Have you ever been in a situation where someone makes a rude comment at your expense, making you look foolish and causing everyone in the vicinity to laugh at you?
In those situations, are you able to fling a comeback in their direction to defend your dignity or are you left awkwardly speechless?
Coming up with quick-witted comebacks is not as easy as some people make it look, so here are some tips to help you be better armed in your next battle of wits:
When you are insulted or someone makes a joke about you, do you automatically become very hurt or offended?
This strong emotion is actually what is stopping you from responding, because you are so distracted by how strongly you are feeling.
Also, showing that you are hurt or upset will only give your opponent more fuel to insult you with.
Staying calm will make you look like you have the upper hand in the argument, and it will usually infuriate the other party.
The more they frantically try to get you riled up, the more you can dismiss them calmly, making them look foolish.
Think of a verbal argument like a game of tennis and don’t let the ball of words hit you.
Calmly step out of the way and lob it back over the net towards your opponent, instead.
Take Apart Their Argument
If your opponent has said something that is absolutely ridiculous, rather than focusing on how offensive it was you can use logic to pick it apart and show how it makes no sense.
A great way to do this is by rephrasing a summary of the logical conclusions of their argument by starting with, “So you’re saying that…”
Then you can outline the reasons why this position definitely doesn’t make any sense, using clear logic.
If you are able to bring up some great points, the other person will lose a lot of their credibility.
Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously
If your opponent has called you a name or accused you of something, you can surprise and confuse them by admitting that they are right.
Then exaggerate their accusation to the point where it is obvious to everyone involved how stupid it is.
For example, if you express a criticism of your university and someone accuses you of being anti-education you can say, “Yes of course, I hate all educational institutions and I think that humans should never learn anything new again. Do you want to come to my book burning this weekend?”
Everyone listening will realize how silly and extreme the accusation was and will realize that your viewpoints are much more reasonable than your opponent is trying to make them out to be.
These are just a few ways that you can respond quick-wittedly and come out on top next time someone throws a verbal attack your way.