How To Deal With Insensitive People

Insensitive People

Insensitive people are all around us in the form of friends, family members, bosses and masked well-wishers. They spread their negative energy around us with their desires, diktats and decrees.

I have already written why people are insensitive, which is easier to understand than dealing with their behavior.

Often we get weary of the environment such people create and try to shun them yet we have to face them if they happen to be around us in the form of our family members. If they can’t be avoided then we must figure out the ways to deal with them.

My immediate boss was quite insensitive and judgmental. Most of my colleagues would try to please her by nodding their heads to whatever she said or expected. I could never be herded like cattle and so was always the target of her wrath.

I have had an early introduction to insensitivity, which endowed me with some capability to face such people.

Here are some ways to deal with them…

Understand them:

It is very easy to condemn others and arrive at our own conclusions about the way people behave. We never give a thought to why they do so. We feel it is not our problem!

How people treat you is all about them…and their personality, which reveals their real self in a subtle manner. You have to be intuitive enough to pick up those vibrations.

People react to your personality, potential and work according to their own perception, capability and emotional intelligence.

When people are rude, negative emotions dominate their behavior.

  • They could be anguished by their own frustrations
  • They could be struggling with their own problems
  • Somebody could have instigated them

When they are disrespectful

  • They could be biased
  • They could have been raised like that
  • They consider themselves self-righteous
  • They could be doing it out of spite

When they are indifferent

  • They can’t think beyond their own selves
  • They consider emotions to be pointless
  • They could be weak-minded

When they are disloyal

  • They are guided by their own insecurities
  • They could be self-centered
  • Financial instability cripples their thoughts

If we try to understand their circumstances, we may develop empathy for such people.

Easier said than done? I agree! But if your spouse happens to be insensitive to your love and concern, if he/she doesn’t acknowledge what all you do to make the home a happy place, how much effort goes in bearing insensitivity, you can’t just walk out of his/her life.

You have to devise ways to deal with insensitivity.

Convey your hurts, talk to them:

I would not like to say that it is easy. Only a patient and understanding person can do so as a lot of energy and emotions are involved in talking to such a person who can’t see logic. Each time you try to explain your view, they tune off as they live in their own world.

They have never been taught to respect the opinion of others. They fail to see beyond their own hurts, which appear to be mammoth. It can be emotionally draining but if you want to keep them in your lives, keep the channel of communication open.Talking helps

They would try to duck your questions.

They would prefer to remain silent.

They could even lie to avoid any discussion.

Why? Because they don’t want to expose their weaknesses. Actually such people are very weak at heart. Kindness doesn’t reach them…probably they have never seen it and feel confused.

I wouldn’t say you should give up your own kindness. This is a testing time but how far can you push your limits and let the other person cross your boundaries is what matters.

A reminder – Never accept emotional abuse. Self-love and self-esteem should never be trespassed while dealing with such persons.

Love and kindness doesn’t flow naturally, it has to be nurtured. If the other person doesn’t respond well, if strife is all that is around you, keep your thoughts positive. Positivity can be miraculous but you are the best judge to decide whether it is the time to step away.

Learn to take your own decisions. Too much dependence and too much goodness can be frustrating. Learn to strike a balance between love and servitude.

Sometimes give them back:

Use strong words to convey what you have been saying softly. Remind them how much you have done to boost their respect. Sometimes they understand the language of reprimand better than modesty.

If they withdraw into their shell, challenge them out. Tell them to convey their grievances openly. This step may reveal the reasons of their insensitivity.

I am sure you would emerge emotionally stronger, resilient and wise. The best lessons are learnt in the furnace of living through challenging situations.

Do you know any such person who is insensitive? Have you ever experienced the stress of dealing with such people? I would love to hear your views.

Thank you for reading this. Please share your valuable reflections.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Balroop Singh.




44 thoughts on “How To Deal With Insensitive People

  1. Hi Balroop,

    Happy Monday 🙂

    Yes indeed, we come across all kinds of people in this world, and many of them are insensitive. I think most of them don’t know they are insensitive, and often think they are just the way they are, till they are made to realize about their insensitivity, which again, they may take or not take in their stride.

    You are right about all that you mentioned – especially understanding such people and the reason they are insensitive. Talking does help, and more so, when you are hurt because of their actions, though the other person needs to be receptive too, isn’t it?

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      You are right, other person too has to be receptive and if she/he refuses to see reason, reacts angrily, that doesn’t mean we should give up!
      Communicating with such people may be a a pain but it has its own rewards, which could be slow…all depends on how much you have to interact with them on daily basis.

      Thanks for sharing your thought. You too have a wonderful weekend. 🙂

    1. Thanks for standing by to share your view Indra, much appreciated. I too thought it is better to ignore them till I got stuck with an insensitive boss who could change her colors everyday! 🙂

      Believe me, I have ignored many insensitive people and learnt many lessons!

  2. Going through life’s seething cauldrons of anger, frustration and discontent that rest on an underlying current of conflicting interests, greed and hatred, exploding without warnings at most times, we all have to, as you clearly explain, elbow our ways through all types and manner of sensitivities and lack of it that constitute the world. Like you, I too have had my share of dealing with insensitive and rude characters. I used to feel hurt initially but in due course learnt that having to deal with such elements straightens the kinks in your armour, strengthening you in the process and making you sharper for the greater challenges ahead. Thanks Balroop, your thoughts on the subject enable a recall of experiences with insensitive people and illustrate the validity of your prescriptions.

    1. Hi Raj,

      Thank you for your power-packed endorsement of dealing with people who have conflicting interests and many times they are insensitive out of jealousy and greed. Your perspective is always enlightening and many thanks for sharing it here.

      Yes, dear friend we have to learn to live with lack of sensitivity and keep our hurts buried in order to develop an attitude of positivity…slowly we find a way out to interact without any emotions. 🙂 Have a wonderful week.

  3. This is a great write up that everyone will benefit. we all come across such people. th anks for posting it here. 🙂

  4. This is such a level-headed post about insensitive people, Balroop. A great middle-ground approach. Agree that a person might act a certain way because of their environment and what they have always known. I agree that it’s important to keep communication going between your loved ones if you feel they are being insensitive to you. We are all human and at times can get caught up in what we do – but the more we try to talk to the other person, the more we try to understand and find common ground. Have a good week, my friend 🙂

    1. Hi Mabel,

      We all seem to know that communication and understanding is the key to good relationships yet they keep falling apart…paradoxes we come across so often! Negative emotions overrule mankind…they try to dilute our positivity if we don’t pay attention.

      Thank you for trying to understand people so well as such a young age…you are blessed 🙂 Have a nice week.

  5. It all demands a response according to the situation, most of the times it is very difficult as people are very harsh these days.
    But then it also depends on how much important the relationship is and how long can you go with the negativity!

  6. Well done, Balroop, for you have presented this complex and challenging issue with clarity whilst offering practical advice for those that are faced with such challenging others in their lives. As you say, some of these remedies are easier said than done; yet in my experience, then rising to the challenge of doing so is always worth the effort, and ultimately is appreciated and respected by the parties concerned. Quite often this takes time, and one must be fully prepared to sit with the awkward period of incubation until the birth of a new self-understanding arises in the other. Of course, we should also remain at all times open to the very real possibility that we have our own blind spots, our own apparent insensitivities, as none of us possesses a total capacity for empathic understanding, much as we may consider ourselves to. Many thanks, dear friend. Hariod ❤

    1. Hi Hariod,

      Thank you SO much for your interest in this topic and sharing your valued perspective, which is always appreciated.
      I have always risen to challenging situations with a positive mind and the results have been quite satisfying. I have also absorbed the lessons to ensure that nobody gets an opportunity to hurt me twice. 🙂

      I like the expression “sitting with the incubation period”…as we don’t have a choice if we want to keep the relationship alive albeit self-understanding comes at will, only if we are willing to accept our imperfections.

      I absolutely agree with you dear friend…our own insensitivities remain dormant till we come across a person with the same kind of behavior as our own and then awakening hits us!
      With regards, Balroop.

  7. Very true Balroop. It takes a lot of energy to deal with insensitive people as they are least inclined to understand your point of view, Even if they appear to it doesnlt take much time for them to revert to their usual behavior. Nonetheless, as you have said, communication channels have to be kept open.

  8. I like how you explained there may be reasons why the thoughtless behavior is going on, Balroop. Trying to understand may help the situation. Your saying to speak up and talk back to those who are being uncaring and unsympathetic, is so true. Byhumanizing the situation, explaining how they hurt you, it may deflect some of the pain, also. I have spoken out towards “,mean people” and it usually takes them “a back.”

    1. Hi Robin,

      Thanks for liking the explanations…it is through analysis that we learn to cope with certain situations and relationships. Talking does help but the other person too should have the inclination to take the conversation forward. If we go round and round in circles, it may not help.

      Some hurts are never understood by others if they lack a discerning eye or they could be doing so deliberately! I appreciate your standing by to share your thoughts dear friend. Stay blessed and have a wonderful week. 🙂

      1. It is always a great visit because you help me to stretch my mind and also expand my understanding of people and their behaviors. Thank you, Balroop. ❤

  9. Balroop, these are sensitive yet practical thoughts on dealing with a sensitive topic about how to deal with insensitive people. What to say and how to say it to someone who is not ready to listen, and where to draw the line.

    Plenty of insensitive people around, rather lately I have dealt with them a lot but nowadays I happen to shut people off rather than try to get an apology or something. As you mentioned, sometimes the message has to be conveyed sternly. It’s difficult either way. But then, as Harleena said “most of them don’t know they are insensitive”

    In fact, a few days ago I wrote a poem “When somebody hurts you” I haven’t posted it yet. My blog carries my own name so I feel a need to be cautious with my words. We impulsive bloggers express anything and forget, but God knows how many discreet readers exist who derive their own meaning even though we often mean nothing 🙂

    1. Hi Alka,

      Your response is so thought-provoking…we can shut some of them off but there are many who remain insensitive despite being loved and cared for probably they don’t realise that their behavior is hurting or they are unable to change themselves.

      You must share that poem Alka. I have always been guided by the dictum ‘wear your emotions on your sleeve’…I have been wearing them loud and clear and people around me know that, some hate me for that and some love! I am okay with both. This world is made up of all kinds of emotions, it depends on us which we choose.

      When people don’t listen, it is their own loss!! Stay positive and smile at them. May God bless them 🙂 Have a nice week.

  10. Understanding and emphaty are fundamental points… and yet, as you have well highlighted … we should never accept emotional abuse. Also talking to them is important as silent usually shows consent…
    Sending love, dear Balroop. ❤ Thanks for the deep insights here. Aquileana 😀

  11. Nice points, Balroop. All. At almost 63, I still deal with insensitivities from others occasionally, but I think what’s changed is my understanding of the roots of their disregard for another’s humanity. I know now to my bones that it’s their stuff, their issues, their insecurities, etc. Perhaps even their own sensitivities that have been subverted. In any case, it still affects me, I can’t say it doesn’t. Whether aimed at others or at me. Easier sometimes when it’s me. Aloha, dear one.

    1. Hi Bela,

      I like when you are candid enough to say that it still affects you…indeed it does unless we shove those hurts into the darkest crevices and try to forget them, they keep gnawing at us if they come from our dear ones yet we have to devise ways to deal with them.
      I have forgiven all those who were not closely related to me…people at work with whom we have to deal with on everyday basis are insensitive and mean probably out of jealousy but they don’t occupy any special place in our hearts.
      Thank you for the kind words dear friend. Have a nice week. 🙂

  12. An insightful post, Balroop, with some effective approaches. You are right that trying to understand why people might be insensitive and building empathy may be an opening to a more healthy relationship. The reasons someone behaves insensitively may vary, but it’s ultimately their responsibility to change if they want better relationships. We can each only be responsible for our own choices. 🙂

    1. Hi Diana,

      Thank you for endorsing the approach albeit it takes a lot of time to build empathy for such people. Insensitive people don’t take responsibility for their behavior, they always throw it back at you…that’s why it is so hard to make them see the truth. Their own choices are very clear – self-love and self-righteousness! They want all the attention and don’t even acknowledge it!

  13. Another interesting subject you are talking about Balroop. I think we all encounter such people in our life. We can deal with them, or we must leave them.
    I now know what I accept and what I don’t. I agree that people are acting this way in order not to show or deal with their own weaknesses.
    Talking is key. But the other one has to be open to it too.
    We are learning a lot through such relationships.
    Thank you for your precious advices. Stay well always.

    1. Thank you Marie, for sharing your thoughts…it is good to have clarity in our mind about such people or they can keep hurting! Each relationship is a learning experience…’only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches’…so true for insensitive people too! Sending you love, dear friend.

  14. Occasionally, we may meet someone who is insensitive, but whose other qualities tend to offset their insensitivity. Artistic people often fall into this category, which I believe is a kind of learned behavior. Perhaps they were told as children that they were special (which they well may have been). After a while, that belief becomes part of their conscious personality, and as others accept their insensitive behavior it only serves to reinforce it. I believe that most insensitive people are actually deeply insecure. They are so afraid of rejection that they do the rejecting first, in order to be spared the pain. The best way to deal with these types of people is to treat them like children, accepting and rejoicing in their talent, while rejecting their insensitivity. Humor can be a powerful way to address insensitivity. Sarcasm (good natured, of course) can be an effective tool for defending oneself against insensitivity.
    However, spending too much time around insensitive people can be destructive to one’s own psyche, and it’s important to keep a balance by also surrounding oneself with sensitive people as well.

    1. Hi Joe,

      You seem to be very lucky to have met just a few of insensitive persons…I have learnt some profound lessons of life in their company. I like all those suggestions…sarcasm being the best if it is used judiciously and cautiously.

      Thank you for sharing a balanced perspective dear friend. I appreciate your pragmatic approach. 🙂

  15. The damage of such people is just as you say, they spread their negative energy to others and it really is a defeating feeling for all. In most cases, I believe such people understand when they have crossed the line, but often can not help themselves (their insensitivity coming from other insecurities). So many good people I know can also be so insensitive and it makes it difficult to be around them much (even though they also have great traits), and when I point out their insensitivity at times ~ as you say ~ it is helpful for both sides. Great post 🙂

    1. It requires a lot of courage to point out their insensitivity as it is often received with a lot of scorn. Insensitive people consider themselves to be above all imperfections and therefore are hard to convince. Showing them the mirror can often backfire!

      Thank you Randall for standing by to share your view, much appreciated. Stay blessed.

  16. This is very well written and provides sensible and compassionate advice on dealing with troublesome individuals. Thank you for expressing your thoughts and providing these recommendations – if everyone could see each other from another’s perspective, there would be far less conflict in the world. Thank you for sharing your compassion and light!

    1. Hi mj,

      Thanks for your kind words, I am glad you liked my thoughts. Welcome to Emotional Shadows, you would find many more such reflections about people here. Happy reading!
      You are absolutely right…only if we are understanding and compassionate, conflicts can be mitigated. Many thanks for taking the initiative to visit just as you start your journey into blogosphere, you would find it the most friendly platform to share your thoughts. 🙂

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