What To Say When Someone Calls You Disgusting: 20 Suggestions

Being labeled as “disgusting” can be a deeply unsettling experience. Such a statement can cut to the core of our self-esteem and personal identity. It’s a term that’s heavily loaded with negative connotations and can come across as both hurtful and disrespectful.

However, the way we respond to this label can significantly shape the dynamics of the encounter and our self-respect. Crafting an effective response requires not just a keen sense of self-awareness but also an understanding of the context and the nature of the relationship with the person making the comment.

what to say when someone calls you disgusting

20 Things To Say When Someone Calls You Disgusting

The responses listed below are designed to address various scenarios – from personal attacks to misunderstandings, from professional settings to intimate relationships. Each response is tailored to help you navigate these challenging situations with dignity, assertiveness, and, where appropriate, empathy and humor.

Response 1: Seeking Clarification

“I’m surprised by your comment. Could you please clarify what you mean and why you feel this way?”

This response is effective in situations where you believe the other person’s comment might stem from a misunderstanding or a specific incident. By asking for clarification, you’re opening the door to a more constructive conversation and showing a willingness to understand their perspective. It’s particularly useful in scenarios where maintaining the relationship is important, such as with a friend or family member.

Response 2: Calmly Asserting Yourself

“I understand you’re entitled to your opinion, but I find your comment hurtful and disrespectful. I’d appreciate it if we could communicate in a more respectful manner.”

This reply is best suited for situations where you need to assert your boundaries while maintaining a composed demeanor. It’s particularly effective in professional environments or in social settings where you need to demonstrate self-respect without escalating the situation.

Response 3: Using Humor to Defuse

“Wow, that’s quite a strong word to use! Are we auditioning for a drama here?”

Humor can be an excellent tool for defusing a tense situation. This kind of response lightens the atmosphere and can help steer the conversation away from negativity. It’s most effective in casual settings or when you’re confident that the other person will understand and appreciate the humor.

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Response 4: Directly Addressing the Impact

“When you call me disgusting, it feels very hurtful. Is this really how you want our conversation to go?”

This response is ideal when you want to make the other person aware of the impact of their words. It’s a way of showing vulnerability without aggression and can be particularly powerful in personal relationships where mutual understanding is crucial.

Response 5: Reflecting on the Comment

“I’m curious to know what led you to such a strong opinion. Is there something specific that you’re reacting to?”

Use this when you suspect there’s a specific reason behind the comment. It shows that you’re open to discussion and willing to address any underlying issues. This approach is useful in both personal and professional contexts where the goal is to resolve a deeper conflict.

Response 6: Asserting Confidence

“I’m comfortable with who I am and do not agree with your assessment. Let’s agree to disagree on this.”

Choose this response when you want to convey confidence and self-assuredness. It’s particularly effective in situations where you feel the need to protect your self-esteem against unjustified criticism.

Response 7: Suggesting a Break

“It seems we’re both getting heated. Maybe we should take a break and revisit this conversation later.”

This response is ideal for situations where emotions are running high, and continuing the conversation could lead to further conflict. It’s a way of de-escalating the situation while leaving room for future discussion.

Response 8: Offering Empathy

“It sounds like you’re really upset with me. Can we talk about what’s really bothering you?”

Empathy can be a powerful response, especially if you feel the comment is a result of the other person projecting their own issues onto you. This approach works well in close relationships where understanding and communication are key.

Response 9: The Gentle Reprimand

“I believe in treating others with respect, even when we disagree. Let’s try to keep our conversation civil.”

This is a suitable response when you want to set a standard for respectful communication, especially in a professional or formal setting.

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Response 10: The Disarming Question

“Do you really believe that, or are you saying it in the heat of the moment?”

Asking this question gives the other person a chance to reconsider their words. It’s a good tactic when you think the comment was made impulsively rather than with genuine malice.

Response 11: Redirecting to the Issue

“Let’s focus on the actual issue at hand rather than resorting to personal attacks.”

This is an effective way to steer the conversation back to the main topic, especially in a debate or discussion where things have become personal.

Response 12: The Philosophical Take

“I believe everyone has their own perspective. Let’s try to understand where each of us is coming from.”

Use this response to encourage a more reflective and understanding dialogue, especially in situations where differing viewpoints have led to conflict.

Response 13: The Confident Rebuttal

“I disagree with your view and am confident in my actions and choices. Let’s agree to have different opinions on this.”

When you need to affirm your self-worth and disagree respectfully, this response can be quite effective, especially in situations where your integrity is being questioned.

Response 14: The Sarcastic Retort

“Well, if we’re handing out labels, I’ll make sure to think of something equally creative for you!”

Sarcasm should be used cautiously, but it can be effective in casual settings where you have a rapport with the other person and the situation allows for a bit of banter.

Response 15: The Unfazed Reply

“I respect your opinion, but I don’t let others’ perceptions define me.”

This response is ideal when you want to convey that you are unaffected by the other person’s negative comment. It’s a demonstration of emotional strength and self-confidence.

Response 16: The Thoughtful Consideration

“Your comment has given me something to think about. I’m always open to self-improvement.”

Choose this reply when you want to show openness to feedback, even if it’s presented harshly. This can be particularly effective in a learning or personal growth context.

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Response 17: The Boundary Setter

“I don’t accept being spoken to in that way. If we’re to continue this conversation, it needs to be respectful.”

Use this response to clearly set boundaries about acceptable communication, especially important in situations where respect and dignity are paramount.

Response 18: The Curious Inquiry

“Have you felt this way for a long time, or is this a reaction to something specific?”

This question helps to delve deeper into the reasons behind the comment, opening up space for a more meaningful conversation. It’s especially useful in ongoing relationships where understanding the root cause can lead to resolution.

Response 19: The Mature Exit

“I don’t think this conversation is productive anymore. Let’s talk again when we’re both in a better frame of mind.”

Sometimes, the best course of action is to remove yourself from a negative conversation. This response is appropriate when the discussion is going nowhere or becoming overly hostile.

Response 20: The Compassionate Confrontation

“It seems like your words are coming from a place of anger or hurt. I’m here to talk if you need to.”

This response is a combination of empathy and assertiveness. It’s particularly effective in close relationships where underlying emotional issues might be at play.


In each of these responses, the key is to maintain your composure and self-respect while addressing the comment. Your response should be guided not just by the nature of the comment, but also by the context of the situation and your relationship with the person. Remember, the goal is to respond in a way that upholds your dignity and encourages constructive communication.