's problem/painbody, so you can thus just forgive them. But I just can't see why anyone would want to disrespect/bully me. By no means do I have a great life and I can't see why anyone would be envious of me, such as the supervisor who mocked me in front of everyone. If he was just angry with his own life, why didn't he attack anyone else? I don't understand why it seems like I'm always the target of these assholes

What do you guys think about this?
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Re: How to respond when disrespected?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:46 am

Why do you think you get disrespected and bullied when others don't? Do some self analysis and explain what's unique about you as compared to others. While you're at it, what do you do to have fun? What brings you a measure of joy and/or happiness? Do you have fun when you're around others? And if so what is the nature of that fun? Let's explore.

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Re: How to respond when disrespected?

Postby mick31 » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:45 am

Why do you think you get disrespected and bullied when others don't?


I guess I look like a "easy target". I don't have many friends, I'm short for a male, and I'm an ethnic minority. I'm also sort of an outcast in the sense that I watch no TV and dislike most pop culture. But Eckhart Tolle also looks like an "easy target" because he's soft-spoken, not physically intimidating, etc. But from what I know about him, I don't think he's had to deal with nearly the amount of bullying and disrespect I've had to deal with. And I totally agree with what he said in A New Earth about how watching TV literally puts you in a state of hypnosis and makes you susceptible to conditioning and brainwashing

What brings you a measure of joy and/or happiness? Do you have fun when you're around others? And if so what is the nature of that fun?


I don't find most people to be fun. I find most conversations with people to be shallow and thus have many shallow acquaintances. I do have a couple close friends I've met recently and definitely enjoy spending time with them

I read that helping others is supposed to increase one's happiness. I've volunteered at homeless shelters numerous times and didn't feel that much better afterwards.

Tolle even wrote in A New Earth that it's crucial to give because if you just focus on what you don't have and need to take, that makes you a needy victim. Looking at myself in the past, I definitely struggled with this as I saw myself as a victim who deserved better. But even now, as I focus more on giving, I have *not* found myself "receiving" more

Tolle also wrote that one should "not mind what happens". Sure, that definitely helps get out of a victim mentality. But, what about the bullying/disrespect I talked about earlier? Wouldn't it be more helpful to take notice and be aggressive back towards those who disrespect you? Otherwise they'll think you're weak and keep attacking you
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Re: How to respond when disrespected?

Postby Webwanderer » Thu Jan 19, 2017 8:30 pm

mick31 wrote:I guess I look like a "easy target". I don't have many friends, I'm short for a male, and I'm an ethnic minority.

Is it just physical appearance? There are certainly many small stature, ethnic minority males, that engender a good deal of respect. It's one thing as a child in the school yard to attract such treatment, but in the work place there are more mature standards. Not that it doesn't happen, but there are different dynamics. Could there be something in your demeanor, the way you speak and interact with others that attract the experiences you are having?

I had an older brother (now deceased) who was small in stature. He was angry most of the time - always in a conscious adversarial demeanor. Seams he was often in a row with someone or about something. Then I also had a friend some years ago who was also a small stature man. Like my brother, he was frequently in a tiff with someone about something. Both had an underlying violent nature. Not that they were in fights a lot, but it seemed they always had something to prove in their 'manhood'.

I'm not sure either of them had a conscious understanding of the source of their underlying angst. It was so ubiquitous with them it was invisible. There was a term I heard used back then called 'little man syndrome'. It's a kind of inferiority complex that expresses itself in an excessive sensitivity to conditions, such as statements or suggestions from others, that are consistently perceived as derogatory. Responding in a combative way to such perceptions, tend to invite further responses that then reinforces the underlying concerns/fears.

Being an ethnic minority likely only reinforces existing detrimental self perceptions with another common perspective - that of victim mentality. I'm not suggesting that any of this is the case with you. I only know you through your posts in this thread. I am simply pointing out what is not uncommon in our shared human experience. I am suggesting that you consider such possibilities and make whatever judgments feel right.

One thing seems certain if we are to believe the teachings of consciousness and spirituality. The primary problems we face are not 'out there'. They are of our own making through historic unconscious conditioning and our ongoing present choices. There is no right or wrong here, only a natural cause and effect. We cannot necessarily control the behavior of others, but we can attract a different energy by expressing a different energy in our core nature. Not taking offense over time will reduce the amount of offense that comes our way. It simply won't have a home to attract it.

I don't find most people to be fun.

Consider why that may be. Could it be the mental framework through which you look at them? Everyone is unique, and while you don't have to hang out with them you could enjoy their uniqueness. Taking the approach that everyone has elements of value may open the door to recognizing those elements when they appear - and to the keen eye they appear quite often. It's not for them that one might choose to recognize such traits, but for you. It enhances your clarity and broadens your perspective.

Consider for a moment the quality of appreciation. Not gratitude as that is more a response to something given, but appreciation for something as it is whether it directly applies to you or not. This can apply to anything or anyone. You get to choose what is valuable and how often to recognize it. Again it's not so much for the benefit of the appreciated, but rather for you the appreciator. The feeling of appreciation is high energy indeed. It's about as close to unconditional love as we humans can muster. Feel it out for yourself.

Living in a state of frequent appreciation is a life enhancing context that can cleanse a lifetime of negative concerns. You just have to be genuine and consistent. Externally, people in our environment who feel appreciated don't long disrespect us. It's just not how attraction works. Explore this a bit and feel your way through it. Let your inner guidance help you. Consider also that appreciation for our own true nature is a key to the alignment where insight manifests and clarity dawns. Explore. Enjoy. Have some fun.

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Re: How to respond when disrespected?

Postby dijmart » Thu Jan 19, 2017 10:54 pm

Welp, ya know some people are just assholes! Maybe youve just run into more of them, then seems fair. Unfortunately, we don't get to pick who we have to work with...there are people who like to take shots at those they deem weaker, for one reason or another, sometimes it's just a senority thing. Where they think they can and sometimes do, get away with anything.

I have to work with one of those assholes also. I gave up trying to have anything but a professional relationship with her, although she will still hang up on me and let "whatever" fly out of her mouth on a given day. I use to think maybe it was me, but since I don't have issues with anyone but her...I realized it wasn't me at all. It was/is her problem, not mine.

She does on occasion get to me, if I'm caught off gaurd, but usually I'm prepared for her to be a snot. You can only change your reaction and how you feel, you can not change another or make them like you. It's accepting this that may be the lesson, if there's a lesson at all.
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Re: How to respond when disrespected?

Postby mick31 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:59 am

Webwanderer wrote:in the work place there are more mature standards. Not that it doesn't happen, but there are different dynamics. Could there be something in your demeanor, the way you speak and interact with others that attract the experiences you are having?


I don't criticize others or get aggressive towards them. The only thing about my demeanor that could possibly provoke anyone is being quiet and introverted and noncomformist pisses insecure people off so they need to tease, yell, and/or form a clique with everyone and exclude only me. I'm not an aggressive person.

Living in a state of frequent appreciation is a life enhancing context that can cleanse a lifetime of negative concerns.


Yeah, Tolle wrote about a philosopher who said the secret to happiness is "I don't mind what happens". So I guess that could help me deal with why I'm always being targeted.

However, what motivation is there to living? Why not just lie in bed and sleep for 10+ hours a day, if you "don't mind what happens"?
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Re: How to respond when disrespected?

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:20 am

mick31 wrote:eah, Tolle wrote about a philosopher who said the secret to happiness is "I don't mind what happens".

I believe that would be Krishnamurti.

However, what motivation is there to living? Why not just lie in bed and sleep for 10+ hours a day, if you "don't mind what happens"?

That's not the context or the suggestion. The thing is, would lying in bed for 10+ hours a day be fun? If so then do so. If not explore what brings you enjoyment. I guarantee you Krishnamurti did not stay all day in bed.

Happy people are better suited to not minding what happens. Sad or downtrodden people, by their very demeanor, demonstrate that they do mind what happens, that they find something wrong with the way things are. What creates the feelings of sadness and anxiety are not the conditions one finds themselves in, but the meaning they apply to those conditions. Change the meaning to something more uplifting and the experience of the conditions change accordingly, preferably to something that feels a whole lot better.

I don't criticize others or get aggressive towards them. The only thing about my demeanor that could possibly provoke anyone is being quiet and introverted and noncomformist pisses insecure people off so they need to tease, yell, and/or form a clique with everyone and exclude only me. I'm not an aggressive person.

There is more to a persons demeanor than the volume of their presence. We all put out an energy that others sense. What do they sense in you? What are you feeling in your quietude?

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Re: How to respond when disrespected?

Postby mick31 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 2:49 am

I guarantee you Krishnamurti did not stay all day in bed.


I didn't say he said that. I was just using that as an example. Although reading Tolle's works and other Buddhist-related teachings, although my anger and depression have dramatically decreased, it's also been easy for me to feel less motivated and be tempted to just be lazy and sleep alot since "nothing matters"

What do they sense in you? What are you feeling in your quietude?


Maybe they think I'm ignoring them, look down on them, and don't respect them? But that's not true. I just get the impression that they'll find me boring and not want to talk to me. Again, not sure why some assholes get so threatened by that that they need to tease me, yell at me, and exclude me from their cliques. I mean, they always have other people they can talk to instead
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Re: How to respond when disrespected?

Postby Webwanderer » Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:57 am

mick31 wrote:
What do they sense in you? What are you feeling in your quietude?


Maybe they think I'm ignoring them, look down on them, and don't respect them? But that's not true. I just get the impression that they'll find me boring and not want to talk to me. Again, not sure why some assholes get so threatened by that that they need to tease me, yell at me, and exclude me from their cliques. I mean, they always have other people they can talk to instead

Is this how you are perceiving things - that they are assholes? I encourage you to explore this perspective and how it affects your environment around such people. Whether it is clear to you or not, it's likely that something in your demeanor actively expresses your disdain for them and they perceive it. Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with seeing them as assholes or feeling disdain for them. I hold no judgment here. I guess you could say 'I don't mind how things are'. :wink: It just that it affects the quality of interactions between you and them and can be quite unpleasant.

Of course the solution is less what they can do to change their behavior than what you can do to improve your perspective and thus your experience. As before, I suggest and encourage you to find some value in what is and feel some genuine appreciation for it. Doing so will make a marked difference in your life.

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Re: How to respond when disrespected?

Postby painBody » Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:59 pm

Hey friend, my heart really goes out to you. I feel your pain. I've been bullied and alienated my whole life, by school/neighborhood kids, my own family, random strangers, coworkers, people in Meetup groups, etc. So, I want you to know that that's where my response is coming from.

As to the question of why people tend to pick on you, there's no easy answer, because you can't know how others think, but it stands to reason that they sense something in you ... a button that is ready to push somehow. This could mean that you are nice to others, which they may interpret as gullibility, or that they've discovered that you are very excitable, and they exploit that by bullying you to see the reaction that they want from you. An aggressive reaction from you will likely bolster their idea that bullying you is "fun", because it's like they have a remote control, they push a button, and they see you get angry. Your response adds more fuel to the fire, and the fire keeps blazing. But, what if you choose to cut off the fuel supply to the fire ? The bottom line is ... you cannot possibly know why others like to bully you, but realize that that is in their control. The only thing in your control is how you respond.

Now, in your post, you mentioned that "I just can't see why anyone would want to disrespect/bully me". This is part of the problem right here ! You are trying to figure out something that is ultimately irrelevant, because, as I mentioned, you cannot control others. Who cares why they bully you ? You are trying to attack this problem from an angle that is likely not going to solve anything. Who knows why people like to bully others ? Even if you knew why, are you then going to go "fix" those problems in the other people ? Can you ? Can they even fix their own problems ?

One analogy I like to think of in the context of bullying is ... think of a 5 yr old kid calling someone a "poopoohead". Would you take that child seriously ? That child simply doesn't know any better. He may have heard that word on TV or from another kid, and is simply echoing it. So, similarly, when your peers at work disrespect you ... they don't know any better ! They are echoing their conditioning, like puppets.

There is no shortcut or quick trick to counter bullying. It doesn't help to memorize something like "Don't react" or "Be assertive", because those solutions are superficial. But, once you realize how futile it is to resist others when they bully you, then, the solution will be obvious to you, and will come from a deeper place.

The point is ... you just don't need to take what they say seriously or personally. You need to realize that. Only from that realization can come an effective solution, which might be ... you smile and say, "Have a wonderful day." When you respond like that, the bully will probably feel like an idiot, because you didn't give him the satisfaction he wanted from you. Over time, bullies will realize the futility of picking on you. Additionally, if this happens at work, and HR gets involved, your butt will be covered, because you haven't done anything wrong. Remember, you cannot control others, only yourself.

Hope this helps.
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Re: How to respond when disrespected?

Postby mick31 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:53 am

painBody wrote:Hey friend, my heart really goes out to you. I feel your pain. I've been bullied and alienated my whole life, by school/neighborhood kids, my own family, random strangers, coworkers, people in Meetup groups, etc. So, I want you to know that that's where my response is coming from.

As to the question of why people tend to pick on you, there's no easy answer, because you can't know how others think, but it stands to reason that they sense something in you ... a button that is ready to push somehow. This could mean that you are nice to others, which they may interpret as gullibility, or that they've discovered that you are very excitable, and they exploit that by bullying you to see the reaction that they want from you. An aggressive reaction from you will likely bolster their idea that bullying you is "fun", because it's like they have a remote control, they push a button, and they see you get angry. Your response adds more fuel to the fire, and the fire keeps blazing. But, what if you choose to cut off the fuel supply to the fire ? The bottom line is ... you cannot possibly know why others like to bully you, but realize that that is in their control. The only thing in your control is how you respond.

Now, in your post, you mentioned that "I just can't see why anyone would want to disrespect/bully me". This is part of the problem right here ! You are trying to figure out something that is ultimately irrelevant, because, as I mentioned, you cannot control others. Who cares why they bully you ? You are trying to attack this problem from an angle that is likely not going to solve anything. Who knows why people like to bully others ? Even if you knew why, are you then going to go "fix" those problems in the other people ? Can you ? Can they even fix their own problems ?

One analogy I like to think of in the context of bullying is ... think of a 5 yr old kid calling someone a "poopoohead". Would you take that child seriously ? That child simply doesn't know any better. He may have heard that word on TV or from another kid, and is simply echoing it. So, similarly, when your peers at work disrespect you ... they don't know any better ! They are echoing their conditioning, like puppets.

There is no shortcut or quick trick to counter bullying. It doesn't help to memorize something like "Don't react" or "Be assertive", because those solutions are superficial. But, once you realize how futile it is to resist others when they bully you, then, the solution will be obvious to you, and will come from a deeper place.

The point is ... you just don't need to take what they say seriously or personally. You need to realize that. Only from that realization can come an effective solution, which might be ... you smile and say, "Have a wonderful day." When you respond like that, the bully will probably feel like an idiot, because you didn't give him the satisfaction he wanted from you. Over time, bullies will realize the futility of picking on you. Additionally, if this happens at work, and HR gets involved, your butt will be covered, because you haven't done anything wrong. Remember, you cannot control others, only yourself.

Hope this helps.


Thanks for the post. I really appreciate it. I'm used to just getting replies like "you're a weak easy target" or "youre a wuss with no backbone" whenever I asked family or other forums before
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Re: How to respond when disrespected?

Postby painBody » Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:21 am

Hey pal, you're welcome. I wanted to add another point, in response to something you said.

mick31 wrote:Tolle says that the key is to be conscious when someone tries to disrespect/bully you, so that you can then see it's just a reflection of the other person's problem/painbody, so you can thus just forgive them. But I just can't see why anyone would want to disrespect/bully me.


I have to say I agree completely with Tolle. In fact, being conscious is absolutely necessary to counter bullying, for a simple reason. Think about the quality of the interaction. When you're both unconscious, the bully's ego is essentially talking to your ego. Since they're both egos, there are going to be a lot of uncontrolled emotions and your response is going to add more fuel to the fire. Each subsequent response from you or the bully will keep the interaction going and getting deeper into unconsciousness :shock: :evil: :oops: :( :cry:

However, when you are conscious, and the bully is (obviously) unconscious, it will be an ego talking to your field of presence. There will be no ego in you for his words to be interpreted and made into a story - "He is being disrespectful". Analogy - think about how walkie talkies work ... you need a pair of them for communication to take place. When your buddy talks into his walkie talkie, you need a walkie talkie in order to respond to him. Without that, the communication is essentially broken. Similarly, when the bully's ego is talking to you, you need to put aside your ego (walkie talkie) so that his words can no longer affect you.

Now, think about how such an interaction will proceed. He starts making fun of you ... you smile, and ask him how his day is going, and then return to what you were doing before. He will feel like a jacka$$ ! :) :wink: :mrgreen: It will send him an abundantly clear message that his words were not appreciated by you, because you did not address them directly ... you will essentially recondition his (unconscious) mind to not bully you again, because that behavior will likely not reward him (you will not lose your cool). It's kind of like training a dog not to chew on your furniture. Deny him his doggie treat, and he will learn not to do that again ! :lol:

So yes, presence is a must. You got this, buddy.
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