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7 ways to deal with insulting comments in vitiligo

insulting comments vitiligo
Image - Shantanu Gosavi's Instagram Account

There must be very few vitiligo fighters who would be unfamiliar with an insult regarding their skin condition. Every now and then, we all have experienced an incident when someone spoke to us with disrespect. That’s not a very pleasant thing, is it? But, what do you do when some insults you and your vitiligo with a rude comment? Do you insult the person back or you break down and cry? Or, you simply leave the place and avoid further interaction?

In this blog, we are going to talk about insulting comments in vitiligo and how we can respond (not react) to them. We have got some recommendations for you to handle a situation where you feel mocked or ridiculed about your vitiligo.

1. Stay Calm

The primary reason why people make insensitive remarks about your vitiligo is that they don’t really have a proper understanding of the chronic skin disorder. But there are some people who are aware of vitiligo (in most cases your relatives or classmates), but they still can’t stop themselves from passing an insulting comment at your skin. Remember, these people are plain insecure. Since they don’t feel good themselves, they feel the need to control. They can only attempt to fulfill this need (to control) by putting other people down. They want you to get angry or break down and cry. But, you are not going to give them the satisfaction of that kind of reaction.

So, before you even respond, make sure that you take a few deep breaths and stay calm. This will enable you to be composed enough to give a very effective reply.

2. Be vocal

At times, it is important to tell the person, how you exactly feel. Even though you are to stay calm, it is your duty to make sure that the person who is mocking you knows what you are going through. For example, if you have a cousin who keeps making rude comments at your vitiliginous skin, you can simply tell him/her, that you are not very happy about what he/she is saying. Whatever he/she is saying is going to actually affect your relationship with him/her.

3. Ignore the insults completely

Ignoring an insult is sometimes the wisest thing to do. Why would you not respond to it? Well, you can simply ignore an insult because you want to make sure that the person who has insulted you should not feel that he/she has affected you in any possible way. This way, you are telling the person that “look, I’m not affected by it”.

So, how would you ignore an insult? You can do so by changing the topic and talking about something entirely unrelated or you could just walk away from the place that you are being insulted or spoken rudely at.

4. Use Humor

Humor is probably the best defense mechanism to attack an insult. When someone’s making a joke at you, you can actually direct the joke back at him/her. For example, if a stranger makes fun of your vitiligo, saying that you have forgotten dots of sunscreen on your face as it is. What you can say is that “it’s just my skin”.
Ensure that when you’re actually doing that, you are natural in tone. You don’t have to raise your voice to make sure that the person doesn’t get as offended as you’ve gotten when the remark was made at you.

5. Write a journal

Well, people are always going to put you down but it’s up to you, to bring yourself up and live happier with vitiligo. Hence, it is important that you write a journal. This way, you can actually document a list of things that you like about yourself. It could be things that relate to your strengths or things that relate to what you’ve achieved over the years. Or, it could simply be anything that tells you that you are just a very beautiful person and it’s you who dictate your life, not vitiligo.

6. Indulge in self-care

Doing good things for yourself always help you feel good in vitiligo. So, if you are being mocked or spoken rudely to (especially at work) on a continual basis, do some little good things for yourself. You can do anything that makes you feel very good from the inside. It could be a quiet walk or a nice haircut. You could even go to the spa. Indulge in self-care because not everyone will make you feel good. Sometimes, you have to do that for yourself. 

7. Report insults

If insults are filled with abuse and derogatory remarks, it is against the law. At school or at the workplace, you have anti-bullying or anti-harassment departments, which actually would listen to your plight and ensure that you don’t have to face the insults ever again.

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