I am the first to admit that, historically, I haven’t responded to nasty and hateful people very well. My initial reaction was to respond with equal nastiness. Why? I think because I misunderstood why people are nasty to others. I used to think that the nasty person was nasty because the person they were being nasty toward had been nasty first. I reacted in a nasty way to the nasty person, because I was pissed at erroneously being viewed as being a nasty and hateful person! (How stupidly ironic of myself!)


Now I know that nasty people are just nasty and mean for no reason. Well, other than the fact that the nasty person hates him/herself and the nasty person has zero respect for others as a result of their self-hatred.

Pitying these people just perpetuates their hate. And being nasty back and lashing out at their nastiness just serves to validate their natural state of nastiness. They think if others are nasty to them, they are justified in their nastiness.

Today, I respond differently to nasty and hateful people.

When the nasty person is my boss or co-worker, I set my boundaries, say “no” when appropriate and ignore their judgment of myself and others. Questioning them isn’t worth losing my job or being bullied into leaving my job. (Been there!)

If the nasty person is an acquaintance or someone on Facebook or my blog, I slip away quietly. The relationship isn’t solid enough or based on much to obligate myself to explain myself. Stepping away, unfriending that person and not engaging further is self-preservation and self-protection. The mean and nasty person will doubtfully even notice my silence and sudden elimination from their friend list.

If the nasty person is someone I am face-to-face with and who has no authority over me, I am more direct: “You’re not very nice or considerate. What you just said about that person is unacceptable and I choose not to listen.” Then I walk away.

And don’t get me wrong. I can be nasty some days and my close family and friends can be nasty and inconsiderate some days. But it’s not the occasional bad mood I’m talking about here. It’s those people who repeatedly and daily show their true nasty colors in all that they do, say and plan and connive. It’s the people who have nothing nice to say about anyone behind their backs. It’s the hateful who find glee in seeing others in pain. It’s the ones who feign care about life while simultaneously trying to destroy another’s life.

I write about this, because no matter how positive and hopeful I am, the inevitable nasty person crosses my path. I need to be prepared and ready to NOT act nasty. (I’m sure with greater practice, I won’t think about it as much. Not being nasty back will be my natural response.)

My biggest downfall, up to this point, has been wrongfully thinking that if I gave the nasty person a taste of his/her own medicine, he/she would see the light. Nope. The nasty person just spits out the medicine, splashing me in the eye with it, and I’m the one left mad and feeling crazy.

~Paula 🙂

abuse, Emotional Abuse, Forgiveness, Friends, Health, Lessons, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Narcissistic Sociopath, NPD, Psychopaths, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality
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Join the conversation! 27 Comments

  1. Sound advice for most people in most cases. But how about exposing the bullies and thereby shedding light on a serious problem that is the cause of much suffering in our world? Definitely not something I would recommend as a general rule; it is up to each individual to make a cost/benefit analysis to the best of their ability in each set of circumstances before deciding, but I believe it is good to at least consider if the chosen reaction or non-reaction to abuse is also enabling it to perpetuate.

    Adult bullies are highly skilled manipulators, typically with a Dr Jekyll/Mr Hyde type personality, that people other than their targets may not have seen both sides of. Unfortunately, bystanders are easily duped by the abuser’s DARVO (Deny Abuse, Reverse Victim/Offender) tactics; making himself out to be the victim and his target as the bad guy. Using the phrase “leave me alone” is one method of framing the other party and making him/her look like the antagonist. It has been used against me when my response to abuse was a harmless request for an explanation. Bystanders fell for it and I was effectively ostracized. And, of course, an explanation was never afforded me… My request just became another opportunity for the abuser to relish his sense of power and to deny me even the most basic respect.

    I believe, that if we speak up, share our stories, and expose the bullies and their dirty tricks; victims would have a better chance of being believed and finding support, bystanders would be more resistant to manipulation and more prudent about passing judgment, and more bullies would be held accountable, with less bullying as a result.

    All abusers use DARVO. Read about it here:


  2. I love your blog. I read this stuff and go YES when I recognize people in my life who are mean, awful people. Like you, I thought it was something with me – I let people get to me because I was too sensitive, etc. Being sensitive should be a positive, not a negative. And like you said, responding to mean with mean does you no good. What really floors them is being nicer and nicer the meaner they get. With my former evil boss from Hades, when I was strong enough to deal with her that way, it always frazzled her. She’d think up punishments for me, stupid chores, and I’d say “Okay!” brightly and walk off to do them. Ha. Of course, in the end, the best thing was to leave that job, even with applications still in and not knowing if I’d have a job to go to afterward. I had to get out because my life and health were more important.


    • Absolutely!! You’ve got to make the most if the horrible situation while plotting to leave the horrible situation. They really have no idea what to think of us when we keep smiling at them. No…I do know what they think…they think we’re crazy!! Haha!


  3. Hi Paula 🙂

    My Soc/Covert Narc called me last week after 10 months & about 8 No Contact.

    I would just like everyone to know that I ‘stood in my own power’ & did not let him get the better of me & I was not nasty at all.
    In fact, after the initial shock, I was calm 🙂

    I told him ‘I forgive you for not being the man I thought you were & that he did not have the integrity & loyalty that he had portrayed to me!’….in a nice even voice 🙂

    I told him, ‘I forgive myself most of all for allowing him into my life & that he taught me a very valuable lesson that did not go unheeded’.

    I asked him to thank the OW for setting me free after 10 years of his mind numbing games, control & manipulation.
    I told him I was grateful as I would never have gained the self awareness that I gained via my time with him.
    I told him I am flourishing & happy, (I am)…this is my truth.

    Ahhh it felt so good 🙂

    The foolish little man then tried to flatter me etc…& obviously there is ‘trouble in paradise’.
    I won’t go into all the details except to say to anyone reading this, they are ego driven only & nothing you do or have done can penetrate their dark heart.
    He tried to tell me how much he misses me etc…,what a wonderful person I am.
    I told him, I know & I don’t need you tell me.
    I am wonderful & he should miss me as I missed me for a very long time but, I found me again & she’s great 🙂

    He was amazed at my strength & was lost for words 🙂

    I told him to ‘move on’ as he had once told me when I was discarded after 10 years for the next target.

    I took his advice seriously & finally after much searching, therapy, sharing support meds but, most of all knowledge of self & self love I am free 🙂

    The OW has contacted me for help but, this is her journey & I cannot stop where it will take her.
    Once she is finally free though, we will share a bottle of champagne & Lindt Choc’s & toast our mutual freedom from the most malevolent creature we’ve had the misfortune to be associated with 😦

    The Karma does work & if you give out love, it comes back over & over so, send them away with love & light as it destroys their power & hold forever 🙂

    Love & Light 🙂

    PR xoxo


    • You’re awesome!! Wow. Denying him the supply he was seeking is a sure way to remove your name from his “little black book” of instant gratification, so to say.


    • Aww Thank You Paula 🙂

      If it hadn’t been for you & DAS I would not have traveled so far into my own ‘Power’ 🙂

      You know, we are all ‘Super Heroes’ without the costume 🙂
      When I was younger (yesterday 😉 LOL, I was always told I looked like Linda Carter, Wonder Woman 🙂

      I was always flattered & felt undeserving but, ‘I am Wonder Woman’ & so are you & all the strength that you give sheesh you are the ‘Queen Wonder Woman’ 🙂

      Oh, have to go fly my invisible plane:)
      You & everyone here has a reserved seat to Paradise :)….Soc Free, Narc Free….destination ‘Awareness & Freedom 🙂

      Love & Light 🙂
      PR xoxo


    • Im so very Proud of you:) thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Paula, you are right again. If I have someone be nasty to me I still reflect on what my part in it might be. Where as I used to react immediately in anger I now try to not say anything and subtract myself from the situation in order to view the situation with a clear head and from a nonemotional stand point. Many times once I have looked at all sides I am able to just let it go. When I was helping my brother move and doing by myself, many boxes onto the elevator with the door wanting to close on me and then when I got to the lobby scrambling to get everything out of the elevator. most everyone was very understanding, they could see I was doing it alone and I always apologized for the inconvenience and thanked them for their patience. The final night a woman was making her way through the maze of boxes by the elevator and |I smiled and said, “I am terribly sorry for the obstacle course, its the last load Thank God.” and she didn’t say as word, just kinda snorted and brushed past me. I thought, “You stupid bitch!” but I said, “Well, you have as GREAT night!!”. I felt better about myself for not giving nasty back to her and she did give me a feeble little grin. I am sure if I would have called her a bitch she would have felt justified being a bitch to me but when I was nothing but pleasant I am sure she thought about it later. Maybe she had a shitty day, and now she feels bad for being nasty or maybe she is just a nasty person but she can be nasty all by herself.
    If I feel I have been treated unfairly I usually write a letter, reread it, and if I still want to send it I do. That way I am sure I am not going to say something I will regret later and I don’t get too emotional and forget to say things I wanted to.


    • Haha! It’s so funny, Carrie, how nasty people really need a reaction from us. Otherwise, they’re stuck in their own nastiness that boomerangs back to them. 🙂 ❤


  5. Another great post! It sure is the truth! A couple of years ago, I defended myself to the likes of ” stay out of my life you #@#%# loser” & my ex gleefully printed it off and added to it his affadavit of his so called truth that I was the nasty one even after I had a years of evidence of his craziness. NEVER engage. Always be smarter than them because we are!


  6. I made this mistake… Defended myself by publishing the attacks.. It all went wrong and I was perceived as the source of the abuse so have been ostracised quite chillingly efficiently.. Reading these posts… I can’t tell you how helpful they are as I get to grips with it all and start to move forward again. Thank you so much.


    • I did the same thing, with the same result. However, I know who I am, I know the truth, and that’s what matters to me. I now walk with my head held high knowing I finally stood up the ******.


  7. the problem with ‘group dynamics’ is that if someone isn’t part of the ‘dynamic’ they are the OTHER with all the nasty stuff that comes with being the ‘other’ I had it happen on the job for decades! I wasn’t ‘one of the girls’…why should I be? They weren’t my type!

    Same here…senior housing!! It doesn’t go away when they are old, they are just meaner. There’s more jealously! I know how lucky and fortunate I am…being on the young side of elder-hood, healthy, more $$ than most, have a man and a big life out of the building! So that makes me the perfect target!

    the only stress I have is the current harassment…there is not one person in my building that I want to be around and I’m perfectly happy without them. I can be civil and polite without engagement. But because I’ve stood up to the group dynamic of group bullying and the individual couple’s disrespect to me including name-calling, and disruption of my sleep, it has brought it all to the collective surface…where it needs to be. Bullies are like cockroaches… they don’t like the light!


    • When it’s an entire group, it’s definitely tough. It’s like dealing with the cool crowd/click from high school all over again! But it seems the dynamics would still be the same: a nasty leader who somehow has a bunch of people backing her up and supporting her just because they think they’ll somehow benefit from being “cool” and accepted. This shit never ends!


    • Yup, I’ve experienced this as well…for years. Finally stood up to it and it was incredibly liberating. Now, rather than giving in to the pressure to conform and become “one of them” I do my own thing. Amazingly, I can see people, one by one, showing me respect and noticing that although I’m not one of the wolves, maybe in my own quiet way I am the true leader of the pack. It takes time, patience, and humility.


    • I live in one of 24 apartments, in ‘independent living’ facilities. The problems come from years worth of individuals who are ‘inbred’ due to not living in the real world and therefore have no way of understanding anyone! That would also include the recently retired in-house manager who was there for over 10 years, who has a very closed mind way of seeing the world and her ‘favorites’ in the building got her protection. From the first, she and I butted heads over everything. I was wrong, she was right, and when I showed her she was wrong…I was the trouble-maker. Her retirement gift to me was to poison the new managers, that’s plural, with painting me as some thing I’m not…hence the NEED for a lawyer to set them all straight.

      Of course, old age brings with it all kinds disabilities. It may come to me, but it isn’t TODAY.

      It’s unfortunate because I was beginning to develop some NICE friendships BUT I had to cut them short and end them because of the cut-throat ways that inbreeding does to those that are not part of the acceptable clan. I have always done my own thing, never cared a shit what others thought about me and will never sell my soul for anything or anyone.

      I can’t give, my gifts, to those where I live. I know some are silent, due to serious illness or cause they keep to themselves as well. As I just said to the new in-house manager, the browbeaters and bullies in this buildings will not get my attention…I have a Hospice client to visit…the dying don’t need to play power games! What I do in my own living quarters is what matters to me, those others can’t touch me, period!


  8. […] friend Paula has written a post about being nasty back to people like this. It’s entitled Being Nasty Back only Backfires and in this article she writes about being nasty back when someone is actively engaging in a […]


  9. well said Paula, I always say that you will end up being like that nasty person. Life is too good to waste on people like that…


  10. I just heard a good one from a nurse. I was saying that my blood pressure may be high cause of problem people. It wasn’t, but, the nurse said she understood what I mean. She said that ‘common sense is like deodorant, people who need them DON’T use them’

    I’ve been dealing with a nasty neighbor and a group of bullies and a management that sees me as a ‘trouble maker’ because I want, of all things, to have a peaceful quiet sleep time period from 11pm and 7 am, that my lease says it provides me, instead of being awoken via a pet!

    So, I have appointment with lawyer next week…strong letters to management to solve the issues, that are long-standing, and to neighbor to stop the harassment. But I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know until I see him.

    What part of ‘leave me alone’ do people not understand?


    • I feel like I could have written this comment. It seems when one says “leave me alone” it actually translates into “keep screwing with this person”. And then it only leaves “me” with all the stress and heartache.


    • You’ve worn yourself out defending yourself. There is no need to defend the truth. Period. If someone contacts you and screams at you for telling the truth about someone, don’t respond. If they’re persistent, say to them, “You don’t know me and you certainly do not know who you are defending. Please leave me alone or I’m going to contact the police. I know who you are and I know who you’re neighbors are since I know your IP address. Thanks!” That approach worked for me. Emails ended rather abruptly. 🙂


    • HI,
      You might have already done this but get police reports. You can look up your city ordinance codes and law should enforce.

      That’s how it worked in the Apts I lived.


    • update…mostly because someone commented on this post … about police reports.
      My lawyer told me that unfortunately there really isn’t much that can be done, he and his wife just sold their home and moved into a ‘community’ where he now has ‘shared walls’. If you are unfortunate enough, like me, to get idiots next door there isn’t much that can be done. He said that I could go the route of contacting HUD etc, but you know…I’m tired, I don’t need BS and more legal BS. So I’m limited, I have kept written reports/complaints, I’ve tried to be civil and respectful of THEM and have been met with the dreaded ‘silent treatment’. So I told management they can pretend I don’t exist but I do and if they wake me up at 4 am I shall continue to give written reports. Of course, I have been condemned by others but who the hell cares! I have a full life in my apartment and out of it…these people are just plain old nasty people jealous because I’m younger, healthier, wealthier than they. And I don’t make excuses!
      I take full advantage of the fact that some of these really old people are afraid of me…and those that stick their noses in the air, I do the same. They spend so much time and energy pretending I don’t exist and they don’t realize that I LOVE it that they ignore me, they give lots of room! And of course, the neighbor I share the wall with has LOTS of physical ills.
      I turn my radio on at 7am and I keep it on all day I also watch my movies in that share ‘space’ till 11 pm and there is NOTHING they can do about it.
      So they have learned that it’s better to ALLOW me my peace between 11pm and 7 am.


  11. wise, wise lady. I am slinking back into bed today because I have just realized that *I* am the only person who has the power to make the nasty stop by simply disengaging.


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