How to respond to I was just kidding

How to respond to I was only kidding

We’ve all experienced someone saying “Just kidding”, after a mean comment. 

It could be a friend, a family member, somebody at work, and you know they don’t have your best interests at heart. 

You get that funny feeling in your stomach because you know the person meant it in an unkind way. 

And when you look at them in shock after the cruel remark they say, “just kidding!” It’s a passive-aggressive tactic being used so that you can’t call them out on it.

Rude insults leave people feeling terrible. Being insulted with digs, and niggly comments and being unable to defend yourself is frustrating. Often the trouble maker will do it in public in front of others.


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Urban Dictionary defines just kidding as, “Used by someone as a way to soften a direct insult by saying it was just a joke, although the person doing the insulting still means the insult after the Just kidding!” 

When you call the person out for their nasty behaviour they may try and reprimand you and say that “you are too sensitive.”

I’m going to give you something that you can say in front of others so that you can call attention to the person’s rude remark and they will be less likely to insult you again any time soon.

What to say to just joking or I was kidding after a mean remark

If that’s your sense of humour you should prepare to get cancelled pretty soon.
Wow, did you mean to be so rude?
That is is not at all funny, that’s just rude.
Wow, that is a reallly unkind thing to say!

In our, Verbal Self Defense Made Easy bundle, we have a cheat sheet, with a huge list of things that you can say to friends and family who make snide comments.

And if you know that someone has a habit of doing this, be prepared. 

These little digs and nasty comments chip away at your soul, and it’s even worse when it’s from a supposed good friend or family member. 

When you have someone doing this to you publicly, others may think it is fair game to gang up on you, join in or make derogatory remarks. It’s best to nip it in the bud and get the person to stop right away.

If you have kids they are modeling you as to what they consider to be acceptable behaviour. It is not okay for your children to see you being repeatedly put down.

You deserve better. 

I’m here to tell you that and you have the right to say something back and tell the person to stop.

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Do you have a tip for dealing with people who say, “just kidding” that you think people should know about? Leave it in the comments below.

When everyone has an opinion about your life

When everyone has an opinion about your life

One of our readers reached out and shared a story of what she is going through.

Lola is going through a difficult divorce, and she was finding it very hard because everybody has an opinion about her marriage, her extended family was making comments that they liked her Ex. They kept telling her that he was such a great guy, and they were having no regard for her feelings. After all, she was divorcing him for a reason!

People think they know everything about your situation, but in reality, they only know part of the story or a sliver of what’s really going on. Yet they feel free to voice their opinion or judge you over something which they know nothing about.

In a relationship, there are always two sides to a story. Lola’s cousins, who she saw a couple of times a year, didn’t know that her husband had another side, they didn’t know that he had been having an affair for two years. Lola was the one who had to live through it and suffered, and yet her family was telling her how she should live her life.


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People think they have a right to tell everybody how to live their life. But luckily, Lola had gotten our bundle because she replied with the most awesome comeback and her relatives just stood there and stopped talking. She responded politely so they couldn’t call her out for being rude.

The comeback she used was from one of our cheat sheets in the Verbal Self Defense bundle. And it just shut her cousin up. Lola said it was priceless seeing the look on her cousin’s face!

You can stand up to people and you can do it in a nice way that lets people know that certain topics are not open for discussion, EVER.

A lot of times when it comes to family you can let stuff go, it isn’t worth arguing about but when you feel someone has crossed the line you should say something, even if it is family.

if you have a difficult friend or family member, the Verbal Self Defense Made Easy Bundle will help you find something to say. You can find it in our store.

Sometimes we need to leave people behind

Sometimes we need to break up with friends

Sometimes you just need to leave people behind in life. Not everybody is going to come with you on your journey. That may be painful, but it is the cold hard truth.

My nephew was friends with a woman I will call Jasmine for a while, she wasn’t who she initially portrayed herself to be. Jasmine had so many good qualities, in fact she was lovely, so it would have been unimaginable that the friendship would fall to pieces.

Jasmine was complaining about her girlfriend and Carson just listened and empathized and tried to show support and said, “Yeah, that’s tough, I can understand why you would be upset in that situation.”


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Carson knew the girl that she was complaining about, but he wasn’t invested in the relationship. He liked Jasmine’s friend but he didn’t have an opinion about her either way.

He was busy with his own life trying to work and graduate from university.

Carson wasn’t interested in getting involved in any drama. He was just trying to support his friend when she needed to vent, an ear to listen to, as we all do at times.

Carson was astounded when Jasmine turned the situation around, and said that he had actually said a bunch of horrible things that he had never said.

He didn’t want drama in his life so he didn’t follow up with Jasmine who was transforming into a drama tornado. She said bad things about Carson and tried to turn mutual friends against him. She even reached out to his friends she didn’t know on his Instagram feed. Yep, that’s toxic and weird.

During a stressful time when he was preparing for a final exam she started playing even more mind games.

And this girl that he thought was so nice, wasn’t nice at all.

Maybe Jasmine will change, but at this point, she’s just totally wasting Carson’s life energy.

You have to ask yourself if someone is constantly causing drama do you really want the person in your inner circle or as a close friend? Probably not, sometimes you just have to draw a line in the sand and leave people behind.

Elon Musk or any other thought leader must have encountered people like this throughout their life. But you have to make a conscious choice and decide if you’re going to partake or just walk away. 

People who are drama tornados will suck up your mind share and your life energy.

You can have great friends in your life who don’t cause infinite drama. 

Sometimes you just need to distance yourself or leave people behind because they’re not going to become part of your long term journey, and it’s for the better because they’re just not worth it.

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Do you need to move on from a friend

When you dread seeing your family over the holidays


The holidays can be a hard time because we all have that person in our family tree that we wished had sprung from a different orchard. 

Maybe it’s your brother in law who has different political views, and never lets you hear the end of it. You may have a narcissist in your life who ruins all of your events.

Some folks are just difficult, and you may find it frustrating that you’re forced to spend the holidays together in a confined place. 

The best Christmas holidays I’ve had were spent on Bondi Beach with a big group of friends. Another year, when I was a flight attendant, I spent Christmas in Mumbai with the airline crew and we had a wonderful time. I had butter chicken for Christmas dinner, it was nontraditional and I loved every minute of it!


Ever feel like you just don’t know how to speak up for yourself? Our Stand Up for Yourself the Easy Way Guide will show you how to do it in just 3 simple steps. It’s a game changer–get it free for a limited time!

There are always going to be difficult people but you can learn to manage them.

The thing that’s important to remember is that it is your holiday too. COVID may be the perfect excuse to say that you can’t make it this year. 

Some folks won’t change their negative ways, but if you do have to spend time together, have a plan in place for how you will deal with the person. 

Make sure you schedule in some time for yourself over the holidays, to do the things that you like to do instead of catering to everyone else’s agenda.

What to say to someone who mutters rude things under their breath

When someone mutters under their breath you may be a little taken aback because it can be rude, passive-aggressive, and hostile behaviour. Maybe the person doesn’t like what you said, and instead of being an adult and confronting you about it, they walk away and then mutter complaints under their breath.

Often people think they get away with making snide comments under their breath without being called out for their shitty behaviour.

The person you are dealing with may not have the courage to talk to you openly about what is bothering them. When you ask them directly what they said, they reply, “nothing,” and won’t repeat what they muttered back to you.


Ever feel like you just don’t know how to speak up for yourself? Our Stand Up for Yourself the Easy Way Guide will show you how to do it in just 3 simple steps. It’s a game changer–get it free for a limited time!

Some people aren’t even aware that they are muttering, their behaviour is aggravating and can be enough to make you want to end a relationship.

Jeannie’s husband was always muttering under his breath, and it became so extreme that it was a deal-breaker for her. She didn’t want to have him near her friends because of his uncouth behaviour. She spoke to him directly and told him that it was a deal-breaker for her and he needed to stop doing it immediately.

Her husband continued to complain under his breath but now she called him out every time. Jeannie would say, “What was that you just said to me? I didn’t catch it?  It would be helpful if you could speak clearly to me.”

Jeannie kept calling her husband out on his bad behaviour , every time he did it she would say it sounded like he had duct tape over his mouth. Because he knew that he was going to get called out every time he muttered under his breath, he eventually stopped doing it.

Here are a few things you can say to someone who mutters under their breath.

The top ten things to say to someone who mutters under their breath

  1. Excuse me, but are you still talking? I couldn’t make out what you said.
  2. What did you say? I missed it.
  3. Did you mean to say that out loud?
  4. Pardon me, I didn’t quite catch that all.
  5. What was that? It sounds like you have duct tape on your mouth.
  6. Please stop with the passive-aggressive behaviour.
  7. Hey, if you have something to comment on, say it to my face, don’t mutter under your breath.
  8. I don’t see why that’s necessary to say. It’s not kind or constructive. All it does is make us both unhappy. How can we reach a conclusion where you stop insulting me?
  9. I’m sorry, but if you keep insulting me under your breath, I’m going to have to make it a bit of a deal. I know you don’t want that, and neither do I. Do you think you could drop it?
  10. Hey, is there a reason why you keep insulting me?

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Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with people who mutter under their breath? Share them in the comments below.