The #1 rule in dealing with people being assholes, being arrogant, or making fun of you when it comes to surface level interaction:
Find humor in it. Humor provides a level of detachment, of separation and enjoyment. When someone’s fucking with you, if you are taking it seriously, you’ve already lost. The more seriously you take it and the more worked up you get, the more they relish in having control over you. The more worked up they get and the more funny you find it, the more in control of the situation it puts you. The key is to shift the power dynamic. Find genuine humor in it.
People can tell when something has pierced your emotional defenses and is pissing you off. Being angry is vulnerable- it means something got to you. People will pounce on it. I’m not saying never get angry or never take certain situations seriously; if there is actual conflict that needs your engagement, by all means, take it seriously, get angry, and at that point if people give you shit for getting worked up it won’t matter because the situation matters enough to you that you don’t care if you get made fun of. Cultivate yourself so that when important conflict arises, you are not afraid to stand up and face it. But surface level interactions, like shit tests, people making passes at you, and social annoyances are not the time nor the place for that. It just displays emotional weakness.
If you get upset, make a big deal about it, and fail the shit test, people will note that you are emotionally weak. But more importantly than that, you ARE emotionally weak. With passing shit tests, the emphasis is often placed on the opinions of others and not wanting to lose face, and that is important, but more important is the state of YOUR being, and being able to deflect shit tests and not only come across like it doesn’t bother you, but for it to actually not bother you. Would you rather have people think nothing bothers you but it actually does, or have people think something got to you but it really didn’t? When you get good at passing shit tests, both externally AND internally, you can have the best of both worlds- where nothing bothers you and everyone knows it.
Externally passing shit tests is what is you can read about in the sidebar- the techniques and things to say to deflect shit tests verbally, to not show any signs of weakness or vulnerability. Agree and amplify, pressure flip, etc… my favorite low effort one is when someone tries to insult you and you can tell they’re reaching a little bit far, and so you just look at them, and let it sit in silence for a second… raise your eyebrows like you would when looking at a puppy and thinking 'awww', maybe even give them a condescending pat on the back as if to say "Nice try,” and let them stew in their own embarrassment of a backfired shit test. Point is, externally passing shit tests is what you do to show others you were not phased by it.
Internally passing shit tests is what you actually feel. If after an interaction you are thinking about what the person said and are feeling upset by it, you find yourself growing angry, you have internally failed. It means you have too much self-doubt, to the point that you are basically shit testing yourself, and subconsciously asking yourself “What if what they said is right… what if my taste in music DOES suck? What if my mom IS a whore? Maybe I AM a bitch.” The part that probably bothers you the most is not just the fact that you were shit tested, but the fact that you felt like you failed it. And that you watched yourself fail it- you saw the limits of your being in that moment and saw your insecurity and inadequacy shine forth. If you feel like this after a shit test- regardless of how well you handled yourself, regardless of whether or not the people present felt that you passed it- you failed. Because you’re thinking about it. And it’s bothering you. So what do you do?
The first step is to be honest and admit that it is bothering you. If you lie to yourself to act tough you will just feel like more of a bitch. Acknowledge that, at least in this situation, and probably in other avenues of your life, you are a bitch. Once you acknowledge this there is a sense of freedom- there is no holding onto ego, there is no “ma alpha fucks” bullshit, it’s just you being honest with yourself: you failed a shit test. It pissed you off. It’s bothering you. You are not as mentally strong as you want to be, and you want to get better, you want to be stronger, so that next time a similar situation comes up you will be able to deflect it and not give a fuck, and leave the other person looking like a bitch. But to get to where you want to go, you have to figure out where you are. Right now the bitch is you. Good. Now you are at square one.
Where do you go from here?
Realize that everything you’re feeling is just insecurity. Realize everyone has insecurity. Even Chad, at some point, has undoubtedly failed a shit test, and was ruminating it over in his mind that night getting pissed off and feeling like a bitch. Everyone feels insecurity to some extent. There is one (primary) root cause of insecurity: you do not believe you are adequate. You do not believe you are good enough, you’re not good enough to be the kind of person you want to be, and because of that you do not respect yourself.
You can cultivate a state of mind and self-image that does not care about petty things- insults people throw at you, words spoken by people who are probably more insecure than you- these things do not have to bother you. They do not have to have power over you. And this starts with having discipline, building yourself up to be someone you respect, keeping your promises to yourself, sticking to decision you’ve made- if you repeatedly tell yourself you want to start working out, start eating healthier, start doing better in college or at your job, and you never do, or maybe you’ll get on it for a week and then quit, you will not respect yourself. Respect is earned, not given, and likewise you cannot just give yourself your own respect. You have to earn your own respect. Respect is subconscious. And you earn it through maintaining your frame; through making decisions, and having the discipline to follow the fuck through on them. Don’t sit around all day talking; DO something. While someone else is busy and trying to build themselves an empire of words to live in and feel good about themselves, you can be out there DOING things- pump that fucking iron, eat those vegetables and chicken breasts, get out there and make yourself a king- ESPECIALLY when you don’t feel like it. If you only grind when you feel like grinding, that’s not discipline; that’s just you doing what you feel motivated to do in the present moment.
tl:dr By cultivating discipline and following through on the things you know you should be doing, you will earn your self-respect and you will feel confident, and when people try to put you down, you won’t give a fuck. Because you’re too busy living your life and basking in self-validation to care. Externally or verbally passing shit tests is the easy part- just know some words to say. And you should know how to verbally pass shit tests. But passing the ultimate shit test- the quiet one, the shit test that your own subconscious is doing to you, poking your frame, trying to see if you are someone who is worthy of your own respect- THAT is the ultimate shit test you should be trying to pass. And the only way to pass is to have discipline, so that when it's time to grind and do the things you know you should be doing and you hear that little devil floating next to you saying "nahh, just relax, it's too much effort" or "ah, you didn't really want it that bad anyway," you smack that bitch to the ground and you DO what you need to do.
All of that and more is within your grasp.
Now get off the internet and go work out.