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Catty Comments: How Do You Handle Them?

Lois P. Frankel one of  tidbits of advice in Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office is when you deal with opposition, negative comments, is to surround yourself with a shield of plexiglass. It is unbreakable, impenetrable, and will allow for you to move forward without dwelling on that one comment or suggestion.  If, we dwell on it too much it can harm us from going further in where we want to go.


It would be nice if we were all made to be human robots and be able to move forward without being phased from that one passive aggressive comment or resisting the urge to smack the smug satisfactory look that comes across their face when they attempt to cut you at the knees. But does surrounding yourself with imaginary plexiglass really work?

At some point we have been in that scenario and are left off guard wondering “Did that person really just say that about me?”

In a perfect world everyone would get along and sing Kumbaya around the campfire roasting marshmallows. However, there is always competing interests, different points of view, and sometimes people just do not get along. It’s a fair assumption to realize not everyone will like each other.

It’s off-setting when you hear a off-hand remark when you assume the person is a friend. I think it is at that moment the plexiglass shield crumbles and leaves you left wondering what did you do to get on their catty side. The best thing to do is recognize what it is, be more wary, and move forward with the understanding of caution when dealing with this relationship.

We all have been cut  at the knees by words especially if used with the right flare of gusto and delivery. But it is those words that are a reminder of who that person really is and when to take a step back to evaluate the relationship for better or worse. Our time in life is precious and in an ideal world it should be spent on the growth of positive relationships and not the negativity of others.

So when someone goes out of their way to make you feel small are they worth your time? How do you handle catty comments?

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Darcie Cameron is a RYT 200 who believes Yoga is a gift that is accessible to everyone with proper modifications, a patient smile and just taking the time to breathe. One of the greatest presents you will ever unwrap is when you connect your mind, body and spirit in perfect sync with your own breath. Connect with Darcie on Facebook

37 replies

  1. Actually, you nailed it above. I say “I can’t believe you just said that to me.” or “Did you really just say that to me?” It has worked for me every time, and some of my friends say they have used it too!

  2. You said, “It’s off-setting when you hear a off-hand remark when you assume the person is a friend.” But I think it hurts worse when hear it from a close relative. When you had NO IDEA that is how they saw you and felt about you, and those few words were delivered casually. Sigh!

    When I don’t know how to respond, or feel that I should, I just don’t. If I have nothing nice to say back, then I just don’t. 🙂

    Good post, Darcie!

  3. Polite, but pointed. That’s my approach. I usually say something that combines sarcasm + acknowledgement of how this person has let me down: “And there I was having such a good day. Thanks for the support.” Then, with a smile on my face, I move on with whatever I was doing or saying. No need to linger around someone who is negative.

  4. Great Post – really needed it today! No it is not worth your time and yes it hurts, but you have to move on and TAKE CARE OF YOU!!! I am no longer amazed or shocked with the way people treat and care about one another and that is JUST SAD:( I want the positive in my life and to be just in the present moment. Lets show a little more kindness and compassion to each other for a change! Have a Great One:)

  5. Believe it or not, the person who was most likely to send a catty remark my way was my mother. I don’t think she meant to be nasty – or maybe she did. But, when I got one of those remarks, I’d just think to myself, “I”m the adult in this room.” I suppose that’s a familial version of the plexiglass.

    Since she’s been gone, I’ve lived a catty-remark free life. It’s rather wonderful!

  6. Well, I’ve long struggled with this! I like the plexi glass suggestion. Not sure if I can make it work though-I’m so darn sensitive.

    My standard response is “Duly Noted.” A simple 2 words that end almost any topic.

  7. My problem is that I’m too freaking Southern. I can only devise a good comeback hours after the comment, and then it is much too late.

    More recently, I have used, “Well, that’s one way of looking at it” and have moved on. Or, I just cut to the heart of whatever issue it is. “I’m sorry you don’t like x, but here’s the reality. If you want y, then here’s how it can happen for you can be happy.” Every time I’ve used that one, the person looks like a deer in the headlights, shut down cold. I’m probably not Winning Friends and Influencing People, but I’m so flipping tired of the things people want to pick fights about, and I’m happy to let them know that I can go toe-to-toe with them if they want to engage me. Most people don’t want to engage, because it takes too much effort, so they move on.

    1. I am the same way and end up kicking myself on why I didn’t have a good come back until the middle of the night. I like how you address each scenario…It’s good to be assertive and show that you do mean business.

      I don’t believe it does anyone any good if you are a stepping stone. It just gives them license to walk all over you. It is also best to address the situation and move it along.

  8. It really depends on the person… Many times I am easily able to ignore it, especially if I understand the basis for their comment (I have several people in my life who are very insecure and the only way to make themselves feel good is to bring others down.) They are miserable people, so I can ignore. However, other times….

    1. I feel the same way,however, some miserable people I have taken a step back from and if feels good not to deal with their negativity. I think it is harder when it comes from someone you respect and that can be times hard to ignore.

  9. no one should make you feel small…NO ONE.
    catty comments if consistent should be dealt with like any cat would do…scratch and bite the heck out of them! (just kidding)
    i would not have any problems with restraining orders…if the person cannot leave you alone.
    good post to meditate on. thanks!

  10. If not for some drama, the world would be pretty dull, eh? True friends will accept you for exactly who you are. If not, as my dad used to say: “Screw ’em!” Ha ha! 😉 Also reminds me of the saying “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

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