How To Respond When Someone Treats You Badly: 7 Helpful Tips

How To Respond When Someone Treats You Badly: 7 Helpful Tips

someone treats you badly
There’s a famous expression: “We teach people how to treat us.” In many ways this is true. Below are 7 helpful tips for how to respond when someone treats you badly – so you teach this person that you won’t accept their negative behavior.

Unfortunately, I’ve endured many times in my life when people have treated me badly.

I’ve since researched everything I could about toxic people – and gathered together a range of psychological tools to help defend against crazymakers. I share a range of my techniques in my video course Manage and Avoid Drama Llamas.

Below are 7 quick tips which keep me strong and self-protected around toxic people.

Tip #1:

I immediately think of my life as a “toxic-free zone.”

Basically, in the same way that I don’t allow dairy into my life because I’m lactose intolerant, I tell myself that I don’t allow toxic people into my life because I live in a “toxic free zone.”

How To Respond When Someone Treats You Badly: 7 Helpful Tips
I remind myself that my emotional health is equally important as my physical health.

As a result, in the same what that I am 100% committed to resisting dairy because it’s bad for me, I remain  equally as determined to not allow toxic people into my life.

Plus, I learned a tool from my son – who is obviously an old soul.

My son as a toddler was telling the bullies in his kindergarten class a loud “no thank you” – whenever one of them said something mean to hurt his feelings.

(I write about this more in an article here.)

This brings me to…

Tip #2

I now borrow my son’s tool – and silently think to myself: “no thank you” when someone is treating me badly – then I move on and away from them.

Unfortunately sometimes we have toxic people in our lives that we can’t simply remove.

With this in mind, here are 5 more tips to create safer boundaries with these non-removable people – so their bad behavior doesn’t continue to harm your inner peace.

Tip #3

How To Respond When Someone Treats You Badly: 7 Helpful Tips
Recognize that hurt people hurt people. Try not to personalize their cruel behavior.

This reminder should help you to become more calm – which will help you to release some of the offender’s negative toxins from your system – so you can start to return back to your happier, calmer self.

Plus, you will need to be as calm as possible, because next up,  in the next few tips, you will have to share with your offender your requested boundaries.

Remember: Often toxic people thrive on creating drama.

You don’t want to feed their craving. So breathe in deeply, get yourself calm and centered, before you speak to your offender about your boundaries.

Tip #4

Speak to the offending person in factual and logical terms about why you did not appreciate what they said or did.

Try to use “soft language” like “did not appreciate” and/or “disappointed” – versus emotionally charged words like “you made me furious” or “you’re an a***h***.”

Don’t feed the fire of their ire!

Tip #5

Be very clear with them that their behavior must change! Say so in a polite but confident way. Describe your boundaries in a detailed way – so there’s no mistaking what you are requesting.

Tip #6

Give the offender the opportunity to respond and apologize – and/or explain themselves. Thank them for their response – and thank them for listening to what you had to say. Stay polite but firm.

If there is a disagreement that you cannot come to terms with, then agree to disagree.

Remember: Your goal is not to win this particular argument. Your goal is to find a way to live a peaceful life – without their negativity being a constant in your life – and with the toxic person kept at a safe emotional distance.

Tip #7

End the conversation with clarity. If you feel your “requested boundaries” have not been fully understood, then feel free to repeat and clarify your boundaries. Be sure to thank them afterwards for taking the time to listen. (Note:Make sure your appreciation does not sound sarcastic!)


If you’re dealing with a highly toxic narcissist, and you feel these 7 tips are not enough to rein them in –  then you will benefit from this powerful article – called “6 boundary tools to shut down a narcissist and get your power back.”


What you put up with, you end up with! What you allow continues. Keep in mind the costs this toxic person will play to your emotional health if you allow their bad behavior to continue –  and think of yourself as living in a “toxic free zone.”

Are you tired of dealing with toxic people?

Check out my ground breaking video course Manage and Avoid Drama Llamas!  

I will give you video training (in short 3 – 10 minute bursts) to help you live drama-free – create better boundaries – and even create 1 electric fence. Click now!

Think happier. Think calmer.

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Karen Salmansohn (Founder)

Hi I’m Karen Salmansohn, founder of NotSalmon. My mission is to offer you easy-to-understand insights and tools to empower you to bloom into your happiest, highest potential self. I use playful analogies, feisty humor, and stylish graphics to distill big ideas – going as far back as ancient wisdom from Aristotle, Buddhism and Darwin to the latest research studies from Cognitive Therapy, Neuro Linquistic Programming, Neuroscience, Positive Psychology, Quantum Physics, Nutritional Studies – and then some.

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