How to respond to inappropriate comments, innuendo and put-downs

Sometimes, all it takes is just one little annoying comment

Even a simple throw-away line can get under our skin

An inappropriate comment or innuendo can sometimes really get under our skin and put us on the back foot. Worse still, just one snide remark or put-down can sometimes completely ruin our day.

So how do we deal with them? Of course, we can always do nothing. We can always ignore them. And sometimes it’s the best thing to do.

But sometimes it’s not. Sometimes it’s best to let the person know we heard them, we don’t like what they said and we don’t want them to say it again. And it’s best to hold our ground when they tell us in return we heard them wrong and we’re just being over sensitive.

So if we’re going to respond, how should we do it? Lucky for us, Mark has plenty of tried and tested strategies for us – and variations of them.

If we respond, we need to get it right.

What strategy is best depends on the nature of what Mark calls the violation – what the person actually said or did that is inappropriate or unacceptable. And it also depends on how important the violation is to us, what our relationship to the ‘offender’ is and how important the relationship is, how much time, we can devote to dealing with the violation and competing priorities.

But having said that, there are three strategies which are particularly useful here. They are realistic, down to earth and based on the principle of diplomatic assertiveness. And more importantly, they work. They are: the AIMs technique; the FEWER script; and the FSAT script.

A short video: The FSAT script

The FSAT script is particularly designed for responding to put-downs. Mark give an overview in one of his blogs – take a look. And he gives a brief overview in one of his videos.

Beware the Put-down merchant

The Put-Down Merchant is one of Mark’s 52 Types of Difficult People. Take a look at the blog.

Are you after a Speaker, Trainer, Coach or Writer? Or not sure?

Let’s talk. There’s no obligation to go any further. And I’m happy to listen even if all you want to do is get something off your chest and leave it at that.

Tell me what’s on your mind, what your issues are, what you feel the problem is, or what you think you or your team could benefit from. Or if you’re pretty certain, just tell me what you want.

Have a confidential chat with Mark – he is happy to help.