How Mentally Strong People Respond to Snarky Comments
At times, a well-timed funny comment at someone’s expense is a good humor amongst good friends. However, passive-aggressive comments which hide anger prowling behind the mask usually constitute a snark.
At times, snarky comments comprise of insincere compliments like “You really look appealing to someone as old as you”.
Snark can also include sarcastic comments like “No offense but there is a possibility you would have made extra sales if you sounded like you actually understood what you were talking about.”
Today, it looks like people are becoming snakier every moment.
However, that does not mean that you have to allow those comments to stress you or drag you down.
This article will guide you on how to become a mentally stronger person and how to respond to snarky comments with the needed mental strength to do that.
WHAT IS MENTAL STRENGTH?
A person who is always optimistic controls his or her life and does not feel sorry for his or herself is a mentally strong person i.e. they possess a mental strength.
Most people use mental toughness interchangeably with mental strength.
However, depending on how you define mental toughness, there is a possibility you are not talking about the same thing.
Mostly, mental toughness is used when referring to Navy Seals or elite athletes, or people who are subjecting their bodies to extreme limits to see how much pain their bodies can endure.
But, many of us don’t need to subject their bodies to extreme limits or physically threaten their opponents.
Being a mentally strong person is not about acting tough. It is all about knowing your emotions, following your values and learning from previous painful experiences.
The following are the three main components of mental strength:
- Controlling your thoughts – by controlling your thoughts, you teach your brain to think more helpfully. This can mean to ignore doubting yourself or to replace self-depreciation with self-comparison.
- Governing your emotions – when you are aware of your emotions, you begin to understand the feelings that impact how you behave and think. This can involve accepting certain emotions—even if they make you feel uncomfortable, or acting opposite to your emotions when the feelings don’t serve you the way you want.
- Behaving productively – the key to becoming mentally strong is choosing things and actions which can enhance your life, even at times when you are struggling with delayed gratification or motivation.
THE TRAITS OF A MENTALLY STRONG PERSON
Thomas Jefferson had said,
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude”.
With that said, you should understand that being mentally strong is not a trait you are born with, but it is an attribute you must develop.
Your daily activities can drag you through some tough and exciting situations and how to understand mental strength is essential in how you are handling these situations.
Life happens, and you can only navigate it well if you are mentally strong.
Therefore, you should learn how to improve yourself through your life experiences, rather than to allow the regret of your past mistakes eats you up. That can only happen if you are mentally strong, but it is not all that it takes.
Mental strength is considered a skill, which you can only develop through perseverance and grit. It also comes as a result of acquiring certain traits that you develop through regular repetition of particular habits.
By its nature, a habit automates your actions, and this helps you not to be a victim of decision fatigue via overthinking.
Here are the top 20 traits of mentally strong people. These traits show how these people think, act and how they handle and treat themselves as well as others.
1. Emotional Intelligence
Maybe you not clear the difference between mental strength and emotional intelligence. You are not alone in this. Many people have many misconceptions about being mentally strong and myths regarding how to develop their emotional intelligence.
In the past few years, the meaning of emotional intelligence has significantly changed.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines emotional intelligence (EQ) as your ability to understand how people react and feel, and how this skill can assist you to make good judgments to solve or avoid problems.
You should understand that emotional intelligence is part of mental strength. Yet, mental strength goes way beyond your emotions and addresses the behaviors and thoughts that affect the general value of your life.
However, you can still increase your emotional intelligence and still build your mental strength. Both emotional intelligence and mental strength can serve you well personally as well as professionally.
A book written by Daniel Goleman called “Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ”, is what brought the concept of emotional intelligence into the limelight.
Goleman argues that emotional intelligence can give you a competitive advantage in some environments.
Furthermore, he says that your high EQ cannot make you achieve higher academic grades or improved SAT scored. He says these things rely more on your IQ.
According to Goleman, there are five core components you should know about emotional intelligence. These include:
- Self-awareness – this is your ability to recognize and understand your emotions as well as what drives these emotions, and how your emotions affect other people.
- Internal motivation – this is the passion, or desire to work and it goes way beyond status and money. It’s like your inner vision of what matters in life or the satisfaction or joy of doing what you like.
- Self-regulation or self-control – this is all about redirecting your unsettling moods and desires and your ability to think carefully before acting.
- Empathy – is your ability to understand the emotions of other people around you and the readiness to treat these people according to how they react emotionally.
- Social skills – these include your skills to handle relationships and your ability to develop a rapport with other people through finding a neutral ground.
“Whether you think you can or think you can’t — you are right”, Henry Ford has said once.
As a mentally strong person, you will always subscribe to Ford’s idea about how your attitude can significantly affect your success. That idea is not a mere motivational tool; it is a fact.
Real confidence, compared to the false/untrue confidence that you can use to mask your insecurities, has its own look.
Being mentally strong can allow you to be in a better position over the skittish and doubtful people since your confidence can inspire other people and even assist them to make things happen.
3. Avoiding Conflicts
One true mark of mental strength is when someone tries to hurt you, but you try to understand his or her situation in return rather than focusing on how to hurt them.
Holding grudges can never be a solution to any problem, and you will never achieve anything positive from that.
Rather than spending most of your time loathing people who hurt you, you allow yourself to heal and learn from that occurrence. Even during some of the most difficult stress factors, you prefer to calm yourself down and try to manage the situation with maturity.
As a mentally strong person, you firmly believe that raising your voice signifies weakness.
4. Not Envying nor Judging
You can never make any assumption without being aware of the situation at hand in the first place. You don’t have hard feelings about the success of other people, and you also don’t believe in the negative things people have told you in the past.
You like to celebrate the success of other people and do not get jealous when someone outdoes you in a particular area. You believe that success is a result of hard work and you are always ready to go that extra mile just to achieve what you want.
5. Embracing Change
When you are mentally strong, you will always be flexible and adapt to new changes every time. You know that the fear of change can be paralyzing and a threat to your happiness and success.
Every time you look for change that is waiting around the corner and develop a plan just in case these changes happen.
You can only find the good in new things when you embrace change. You have an open mind as well as open arms, and they assist you to recognize and take advantage of the opportunities that are created by change.
6. Willingness to Receive the Assistance of Other People
As a mentally strong person, you are not a slave to your ego. You don’t fear to ask support from others when you need help.
Besides, you always have confidence when admitting that you don’t know certain things and you can always ask for help when you want to learn.
7. Embracing Failure
Mentally strong people do not fear to fail because they are aware that for them to succeed, they must fail sometimes. You can never experience success without embracing failure.
By admitting that you are on the wrong path, your mistakes create the way for your success. You should understand that the most significant breakthroughs in life happen at times when you feel that you are stuck or most frustrated.
Frustration forces you to think differently, think out of the box and see the answers which you have been missing all the way.
8. Not Letting Mistakes Bringing You Down
Mentally strong people believe that where they focus their attention greatly determines their emotional state.
Focusing on the issues which you are going through can lead to prolonged stress and negative emotions, and this can significantly affect your performance.
On the other hand, focusing on the actions which can improve yourself as well as your situation helps in creating a mood of personal efficiency.
This, in turn, results in positive emotions, which enhances performance.
Mentally strong people don’t like associating themselves with their mistakes, but they also don’t forget them. By not relating to their mistakes, and not forgetting about them, you develop the ability to adjust and adapt to your future success.
9. No One Limits Your Joy
If you derive your sense of satisfaction and pleasure from comparing your life to that of others, you stop mastering your own happiness.
When you feel good because of something you did, you won’t allow other people’s opinions on success to take that joy away from you.
Whenever it is possible, you always don’t focus on what other people think about you.
Furthermore, you don’t like comparing yourself to other peoples, and at times you take the opinions of other people positively.
Mentally strong people believe in one thing, no matter what other people think or say about them, they are never as good or bad as people perceive them.
10. You Don’t Limit the Joy of Other People
You can never judge other people since you know that everybody has his or her potential, and they have something to bring to the table. Also, you can never take another person down just to feel good about yourself.
Always know that comparing your life to that of other people can be limit you.
Resentment and jealousy drain life out of you — they are some of the greatest energy-stealers in a person. You do not waste your energy or time analyzing other people and worrying whether or not they are worth your time.
Rather than wasting your energy and time on jealousy, you direct that energy into appreciating other people. You believe that celebrating the success of other people benefits you both.
11. You Know How to Say “No”
Mentally strong people understand that saying no is very healthy to them. Therefore, mentally strong people have developed the foresight and self-esteem to ensure other people understand them when they say no.
When it comes to saying no, mentally strong people usually avoid certain phrases like “I am not sure” or “I don’t think I can do it.”
You have confidence when saying no since you believe that rejecting new commitments usually honors your existing commitments. As a result, you have the opportunity to fulfill these commitments successfully.
As a mentally strong person, you know how to wield self-control via saying no to yourself. You can easily delay satisfaction and avoid stupid actions which can cause you harm.
12. You’re not Selfish
You like to assist others. Also, you never anticipate anything from a person after doing good to them. You believe in the saying that, “my candle cannot lose anything by lighting another candle.”
13. The World Doesn’t Owe You Anything
Mentally strong people feel that they are not entitled to things in this life. They are always ready to work hard and deny themselves comfort just to achieve their goals.
They believe that their world is what they make it be.
As a mentally strong person, you never take anything for granted, and you always appreciate whatever you have.
14. You Cannot Please Everybody
Even though you are a genuine and kind person, you know that you can never make everyone around you happy.
For you, spending time by yourself is an important thing, just like spending time with other people.
However, you are not afraid to say no to someone who tries to steal the time you’ve set for yourself.
15. You Know that Determination Pays Off
As a mentally strong person, once you set your goals no one can distract you from achieving these goals. Even though you might have failed severally, you don’t see your failures as a reason to stop pursuing your goals.
But, you see your failure as a chance to grow to improve yourself and grow stronger.
You always find a way around any obstacle you encounter.
Giving up is not something for you, but looking for different alternatives is what you know.
16. Self-Improvement is Your Thing
You are always aware that life is all about learning and meeting new things. So, you live your life by trying to improve it, whether it is your health, job or any other aspect of your life.
You don’t like people stopping you, and if they try to, “they are dead!”.
17. You Know How to Forgive Yourself
If you are preparing a presentation, and you forgot to save all your work before you turned your PC off.
How can you react?
In reality, you only have two options; you can choose to forgive yourself and move on or blame yourself for what you did. As a result, you can waste more energy focusing on your mistakes.
But, mentally strong people are conversant with self-comparison. You treat yourself just like you’d treat your friend. You cannot continue to put your friend down just because he or she made a mistake.
So, why treat yourself the way you wouldn’t treat your friend?
18. You Don’t Like Staying in Your Comfort Zone
Comfort zone is not a good place for a mentally strong person to be stuck. This is because nothing good comes out of there.
As a result, you usually challenge yourself every day, and you like taking calculated risks.
19. You Follow and Believe Your Heart
You believe that you cannot go wrong so long as you are following your instincts and heart.
You know that following your instincts and heart helps your soul to grow. Furthermore, you don’t ever feel sorry when you follow your heart.
20. You Are Relentlessly Positive
When you watch new for an extended period, you will see that it is one endless cycle of violent attacks, war, failing companies, environmental disasters and fragile economies.
Many people see that it’s very easy for them to think that it’s like everything is headed south.
There is a possibility that is true.
However, mentally strong people never worry about such things because they can never find themselves in situations which they cannot control.
Rather than starting a revolution, you channel your energy on directing the things which are within your control—your effort and your attention.
Mental strength isn’t an inborn thing awarded to only the chosen few. You can achieve and enjoy it!
HOW TO DEAL WITH SNARKY COMMENTS
A study conducted by the Michigan State University in 2016 revealed that there is a lot of incivility in today’s workplaces.
The researchers found that people who experience snaky behaviors, such as put-downs and sarcasm, waste their mental strength trying to understand the person’s motives.
As a result, these people become mentally drained, and they have a challenge in handling their instincts and managing their emotions. Thus, they are more likely to lose their temper since they lack the energy to control their impatience.
If you are not careful, one snarky person can case mass incivility.
However, there is still good news.
You can remain mentally strong even when you are dealing with people full of snark.
THREE OF THE BEST WAYS HOW YOU CAN RESPOND TO SNARKY COMMENTS
Don’t Give Away Your Power
Allowing another person to control how you feel, think or behave hands them the power over you. But, you still don’t want to let negative and snarky comments to impact the way you feel about yourself or how your day shall be.
In case a person decides to give you snarky comments regularly, you should never allow that person to occupy too much space in your life. You should always endeavor to make your day as interesting as possible, even when your workmates are rude to you.
Also, you can decide never to allow snide remarks from your supervisor affect your self-esteem. Never hold any upsetting thoughts in your mind. In case someone gives you snark, take a deep breath as this helps you to stay calm, and then walk away from the entire situation if warranted.
Stay True To Your Values
You should always know your values and prioritize living according to your values, even when dealing with snarky people.
You should always know that maintaining your integrity is the secrete to your inner peace—whether it means to keep telling yourself, “It is essential to treat other people with respect,” or excusing yourself from circumstances which are not in line with your thoughts.
Even if you feel tempted to respond to a snarky person, never stoop to his or her level. At the end of the day, you want to hold your head high, and know that you triumphed over the entire situation.
You Know When To Speak And When To Keep Quiet
When you are mentally strong, you will always know the time to be assertive, and you will never back down from speaking up.
Also, you’ll be able to recognize when a person is trying to use snarky comments just to grab your attention.
Mentally strong people never feel like the must comment in every situation and they are not interested in entering in arguments, just to announce their presence. However, they are not afraid to address a person out of his or her behavior.
You should always use direct communication, but when it is needed. You can choose to say, “I didn’t like your comment after I reminded you of that project. Did I upset you or something?”
Or, when you are in a meeting, and a person gives a negative comment to your idea, just turn and discuss it with people who look like they are interested in the idea. This will allow you to focus your attention on the right place—to the positive people.
It is possible for everybody to develop strong mental muscles to assist them in handling snarky people and difficult situation in positively.
However, if you happen to find yourself in a compromising situation, you might need to bail out, for good. An unhealthy environment can affect you, both physically and mentally—no matter how mentally strong you are.