I have learned over the years that people like to verbally hit below the belt. They try to say the meanest thing they can think of to make you feel as bad as possible while simultaneously feeling superior. The lesson I've taken away?
I was recently maliciously attacked by someone who had enough of my history to throw a dig at me that would have broken me years ago, but when it came out of her mouth, I laughed. I'm mature enough to not only know it's not true, but have the ability to seek the answers I've needed over the years to secure that truth.
So I laughed. Literally.
I found it so funny and that made her so angry, veins were popping out everywhere. I have never seen someone go from smug to psychotic that quickly and it made it even funnier to me.
I haven't heard from her again.
It's not easy to turn the other cheek and I do believe revenge is best served cold, but I'm patient. Kids will do that. I also believe in Karma. I think that if you have to get even it must be done legally, quietly, and most of all with a level of genius that will teach them to never treat someone like that again.
I've been dealing with two people with the same problem the last couple of days and all I can do is commiserate with them, tell them I know how they feel, and make them laugh about it. Because if you let someone's words break you, they win. They got what they wanted.
But if you stand tall or even laugh about it, you've not only won, but left them with nothing left to do but retreat.
I also like the shock and awe approach. I had someone come to me with a friend starting trouble saying her husband was sleeping around (he was not, she was just trying to upset my friend). I told her flat out: Next time this so-called friend says that, tell her, "Good! Let someone else (fill in the blank graphically, strangely, and sexually) for a change!"
That ended that problem and she didn't see the troublemaker again.
It's not easy to roll with the punches. It does hurt, but letting the one who hurt you know that only fuels their fire. Stay calm, walk away, call a friend, and don't do anything until your head is clear. Then make a surgical strike like a stealth fighter!