How to react when people treat you badly

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

What are the available options?

Should I be a good person?
Should I be bad?
Yeah! I’ll be bad, this way, no one can harm me!

You think?
Let’s say you treated someone nicely, and this person treated you back coldly and with contempt. Here are the possible options for responding to him.

  • Reaction 1: Treat this person and everyone from now on in a very cold way, people deserve it
  • Reaction 2: Be kind to this person anyway, you just want to be kind
  • Reaction 3: Be careful with this person, you’ll be polite but very firm and not warm, and if this person changes their reaction later, you’ll be warmer but careful

Should you go defensive?

Reaction 1 will hopefully protect you from cold reactions forever. There is one important factor however, it’s like solving one problem very well but creating another very awful one. Like when you turn off the lights forever so that you never have to pay your electricity bill again.

Thing is, a human being is built with needs, you can act as much as you want like you are fine when you lie, cheat, treat people bad or block your sympathy. But this strategy will never keep you psychologically balanced. You know why?

Simply put, the way emotions work is through signals from your brain telling you to do something. For example fear is a signal to keep you away from what your brain perceives as dangerous, love is a signal telling you to stay near a person that your brain sees as good for you, and so on…

Also another thing that I want to add before I put the picture together is that every human being has a bunch of needs that must be fulfilled like for example the need for love and the need for recognition.

Every time you do something that you unconsciously know that is wrong, your brain sends you negative signals so that you stop doing what you’re doing. When you don’t, it will continue to send you these signals especially if you are denying the fact that you’re doing something wrong.

So this kind of response can never solve your problems but in fact it will trigger more problems.

Should i be kind in all cases?

Should you be kind to everyone no matter what? It really does bring happiness to be kind and there are many researches that have been done on this topic to prove it.

But will you be happy and stable?

Again, when you are hurting yourself by accepting mistreatment, your brain will not leave you alone either. Your brain things that you are an important person just like everyone else and when you let go of your rights your brain will respond back by lowering your self confidence.

In the Solid Self confidence program i said that people who continuously let go of their rights end up feeling worthless and as a result lose their self confidence. While being kind is a good treat you can't just go on being kind to everyone.

How to react when people treat you badly

The reason most people in the world fall under the first two reactions, is because they are the easiest to think about without giving a bit more effort to think about what’s more wise.

Whenever you meet a person for the first time you must never be so naive to assume that he is going to be kind and friendly and in the same time you shouldn't begin by being cold as this shows that you were too weak to handle past bad treatment. (see also Why are some people unfriendly)

What you will do is that you will collect information about that person by making simple tests such as asking him about something or giving him some eye contact while talking. Depending on the person's response you will select the best method to treat him with. If the person was found to be unfriendly then you should ignore him completely. If you found him to be friendly then you can proceed further.

You are very likley not to get people correctly in the first few times but as you build your experience you will become able to spot mean people from a distance.

2knowmyself is not a complicated medical website nor a boring online encyclopedia but rather a place where you will find simple, to the point and effective information that is backed by psychology and presented in a simple way that you can understand and apply. If you think that this is some kind of marketing hype then see what other visitors say about 2knowmyself.

The Solid confidence program was launched by; the program will either help you become more confident or give you your money back.

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