Stop getting verbally bullied

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?

More Comebacks you might like

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

She was a shitty friend

She was a shitty friend

After 10 years I realized my friend was a shitty friend, and it was probably in my best interest to stop hanging out with her. I admit it,  I couldn’t see it for years and then one day everything changed.

Natalie canceled plans a lot over the years, but I always gave her the benefit of the doubt. And then it got worse, and every time we were supposed to get together for three months she would cancel. The crazy thing is she was the one setting up the get-togethers!

I was thinking this isn’t right, she is not a great friend and I just kept letting it go and making excuses for her. Then I had another friend cancel on me, and I was like why is this happening to me? Is it something I am doing, is it something about me that people don’t want to see me?

So I decided to put together a spreadsheet and it was a very interesting thing because you know you think things about people but you don’t think in terms of the big picture.


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!

How to tell if a friend has bad behaviour

By creating this spreadsheet, I could see the big picture view with all of my relationships and friends. I could see patterns and it was really clarifying. I had several questions on the spreadsheet like would I be friends with this person if  I met them today and I rated each person each friend out of 10.

By looking at the big picture and at the patterns I could see that it really wasn’t me. I wasn’t the problem. Natalie was a shitty friend and I could see she had a pattern of letting people down. I realized that I wouldn’t be friends with her if I met her today.

When you evaluate relationships ask yourself if you would be friends with this person if you met them today? Would you be friends if you knew everything you know about them now?

When I looked at the big picture it was so clarifying and it led me to create a product called the Relationship Evaluator, where you can enter information about your relationships and it shows you how supportive people are towards you.

When a friend has a pattern of bad behaviour

Relationship evaluator

The Relationship Evaluator tells you how supportive someone is by looking at charts and graphs. It is very illuminating when you see who supports you and how much by comparison.

You think, oh my goodness, I am spending a lot of time on friendships and people who may not be worthy of my time and effort. I could also see who was incredibly supportive and who I wasn’t valuing enough.

I found this product so valuable, I decided to add this as a bonus for those of you who have purchased our Verbal Self Defence Bundle or for those of you purchased our two books individually.

If you have already purchased the bundle or the two books, email me and let me know the email you purchased it with and we will send you a copy.

I really want you to have it because it is such a valuable tool.

When you have a difficult relative who drives you crazy

Dealing with a difficult relative

If you have a relative that you find extremely difficult and  disagreeable it just makes your life challenging because you are stuck with a person you find exasperating to be around on life’s most important occasions. You are forced to spend time together on family holidays, birthday celebrations and other family events.

You may feel stuck with this relative that you don’t like or have anything in common with and  it feels like you are forced on this life journey together. You wouldn’t choose to know this person if you had a say in the matter, and there is no easy way to get out of the situation. It can leave you feeling stuck and frustrated.

I have a  family member who never respects boundaries and this is an issue we’ve had for years. I have even stopped talking to this individual three times for over a year. Many times I have felt like this person is a thorn in my ass, and I often look forward to the day that I never have to deal with them again.


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!

I am tired of the constant drama, badmouthing of others and constant betrayal. This person has tried to turn my friends against me, get attention from my boyfriends and use me to get attention for themselves by embarrassing me.

Truthfully, I don’t love this person, I just tolerate them and I have done so for years. This is not the kind of thing that you can really say out loud, it’s the kind of thing you think in your darkest thoughts when you are alone.

It’s hard to deal with difficult relatives who don’t respect boundaries

This is a person who doesn’t respect boundaries with anyone in their life, they have had continual warnings but they never get the lesson and they never learn. Interestingly enough, this person has a lot of casual friends, but no intimate relationships with people who will call them out on their BS. Now, this relative is driving my son crazy for the same reasons that they have driven me bonkers for years!

When I was younger I thought that severing the relationship was the answer. As I get older,  I don’t think cutting off the relationship is the right solution. I have children now, I am a role model so it is important that I get this right. 

I want to show up in the world a certain way, with kindness and respect towards others. I want to speak my truth, and let people know directly and nicely when they have stepped over the line. Now, I am doing this more for me and my self respect than for hers.

My family member has caused so much drama over the years that I created a special cheat sheet for myself with over 80 polite things to say to family to let them know nicely that they need to back off. I also created over 10 scripts, so whenever she has bad behaviour I am armed and I am ready to stand my ground in a civilized way.

So, I am going to practice what I preach, and go back to the process I developed for shutting down bullies, even ones in your own family. I can prepare and be armed and know what to do when they pull their shit on me again. And I know she will, it is just a question of time.

It’s time to let her know again, that their behaviour is not OK  and not acceptable in a nice way. I am going to have a difficult conversation about the pattern of her  interfering in my life. 

I let my guard down for a minute, and this person is sharing personal information and talking badly about me to other relatives. With certain people, you give them an inch and they take 25 miles. 


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!

I will use my Snappy Comebacks for All Situations workbook to write out what’s been going on and figure out my plan of action. Things are going to be OK.

Whenever there is something difficult or bad happens in our life there is also a silver lining. For me, I’ve had to put up with snipes and digs from this person for years, because of the constant put downs and I came up with hundreds of things you can say to family and friends. 

She is one of the main reasons I created the I Should Have Said web site and I have ended up helping hundreds of thousands of people deal with bullies. So I guess there is a silver lining after all.

I know you probably are dealing with a difficult person too. Don’t get discouraged, there are ways to let the person know they need to smarten up without ruining the relationship or your sanity.

Don’t let your crazy people in your life grind you down.


Signature Bryn

Be prepared for a difficult person

If you have to deal with a difficult person who gives you a hard time, our bundle Snappy Comebacks any Situation can help you out. Be prepared for challenging people with clever responses on your phone or device at any time or anywhere.

Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with a difficult relative. Share them in the comments below.

Not everyone you meet will like you

Some people just won't like you no matter what you do
Sad lonely young woman looking down isolated on gray wall background

Not everyone is going to like you, it’s the cold hard truth and maybe it sucks, but that’s just reality. Some folks will never become your super fans no matter how much time and energy you invest into trying to win them over. Try not to take it personally, because there is nothing you can do, you have no control over other people’s opinions.

You are not going to have mental affinity with every single person that you meet, and that’s OK. When you think about it, there are people that you just naturally relate to like more than others. Think back to when you met someone you instantly liked and you just got each other, the jokes, the shows and people you followed.

If someone doesn’t like you don’t waste your valuable life energy trying to win the person over. Be kind, be civil, think nice thoughts about the person, and move on with your life and focus on yourself.


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!

Don’t change who you are to get others to like you

Don’t change who you are to please others, you have so many unique and wonderful gifts that people appreciate about you. Focus on the great people in your life who already know how amazing you are, and what you bring to the table in a friendship or relationship.

Think about it, why do you really care if someone doesn’t like you? In the grand scheme of your life, it doesn’t matter, you have got shit to do, you are an important person, you were put on this earth for a reason.

If you keep getting the same negative response from people, you may want to reflect on your behaviour in certain situations. Perhaps there is something you need to change in the way that you relate to others? OK, this is going to sound really woo woo, but consider what are you putting out in the world towards people. Are you being critical or negative towards individuals who have a strange response to you?

I have found that when you think negative thoughts about people they can actually sense it. When I stopped thinking negative thoughts about people my life totally transformed and I no longer had issues with anybody. The person may think that you don’t like them and they could be projecting that back to you.

At the end of the day, keep on being you and focus on the great things in your life.

More posts you might like

Some people just won't like you. So what?

Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with someone who doesn’t like you? Share them in the comments below.

When a friend is a clandestine bully

My friend is a bully

Have ever had a friend who is a clandestine bully who snipes at you and makes rude comments? You can only be left wondering if this person is really your friend at all.

Today we are interviewing Cali, who dealt with a friend who kept insulting her. Cali’s roommate would make rude and snide comments towards her in public and when they were alone. Her roommate, Lina, could actually be pretty nice, but she had this horrible side that would come out and say nasty things.

So how did you meet your roommate?

We actually worked at the same office, we were both going back to school and we decided that we should share an apartment for two years. At work, she seemed incredibly nice, kind and professional so it looked like we would be a good fit to live together.


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!

When did your roommate start making comments to you?

Lina was fine for the first six months, then she would start to make snide little digs at me every now and again.

How did you respond to her put downs and rude comments?

When she first started making snide comments I was taken aback and a little astonished. I wasn’t quick enough on my feet to say something back to her. I don’t verbally attack people, it’s not who I am so I put up with it for the first little while, until she escalated her behaviour and started publicly embarrassing me.

Can you share how she publicly embarrassed you?

Well, it is embarrassing even to tell it here. I said to Lina one day that I wish my breasts were a little bit bigger. I wasn’t about to run out and get breast implants or anything like that, I was pretty happy with my body but a slightly larger chest would have been nice.

Lina had a large chest but it wasn’t the kind that you wished you had. She was overweight and had saggy breasts. She was attractive enough, in a matronly kind of way.

Lina started making weird comments to me about how her breasts were so big and mine were so small. It was a little strange.

After a while, Lina started making rude comments to me publicly. We had eight friends over for a get-together, there were men and women there. During the evening when everyone was there, Lina mentioned how her breasts were so big and if she had to paint the room with her chest it would take her two minutes, but it would take me two weeks because my chest was so much smaller than hers. I could tell other people thought it was a little weird. I was horrified that she would stay such a thing.

How did you respond when she publicly embarrassed you?

Well, I just took it. I was so shocked that someone would say something like that to me publicly, especially in front of mixed company. I was dumbfounded, I couldn’t believe it.

Did you just let it go, what happened?

Well, a couple of weeks later, she said to me “Do my breasts look too big in this shirt?” I responded by saying, “Your chest would probably look a little less saggy in a different shirt.

Lina never mentioned her large breasts to me again. Standing up to her verbally shut her up for good.

Are you still friends?

Well, Lina had some nice traits, she was smart and funny but at the end of the day, she felt comfortable putting me down publicly and embarrassing me in front of others. That’s not exactly what I would describe as a friend.

After all her insults, I decided that I just didn’t want to be around her anymore. In fact, I didn’t want to ever see her again. She had several people drop out of her life and never want to see her again, which is kind of telling.

How did you end the relationship?

I decided to move at a time that wasn’t convenient for her but I didn’t care. Lina was really pissed off about it, but the thing is I felt so uncomfortable around her after her rude behaviour, she really brought it all on herself.

I haven’t seen her since I moved, although I read about her sometimes because she is very successful in her field and is sometimes in media articles. I am really glad about the decision to end the friendship and to have moved on. I just wish that I had found your site I Should Have Said.. earlie, I would have come up with a much better comeback and shut her up earlier. Maybe things would have turned out differently.


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!

More top ten comeback lists you might like

What to say to a friend who makes snide comments
What to do when a friend makes snide comments

Got any comments, questions or tips for dealing with a friend who makes snide comments? Share them in the comments below.