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20 Best Ways to Respond When Someone Calls You Stupid

20 Best Ways to Respond When Someone Calls You Stupid

When someone calls you stupid, it hurts, no doubt about it. In the moment, it can be tough to figure out what to say when someone calls you stupid.

There will be a number of emotions racing through your mind when someone calls you stupid, ranging from anger to hurt. Getting your thoughts together into a coherent sentence is a real task.

Let’s make things easier. Here’s a deal.

We give you a list of what to say, and you pick the best one when the time comes. Sounds easy enough?

We’ll also let you know why the person said that in the first place and what you should pay attention to before you respond. Let’s get started:


Why someone would call you stupid

woman wearing blue shirt screaming angry
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There are different reasons why someone would call you stupid. Before you can tackle what to say when someone calls you stupid, you need to understand their reason for doing so.
This determines how you respond, and really, if you should even bother to take offense. Here are some of the main reasons why someone would call you stupid:
In most cases, people call others stupid out of anger. Unfortunately, many people react to angry emotions by spewing bad or hurtful words. When you do something wrong, or something they think is ridiculous or unbecoming, they usually resort to the word stupid.
In other cases, it might be out of jealousy and spite. When people are jealous of the success of others and are not able to block it in any way, they turn to verbal assault to try to tear down the person’s self-esteem. Note that this is their own insecurity talking, and if someone is jealous enough to try to tear you down, you are doing something right!
Some people are just jerks who think they are superior to everyone because they have book smarts. They think they are the only intelligent person in the room and that everyone else is below them. As such, they think you do not know enough or are not smart enough to be around them or in the same circles. Usually, however, the opposite is true and these people exhibit antisocial behaviors and do not take the time to get to know people.
From a sociological standpoint, calling someone stupid is more than an expression of displeasure or frustration at what was said or done. It is a way by which people “reinforce group norms and solidify our social or collective identities”. In other words, the person is wondering why you can’t be more like him/her, which he/she believes is the correct way to operate. Deep huh? Well, that’s just how the human mind functions, as we all crave the feeling of being a part of a collective.

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Photo by StoryTime Studio on shutterstock

Maybe the person is just having a rough time or has a sad life. Have you ever thought about that? Maybe the person just needs a hug.
Try to not take it too personally. Instead, shake it off and either uplift the person or avoid him/her altogether if the negativity becomes too overwhelming or toxic.
Sometimes friends call each other stupid but be very careful with this. Some friends mean it jokingly, but others have underlying messages.
It all, of course, depends on the nature of the relationship and that person’s intentions which determines what to say when someone calls you stupid.

Things to pay attention to before responding

When someone calls you stupid, 9 times out of 10, you’ll want to react based on your emotions. Stop for a minute. Do you really want to let your emotions get the best of you and say something you might regret? Here are some things you should pay attention to before responding to the person who called you stupid.

Yes, this is hard to hear, but listen to everything the person is saying. In many cases, the person is trying to communicate genuine feelings towards you, but they are doing so in the form of verbal abuse. If you respond negatively or interrupt, the situation may escalate. So, listen without interruption to everything said until the person is done talking.


01 listening male holds his hand near

Photo by F8 studio on shutterstock


02Stand tall
No matter how condescending or hurtful the words may be, stand your ground. Do not shrink at the sound of the words. Check your posture and ensure you are standing tall. This will show that you are confident in yourself and what you are about to say.


03Maintain eye contact
Look him/her directly in the eyes to show that you are conscious and aware of what is happening, and more importantly, that you will not cower in fear. Maintain that eye contact while listening and while speaking to get your message across clearly.


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Photo by Atstock Productions on shutterstock


04Use an assertive, yet calm tone
Using an assertive, yet calm tone shows that you are confident and in control of yourself and your emotions. This is especially useful if the person is trying to be malicious.


05Choose your words carefully
Even if the person intends to do you harm with his/her words, be careful in your choice of words. You cannot control what he/she says, but you can control what you say. This protects your reputation and keeps the situation from escalating.



Examples of what to say when someone calls you stupid and is being mean for no reason

If you can’t let it go, and you need to know what to say when someone calls you stupid, here’s a list of 15 firm/serious, witty and funny/sarcastic responses you can use whenever the moment calls for it.
We’ve also included what makes these responses so great to help you choose the best ones for your situation. You’re welcome!

Firm/serious responses

Disrespect can come in many forms. Sometimes, it is covert, and other times, people are overtly disrespectful by using certain offensive words.
One such word is ‘stupid’. Here are 5 firm/serious examples of what to say when someone calls you stupid:

01“I would never disrespect you and I would appreciate it if you could show me that same respect.”
Use this response if the person calls you stupid for the first time, whether on purpose or as a ‘joke’. This makes it clear that you do not tolerate the use of such words.


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Photo by maRRitch on shutterstock


02“I’m going to ignore that because I know there’s no way you could’ve been speaking to me.”
This is a good response to use if someone says it to you, but you want to let the person know you will look past it instead of resorting to anger, or worse violence. Note that this should be done while maintaining eye contact to convey your seriousness.


03“I know life sucks for you right now, but if you want someone to blame, take a look in the mirror.”
Use this when someone who is envious of your success tries to take out their misfortunes on you. This will put him/her back in his/her place.


04“I have [insert degree/accolades, business/career, assets]. What do you have except a big mouth and too much time on your hands?”
If you want to really let someone know that you are not the one to mess with because you are anything but stupid and have a lot going for yourself, this is one way to set the record straight and show who’s boss. It isn’t about showing off (okay, maybe a little bit), it’s about standing up for yourself.


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Photo by Anel Alijagic on shutterstock


05“I understand that you are upset. Let’s take a few minutes to cool off then continue this conversation when things can be a bit more respectful.”
When you notice things starting to go down the line of disrespect, you can be the bigger person by making the decision to end the conversation, or better yet, stick a pin in it. It is better to reconvene when the person is less angry and can better express him/herself.


Witty responses

If you think the person is trying to be a wise-ass, and you want to humble them without resorting to their level, then you’ll need a witty response.
Here are 5 examples of what to say when someone calls you stupid:

06“My ears must be deceiving me. Could you repeat that?”
When you use this response, squint your eyes, maybe hold your ear, and pretend you can’t hear well. This is to sell the whole act that there’s no way that person is calling you stupid, perhaps because he/she isn’t so smart either.


06 closeup woman holds her hand near her ear

Photo by Opat Suvi on shutterstock


07“Of course, I sound stupid. How else would you understand me?”
Use this response when someone is picking apart what you have said. In other words, you are saying you had to dumb it down because the person isn’t so bright, or he/she cannot understand because he/she lacks intelligence.


08“And what have you accomplished in your lifetime that makes you an Einstein?”
This is a good response to use when someone tries to act like he/she is smarter than everyone. Use this as a direct challenge. Usually, these people have no accolades or anything to show for their act. Just make sure you can back your words up too or else this response can backfire.


08 cheerful smiling little kid boy against einstein look alike

Photo by YuryImaging on shutterstock


09“Oh well, I’ve been called worse by better.”
This response says that the person isn’t as high and mighty as he/she thinks, so the negative words he/she is spewing are not affecting you as much as he/she had hoped.


10“Remember when I asked for your opinion? Ha, yeah, me neither.”
Use this when you want to let the person know that you don’t care about what he/she thinks and that next time, he/she should keep his/her opinions to him/herself.



Funny/sarcastic responses

Sometimes you don’t know what to say when someone calls you stupid, so the best approach is a light-hearted one. Why not joke it off to give the impression that the words cannot hurt you?
Surely the person will feel stupid or unaccomplished when he/she sees that you are unaffected. Here’s what to say when someone calls you stupid and you need a sarcastic/funny response:

11“Damn it. I’ve spent too much time with you. Yours must have rubbed off on me.”
In other words, you are saying that you got the stupidity from the person and that it is contagious like a cold.


11 contagious diseases spread hygiene concept hands white background
Photo by Lightspring on shutterstock


12“Spell stupid.”
This is a direct challenge to the person’s intelligence. Stupid is an easy word to spell and the sarcastic tone insinuates that you don’t believe the person knows how to. This is sure to ruffle some feathers.


13“It isn’t a crime, is it? Am I free to go, officer?”
So what if this person thinks you’re stupid? Who is he/she and why does he/she think his/her opinion matters that much to you? Make fun of this insinuation to make the person feel silly.


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Photo by Nomad_Soul on shutterstock


14“Okay, Mr/Mrs. Google, and I guess you know everything.”
This is a jeer at the person who calls you stupid. No one knows everything and humans make mistakes. This gives the person a reality check and lets him/her know that they should take it easy on others.


15“Well, it takes one to know one.”
You’ve probably heard this already at some point in your life. Like attracts like, and the same type of people tend to stick together. Well, if you’re stupid, maybe that person is a stupid magnet or is the head of the stupid committee.


Other ways to respond to someone who calls you stupid

If you still don’t know what to say when someone calls you stupid, you can let your actions speak for you.
Here are 5 other ways to respond when someone calls you stupid that show you aren’t stupid, you are confident in yourself, you do not tolerate negativity, and you live an enriched life:

16Allow someone else to deal with the bully
If you are not the confrontational type, or if you know the person will not listen to reason and may try to get aggressive or physical, allow someone else to deal with him/her. In a school setting, this would be a parent or a teacher. In the workplace, this is HR or your boss.


16 female teacher helping pupil using computer

Photo by Monkey Business Images on shutterstock


Do not let yourself get consumed by negativity. Instead, do something nice for yourself, and practice ​​self care.Take yourself out on a lunch date or go shopping. You can also bury yourself in a book and continue to feed your mind while disconnecting from the fast-paced world around you.


18Smile, then walk away
Have you ever heard of the phrase, “kill them with kindness?” That’s how you must deal with situations sometimes. Allow yourself to remain calm and refrain from reacting negatively. Give the person a smile to show that your spirit has not been dampened, and go about your day without returning negative energy their way.


18 protrait woman walking happy brown bag

Photo by Rido on shutterstock


19Give the person space
If you believe the person is only saying these things out of anger and might regret what is said in the future, give him/her space. Try to end the conversation on a peaceful note so that it does not go further than it needs to, or to the point of no return. You can always make up in the future once the person is ready to apologize and if you are willing to accept.


20Block the person
If he/she calls you stupid over the phone or through text, block him/her. Do not allow yourself to be disrespected and do not dwell in that situation. Remove that person from your life so that you won’t have to deal with those things again.


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Photo by Herrndorff image on shutterstock



We know it’s hard to figure out what to say when someone calls you stupid, so we’ve provided you with everything you need to know before you respond and what you should think about when choosing a response.
Hopefully the situation is resolved in the best possible manner; and remember, you’re not stupid, no matter how many degrees a person may have or what fancy position he/she may hold. At the end of the day, we are all human beings who put our pants on one leg at a time.