Have you ever been caught off-guard by an insult? Has an acquaintance, friend, relative or loved one made a comment that you've gained weight or are looking old or unattractive? Dr. Robin says that some people intentionally insult others, thinking the comment will motivate the person to change their appearance or behavior. Instead, Dr. Robin says, the insult causes shame and emotional pain. "Shame never makes a lasting change, it never transforms you," she says.
If someone you know is making insulting comments to you or someone you care about, Dr. Robin says that you should tell them to stop. "[Giving] feedback and [setting] boundaries, lovingly but really clear and firm, helps someone and coaches someone into having better behavior," she says.
Published on July 19, 2007