Unfortunately, most of us have to deal with this—perhaps it’s someone in your immediate network that is going through a bad time, or someone at work (where pressure has gotten the best of them), or an acquaintance you met that is particularly rude. What to do when you are confronted by emotional abuse?
Don’t acknowledge the person.
Detach from them. They are not worth your time if they disrespect you and/or try to belittle you. After all, it is not really about YOU, but how poorly they feel about themselves. The problem occurs when we start to engage and the abuse is escalated.
Remove yourself if you can.
If there is no good reason why you have to be with this person now, leave. You do not have to surround yourself with such negativity from one person. You don’t need to listen to negative words directed to you. If you can pull yourself out of an abusive situation, do it immediately.
Don’t associate with the person.
This really applies to people you are not involved with, an acquaintance for example. If they only spew critical comments at you, what is the point of associating with them? If they don’t acknowledge your worth, don’t acknowledge them at all. Your inner circle should consist of people that honor you and respect you.
Being stern might be the only way to successfully get your point across to them. If the person is open to hearing what you have to say, be brief, calm, and let them know that the behavior is unacceptable to you. If they still persist with their abuse, it is time to turn away from them and never look back.
Set the example for others.
The person who is dishing out abuse probably does that to a lot of people. If you model courageous behavior, others may respond to them similarly. The more people stand up to this person, the more likely it is that they will change their ways.