20 Things to Say When Someone Calls You Gross

Facing a moment when someone labels you as “gross” can be both shocking and hurtful. Whether it springs from a misunderstanding, a difference in perspective, or an attempt to insult, handling such comments with grace and composure can turn an unpleasant situation into an opportunity for personal growth and even educate others.

This article reveals 20 poised and thoughtful responses you can use when confronted with the term “gross” directed at you.

what to say when someone calls you gross

What to Say When Someone Calls You Gross

These replies are designed not only to defuse the situation but also to reflect a level of self-respect and maturity, potentially transforming a negative interaction into a constructive dialogue.

1. “I think we have different views on this. Care to explain why you feel that way?”

This response invites conversation and understanding, showing openness to dialogue while not accepting the insult at face value. It’s suitable in situations where there’s room for a constructive exchange of views, encouraging the other person to clarify their stance and potentially resolve misunderstandings.

2. “I’m sorry you feel that way. Is there something specific that bothered you?”

By expressing regret for their discomfort without directly accepting blame, this reply focuses on uncovering the root of their issue. It’s most effective when you suspect the comment stems from a misunderstanding or a specific action that can be addressed or explained.

3. “We all have our own preferences and boundaries. Let’s respect each other’s.”

Highlighting the importance of mutual respect and individual differences, this response gently rebukes the insult by advocating for tolerance. Use it in situations where you want to remind the other person about the value of diversity and personal space.

4. “I appreciate constructive criticism. Could you offer specific feedback?”

Turning the comment into an opportunity for self-improvement, this reply seeks actionable advice instead of general negativity. It’s appropriate when you’re open to feedback and believe the other person might have a valid point, albeit poorly expressed.

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5. “I’m comfortable with who I am, but I’m here if you want to talk about why you said that.”

Asserting self-confidence while still offering an olive branch, this answer shows that you’re unaffected by the insult but willing to engage in dialogue. It’s a strong choice when dealing with comments that stem from misunderstandings or differing perspectives.

6. “It sounds like we have a misunderstanding. I’d like to clear it up.”

Focusing on resolving potential confusion, this response suggests that the comment may have been based on a misinterpretation. Use it when you believe that further conversation could clarify the situation and mend fences.

7. “Let’s focus on positivity and how we can support each other instead.”

Redirecting the conversation towards a more positive and constructive direction, this reply emphasizes the importance of uplifting interactions. It’s suitable for de-escalating tension and fostering a more supportive environment.

8. “It seems we’ve hit a snag in our communication. How can we move past this?”

Acknowledging a breakdown in communication, this answer seeks solutions and a way forward. It’s effective in situations where both parties are interested in maintaining a positive relationship despite the hiccup.

9. “I believe everyone deserves respect, even when we disagree.”

Stressing the universal value of respect, this response indirectly addresses the disrespect inherent in being called “gross” while promoting a more respectful interaction. It’s best used when aiming to elevate the tone of the conversation.

10. “I’m here to understand and learn from everyone, even from challenging conversations.”

By positioning yourself as open-minded and willing to grow from difficult interactions, this reply showcases resilience and a positive attitude. Use it to turn the situation into a learning opportunity for both parties.

11. “I think we can find common ground if we try. Let’s start over.”

Offering a reset button on the conversation, this response seeks to erase the negativity and start afresh on a more positive note. It’s a good choice when both parties seem willing to move past the disagreement.

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12. “I respect your opinion, but I see things differently. Here’s why…”

Affirming your own perspective without dismissing theirs, this reply encourages a fair exchange of views. It’s appropriate for situations where a deeper discussion of differing opinions might be beneficial.

13. “It’s important to consider the impact of our words on others.”

Highlighting the importance of mindful communication, this response gently chides the other person for their choice of words while promoting a more thoughtful dialogue. It’s suitable when aiming to raise awareness about the effects of negative comments.

14. “We all make mistakes. Let’s work on understanding each other better.”

Acknowledging human imperfection, this reply offers forgiveness and a chance to improve mutual understanding. Use it when you believe the comment was a lapse in judgment rather than a reflection of true intent.

15. “It seems we’re at an impasse. Agreeing to disagree might be our best option.”

Recognizing an irreconcilable difference in views, this response suggests a peaceful coexistence despite the disagreement. It’s a mature choice when further discussion seems unlikely to resolve the conflict.

16. “I value open-mindedness and learning from every situation. Let’s navigate this together.”

Expressing a commitment to growth and collaboration, this reply invites the other person to join you in turning the interaction into a positive experience. It’s effective in fostering a spirit of cooperation.

17. “I think it’s best if we approach this with kindness and empathy.”

Advocating for empathy and kindness, this response aims to soften the conversation and encourage a more compassionate exchange. Use it to remind both parties of the importance of understanding and gentleness.

18. “Our differences don’t have to divide us. There’s a lot we can learn from each other.”

Promoting unity in diversity, this reply focuses on the potential benefits of learning from differing opinions and experiences. It’s suitable for encouraging a more inclusive and open-minded dialogue.

19. “Let’s take a step back and consider the bigger picture here.”

Encouraging a broader perspective, this response invites the other person to look beyond the immediate conflict and consider the overall context. It’s a wise choice when the comment seems to stem from a moment of frustration or misunderstanding.

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20. “I believe in moving forward with positivity and mutual respect. Join me?”

Offering a path forward based on positive values, this reply sets the tone for a respectful and constructive future interaction. It’s an optimistic choice for concluding a difficult conversation on a hopeful note.


These 20 responses provide a roadmap for handling such situations with dignity, promoting respectful dialogue and personal growth. By choosing to respond thoughtfully, you not only protect your self-esteem but also contribute to a more empathetic and considerate social environment.