If you are easily offended, you are easily manipulated. One of the slimiest tactics that toxic men employ is to try to point out a flaw that makes you feel uncomfortable, defensive, insecure. Of course, this is never blatant, but a very slight comment about your lack of choices, your body, your personality, your job, or prospects. I’ve seen girls fall for this tactic close to 100% of the time, because as soon as he says something that makes her feel insecure, she tries to fix it, or agrees with him “You’re right, there aren’t many men my age who want to get married, You’re right I’m a bit overweight because I indulge, You’re right, I work hard and don’t get paid enough”.
Most humans who are offended or uncomfortable will either attack back, or feel powerless because someone destabilized them emotionally. Women are conditioned to be nice and congenial with men even when the guy is offensive, so they try to please him rather than call him out. Or they take the demeaning comment in stride and walk away. Even worse, they try to fix themselves for his sake. Many women will go on a diet because some guy pointed out her muffin top. No matter what, she has swallowed his insult, and disempowered herself. What’s worse, she is now working on doing something that would make herself better in his eyes. Because the offense is subtle, many women would date the guy anyway “He probably didn’t mean that, He is right, I really can’t find a better man, I should give him a chance, He is right, I should loose a few pounds, it would be healthy for me”. What just happened? She swallowed his toxin and now she is spinning around his little finger. She is being manipulated.
I only know a few women who have the courage and the strength to look him straight in the eye, and mirror him back. Most women find standing up to a man, even offending him back terrifying. Do you?
But, if a toxic girlfriend offended you, would you take the bait, would she still be your friend? Would you try to get her approval by losing a few pounds? Depending on the situation, there are good ways to deal with a toxic person. Your best strategy is to recognize this behavior and do not engage. They are looking for your cooperation, your attention, your engagement, so if you are in a place where you cannot fight, disengage, disconnect and do not react emotionally. They are looking for an emotional reaction, your distress, a display of your insecurities- they feed on it, so do not give them that.
If you see he is surrounded by male friends, then his act is a performance for them. He wants to be perceived a ladies man, devastating for women, irresistible, and is probably showing off his skills to them. Again, the most powerful thing that you can do is demonstrate in front of them that he is powerless and unattractive to women. I mirror the guy back. I am not afraid of men at all, so I am very confident about exposing their insecurities and I am very good at arguing, so I know I won’t be cornered. I personally believe that males are far more insecure than women, their bad behavior is often described as manhood, machismo, and they get a gold star when they are acting from a toxic place. When I see that a guy engages women on such a low level, I know that his biggest fear is exposure, being rejected, or ignored by women. I don’t mind verbally mirroring him until his pisses his pants, but if you are not comfortable, then do not react, do not engage, but DO walk away. Your continued presence, congeniality and smile is being taken as proof of your interest. Yes, a lot of toxic people, take your politeness and presence as proof that their charm is working. You do not want to send him that signal.
What is worse, if you are easily offended, start crying, badly arguing for your self-worth, you are giving him more of what he wants. He sees his power on your face, he sees his effect on you, and you are still here. So you are getting manipulated into showing him evidence of his power. Regardless of how you respond, a toxic person will twist your behavior into something they want to believe. Oh, she can’t handle a compliment, I’m so devastating to women I can easily make them cry. Often a very subtle insult is followed by asking for her phone number, and it actually works. I normally date only models, but you’re so nice, why don’t I take you to dinner? First he cut her down to his size, now he is comfortable enough to ask her out.
If you are easily offended, please work on yourself. No, you absolutely do not have to take it, and pretend that you did not get offended. But if you are easily triggered and manipulated because you cannot control your emotions, you can easily get hurt. Anybody can push your buttons and get you to react in a way that benefits them.
I don’t get offended because I really like myself, and all my flaws. When a guy tries to push my buttons to find out what my insecurities are, I get stronger in front of him. Sometimes, if I am in a mood, I make him feel insecure with a smile on my face. Sherry, you put on a few pounds. I say, yes, I have been trying to gain a bit of wait all summer. I love myself curvy! It’s awesome, I’ve been getting more dates than ever! What about you, I see you got yourself a cute little potbelly?….
Guys who are looking for your insecurities are looking for tactics to bring you down to their level. They are already insecure, they just want you to feel it. By showing them how easy you are to emotionally manipulate, you are demonstrating how little your like yourself. You are a perfect doormat for a man who wants to feel he is in charge. You are handing over your power to him, and you are reacting on command. Being able to turn any tactic or any offense into a compliment or advantage for myself takes away his power, and I can enjoy having fun with it.
I am not crying, screaming or defending my honor, I am boldly having fun with the insults he throws at me. If you can’t do that, I understand. But you owe it to yourself to power up. That does not mean to defend yourself harder and louder, power means not reacting on command, not being easily triggered, and not trying to make nice and congenial with a guy who just crossed an important boundary you should have defended. If you let men cross the line, that is your choice. You have to be responsible for not enforcing your own boundaries.
If broken boundaries are a problem for you, it is YOUR problem. If being offended by others is a habit for you, it is YOUR problem. Other people won’t respect you more, until they see how much you respect yourself. Take the matter into your own hands, and get some help for that.