Methods for more quick-wittedness: setting clear limits

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Text comes from: Einfach schlagfertig: Zehn Methoden, die jeder anwenden kann (2015) from Peter Kensok, Petra Schächtele-Philipp, published by BusinessVillage Verlag, Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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There is only one way to deal with imprudence or insults: Set limits, immediately! An offense is a violation of personal honor. - Who, however, establishes where an insolence ceases and an offense begins?

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Here writes for you:


Petra Schächtele-Philipp schaechtlePetra Schächtele-Philipp is a trainer and rhetorician.


From the author:



Here writes for you:


Peter Kensok peter_kensokPeter Kensok is Peter Kensok is communication trainer, coach and psychotherapist. 


By Shakespeare and Co

"Beware of quarrels, but it has to be so do it so that your opponent is careful against you." said one of the English playwright mWilliam Shakespeare (1564 - 1616). Or, to put it in the words of an elderly peddler who complained to a young colleague that he was so often offended at the door “I was not opened, even though I had an appointment, sent me away, slammed the door in front of me, chased dogs after me. But insulted - nobody has ever insulted me. ”

Insult - a definition thing

Everyone defines 'insult' differently. One is already offended if he is only looked at from the side: "What are you looking at?" The next person doesn't even feel insulted by swear words, takes them as an invitation to play - or even as praise. Like Captain Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) "I am Vulcan, I have no ego to offend."

Decide for yourself

Decide where an impertinence ends, with which you just want to deal, and an offense begins which you will clearly reject. Easier you have it if you hang the bar for insults quite high. Nevertheless, you should accept that some things simply hurt and persist. The fact that you are trying to understand an offense is honorable, but it does not mean you have to accept it!

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Tip: Insults always express an emotional state of excitement under which the language becomes inaccurate. That is, except in high security roads with lots of red buttons, mostly harmless. Verbal abuse is mainly due to the speaker. Nevertheless, if someone calls you 'Arschkrapfen', 'Diplompetze' or 'Erfolgsniete', he crosses a border. No one can do that! And then you act in justified self-defense.

Friendly but definite!

Of course, you do not fix a relationship by making it clear to the other person what a stupid dog he is. Instead, ask him what you deserve, that he deals with you this way. That's a friendly border and yet determined. Again, this is:

“I will not speak to you at this level. We take a break, adjourn the situation and then meet again. ”


You tell me what annoys you so we can talk about this topic again in peace. ”

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Put the conversation on the scene

The Criticism ironic, loud, personal, or even punitive, would keep the conversation purely on the relationship level. The longer we stay there, the more difficult it is to get back to the scene. Stay elegant:

  • Do not let the emotional mood, the loudness, and the degree of unfairness of the attacker impel you.
  • Avoid justifying yourself.
  • Do not make unnecessary explanations.
  • Before the situation escalates, break the conversation responsibly.

Your personal basic law

No one can offend you, says the basic law. This also applies to you in your defense. Stay on your good level. They do not even need to be loud.

A firm but quiet voice, at least a little quieter than that of your counterpart, can even look a lot more defensive. The most important rule when insulting is: Nip attempts at once in the bud! Wise people ignore insults, because if you get angry about it, you punish yourself for the mistakes of others. How does it work? Consider the situation from the outside.

Hover above the clouds

Wise people ignore insults, for those who are annoyed about it, punish themselves for the mistakes of others. If you realize immediately that they are annoyed, give the attacker power over themselves, and you should not allow anyone.

Therefore, consider an attack and the situation from the outside and make the dispute the actual topic of the conversation. Take an example from the verse of German singer-songwriter Reinhard Mey: “Above the clouds… what seems big and important here would suddenly become small and small.”

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Get off on the Feldherren hill

What can help you with this is your own model, some call this the Inner Field Hill. If this is too militant for you, then imagine that you have angel wings for the same purpose and can always stand out for a different perspective, to look at something from the outside and beyond.

The idea of ​​angel wings creates an additional phenomenon. If you walk through the city with it, you will experience that people actually give you more space. Wings just need space ... The best way to get to the meta level is through ego messages or sentences like this:

  • "What rules apply here?"
  • "Do we want to treat each other like this?"
  • "How important is that?"
  • "What should be discussed first?"
  • "Does that bring us closer to our goal?"
  • "What shoud that?"


The last question forces a justification. You look at the situation from the outside and at the same time get your opponent out of his way of thinking. Through I-messages, we express expectations, desires, ideas and feelings. So do not pretend that we're unassailable or always cool when we're attacked!

To do this, we should first be aware of our feelings before we address them in the second step. This draws attention away from the attack to the relationship with the attacker. No one can say to you, "You feel wrong." Or: "You don't feel that way." Or: "That's not true." Once the relationship has been clarified, you will quickly find a solution at the factual level.

Save energy for the essentials

Also consider how important an issue is to you. Pick up your energy for the essentials. "You are absolutely incapable!" Possible answers:

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  • “The report may not be what you expected. Still, that's no reason for you to treat me like that. ”
  • “I was amazed at the general rejection of my proposal. Please explain in detail what specifically speaks against XY. ”
  • "Your statement is inappropriate."
  • "I find that very hurtful!"

Another possibility is to address the behavior of the other: "Mr. Müller, why are you reacting so angry now?"

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