How I started teaching verbal self defense

One of the things that people always ask me is how did you end up teaching verbal self defense. And it is kind of an unusual story. 

I was at the planetarium with my two kids and they were ages five and seven years old at the time. And my oldest just innocently said to me, “Oh, the earth looks ugly.” And I don’t know if you have a child, but I can guarantee you, most children say silly things at some point in time, it’s not unusual. So he said, ‘the earth looked ugly.” I’m like, Okay, I actually think it looks quite beautiful. 

There was a little boy sitting next to us. And he mentioned to me pointing at my son, “he  said, the earth looked ugly!” because my son had said it again. And I’m like, “Well, yeah, he did. He’s entitled to his opinion”, thinking nothing of it, thinking it’s not a big deal. 

Well, about two minutes later, this man comes running or should I say stomping, across the room. And he says, “Don’t you, talk to my son like that, how dare you. And I can see why your husband left you!”

I didn’t have my wedding ring on that day. And I just couldn’t believe it. I was sitting there, and there were 20 families, everybody in the room was staring at me, including my two children. 

And I just couldn’t believe it. I didn’t know what to say. And I responded with, “I’m still married.” I just couldn’t believe that I responded like such a buffoon. I was so angry, humiliated and upset. 

How I came up with the idea for the verbal self defense web site

For two weeks, I was walking around thinking I should have said, I should have said, and then I got the idea for the website. 

And I also had another relative who says, the most horrible abominable things, and this person has been saying them to me my entire life. It’s like it’s not anything new. This person is equal opportunity and says horrible things to everyone, everybody. So it’s not like I’m special! But I’ve had to deal with this. And I needed to have better skills to deal with it.

 And so I thought that I should have said the website would not only help me, but would just help so many other people that have to deal with verbal bullies, because this is something that we all have to deal with at some point in our life.

Do comebacks and verbal self defense actually work?

People will ask me, “Do comebacks actually work?”  And I tell you, it is like having a superpower, they really work. And they just shut people down because people’s brains just aren’t wired to respond. And we have a proven system that I teach people that leaves people speechless. 

And every day, I receive emails from people thanking me and I got one this morning, it was from a girl who said that she’d been teased her entire life for being called skinny by her family, and everyone would make fun of her. She’d learned how to stand up for yourself and have more confidence, which was my goal. I just love getting these emails, knowing that I’m helping people empower themselves and stand up for themselves. 

A lot of people are shamed by verbal bullies. And what verbal bullies usually do is they will pick on somebody who they think won’t respond. So if you’re a timid kind person, you’re a perfect target for a verbal bully. 

The goal of my I should have said website is to empower people just to give them the skills to feel good to feel strong to be able to stand up for themselves, and we are not for bullies, we are there to defend ourselves against bullies. 

And I actually had a couple of friends unfriend me on Facebook, because they thought I was creating something mean to hate on people. But that’s not the truth at all. I do not support that at all. I’m only there to help people who are being picked on because I know how it feels.

 And my kids also have have experienced verbal bullying and other people have experienced it as well clearly because at one point, my website was getting a million page views a month. And there are some very popular posts. So, if somebody insults you, you know, you’re not the only one and you’re in aren’t alone. 

You must be in a safe situation when using comebacks and verbal self defense

The only thing with verbal self defense I really want you to know is you must make sure that you are in a safe situation, you don’t want to be out at 3 am on the street using a comeback. Always make sure you’re safe if you’re going to use them. 

And it is like a superpower. So don’t use comebacks for harm. I always say that to people. You know, people are always amazed at how well it works. Our system shuts people down really quickly. And it is a superpower and you know, I’ve used it with relatives, I’ve used it at the grocery storage people who are obnoxious. The bullies didn’t think that someone like me would respond, you know, and they just, I see the shame in their eyes after for being abusive to like an innocent person who wasn’t doing anything.

If you need some help standing up for yourself, our free guide How to Sand up for Yourself the Easy Way can help you out.

More comebacks you might like

The Role of counselling and self care

I Should Have Said Media will earn a commission after clicking links on this page at no additional cost to you. Learn more.

Better Help is a great resource where you can talk to a counselor from the comfort of your own home. 

Taking care of your own needs isn’t selfish, and you will feel better in the long run.

Do you have a tip for verbal self defense that you think others should know about? Leave it in the comments below.

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