How To Respond When Someone Treats You Badly: 4 Helpful Tips

someone treats you badlyBelow are 4 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.

There’s a famous expression:

“We teach people how to treat us.”

In many ways this is true.

As you might know, I’m a bestselling psychological author with over 2 million books sold.

I researched everything I could about setting strong boundaries – and gathered together a range of psychological tools to help defend against toxic people.

After reading this article, you’ll know how to respond when someone treats you badly.

If you need further support to disarm difficult people and maintain stronger boundaries, I enthusiastically recommend you explore my popular online course Manage and Avoid Drama Llamas.

Already this course has helped many thousands of people around the world to reduce drama, conflict, stress and enjoy more inner peace.


Below are 4 of my favorite tools which I’ve personally used whenever a person is treating me badly.

4 Effective Tactics I’ve Used When Someone is Treating Me Badly.

Tactic 1: I immediately think of my life as a “toxic-free zone.”

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 am “allergic” to toxic people – and need to live in a “toxic free zone.”

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

Basically, in the same what that I am 100% committed to resisting dairy (because it’s bad for me), I remain determined to not allow toxic people into my life – because they’re bad for me.

Tactic #2: I use this helpful mantra.

I learned this healing mantra 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 now borrow my son’s mantra whenever someone is treating me badly.

Silently I think to myself: “No thank you!” Then I move on and away from the person – as soon as I can.

Sometimes, after the stressful event has passed, I practice my son’s mantra as a meditation:

  • I close my eyes and envision the negative person who treated me badly.
  • Next, I imagine telling them to their face, “No thank you! No thank you! No Thank you!”
  • Finally, I imagine the toxic person fading away into nothingness – or becoming smaller and smaller. Very therapeutic.

Tactic #3 I recognize that hurt people hurt people.

How To Respond When Someone Treats You Badly: 7 Helpful Tips Basically, I try not to personalize a mean person’s cruel behavior.

I remind myself that if I feel hurt by a mean person, that they are not hurting me because I am me. They are doing it because they are who they are!

This reminder helps me to release some of the offender’s negative toxins from my system – so I can start to return back to my happier, calmer self.

Remember: Often toxic people thrive on creating drama.

This is how toxic people were programmed to thrive.

Drama is their familiar place to be – because of events from their past.

You don’t want to feed their craving.

So breathe in deeply. Let go of the thoughts that piss you off. Get yourself calm and centered. Then when you’re calm, consider speaking to your offender about your boundaries.

be kind even to jerksTactic #4 After I’m calm, I talk to my offender about my boundaries.

I speak to the offending person in factual and logical terms about why I am hurt.

First, I explain why I feel they treated me badly – by trying to get them to see the “cause and effects” of their actions.

So I start by describing the effects their behavior had on my feelings and life.

I try to use “soft language” and own my feelings by using the word “I”:

  • “I did not appreciate____”
  • “I’m disappointed about ____”
  • “I felt hurt about _____”

I avoid emotionally charged words and try not to use the word “you” at them:

  • “You made me furious when you____”
  • “You’re an a***h***!”

When I’m done, I ask them…

  • If they can see how they might have “accidentally” hurt me
  • How they might do things differently in the future – so we can have the “best relationship possible”

I purposefully put the solution in their court first. If I’m not happy with their suggestions, I make a few suggestions for how things might go more smoothly in the future – for both of us..

My last step…

  • I thank the challenging person for listening to what I had to say.


  • Your goal is not to win this particular argument.

Your goals are..

  1. Find a way to live a peaceful life – without the difficult person’s negativity being a constant in your life.
  2. Keep the toxic person at a safe emotional distance.
  3. Feel good that you are operating as your highest self. So make sure you remain a kind person. Yes, even to jerks. Let them be a jerk. You be a kind person.


Maturity is when you have the power to destroy someone who did you wrong. But you just breathe and let karma deal with them.

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

In summary…

If someone is treating you badly, remember…

  • What you put up with, you end up with! What you allow continues. So make sure you state your boundaries clearly.
  • Keep in mind the costs this toxic person will play to your emotional health if you allow their bad behavior to continue.
  • Think of yourself as living in a “toxic free zone.”

Tired of dealing with toxic people?

Join 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 disarm narcissists, liars, manipulators, emotional vampires, and high conflict people. You’ll learn how to create better boundaries. Already these psychological strategies have helped many thousands of people around the world.

Think happier. Think calmer.

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