How to communicate with a tactless person?

There are people who do not respect the basic rules of communication and unceremoniously invade personal boundaries. Discussing appearance, character qualities, inappropriate remarks on various occasions, and teasing will throw anyone off-balance. How to choose tactics to communicate with such people read the advice of psychologists.

What is tactlessness?

How to communicate with a tactless person

This inability to commensurate emotions, personal feelings about the person, the claims with the rules of communication. People without bad intentions may offend and hurt the feelings of others, say unpleasant things inappropriately and inappropriate. They have a sassy and boorish attitude that increases resentment. Some people behave this way intentionally, proving that they are extraordinary people, not realizing that they push people away from their environment. They have no inhibitions, no taboo topics. They are not shy:

  1. start conversations on intimate topics;

  2. impose opinions and tastes;

  3. Allow irresponsible judgments;

  4. Do not recognize the right of others to live differently and condemn them for it.

Communicating with such people is difficult. Who wants to listen to comments about an imperfect figure or appearance, answer personal questions, discuss unpleasant topics? When confronted with someone else’s misfortune, sometimes even well-meaning people manage to offend with inappropriate remarks. A divorced daughter doesn’t want to hear her mother say, “You’ll find a better husband!” instead of words of support, and a friend: “You need to lose weight.

The highest degree of tactlessness is the accusation of uncontrollable states: “Stop suffering, get a grip and stop being depressed.”. Common female questions: “When are you going to get married??”, “When you’re about to give birth?” make you feel inferior, ashamed and humiliated.

The desire to criticize anything that does not coincide with one’s personal opinion or does not fit into the picture of the world is inherent in everyone. Characters who differ in appearance always come under fire of ridicule. Those who get tattoos turn into TV people. Many become close to read the inscription on the hand, unceremoniously asking to decipher the hieroglyphs.

“Why don’t you drink?” If you’re sober, get tortured with questions about health and coding. There is no other reason for a Russian not to drink. He needs a reasoned justification for why you are changing traditions. “How is it that you don’t eat meat?? Completely? How do you get protein??”- they ask the vegetarian. “You don’t buy leather shoes or things with real fur?”. If a child is interested in learning about the world, there is no irritation. Adults want unculturally advised to google questions and find answers on their own.

Why people behave this way?

They did not bother to learn the rules of conduct, which says that you should not pry into someone else’s life. It’s written in them that you can’t criticize:

  1. For appearance;

  2. mental capacity;

  3. physical disabilities;

  4. Unfortunate decisions and failures.

They were not explained that it is forbidden to compare, to emphasize character flaws, to discuss ex-husbands and wives, sexual partners. It is not customary to talk about income, age, personal life, until the interlocutor first starts talking about one of the topics.

Passive aggressiveness

This is a reason to be displeased with everything, to spoil people’s moods. Triggers are trivial jealousy or an underlying conflict. The injured person is always looking for an excuse to hurt, publicly humiliate or psychologically suppress. They have the courage to cover up their impudence with an imaginary care: “I’m worried about you, aren’t I?. You know there’s no family without children. “Think about it, or your husband will get off on a spree.”. This kind of concern is an invasion of personal space, typical of people with blurred psychological boundaries. They don’t understand where they end up and brazenly invade someone else’s territory. Many do so deliberately out of curiosity.



Surprisingly, people who have had similar experiences behave unceremoniously. It seemed that after experiencing the same emotions it was necessary to empathize. But many people after traumatic situations are much harsher on their unhappy friends, which is typical of egoists. Many people behave impudently and rudely because of internal problems, hiding behind caustic phrases:

  1. Deep dissatisfaction with life;

  2. psychological complexes;

  3. Childish resentments and fears.

An intuitive understanding of the nature of such behavior elicits only a skeptical smile.


Some people do not want to show vulnerability. Trouble or trouble of a loved one is shocking, but they don’t want to get stuck in the negativity and soothe as best they can, without thinking about the meaning of what was said. Some people forbid themselves to empathize, to delve into problems, and make do with annoying verbal cliches. Trite phrases like “Never mind” or “Spit it out, it’ll all work out” have become commonplace.


Often a person will deliberately ask an uncomfortable question, knowing that it will cause embarrassment or aggression. Any destructive feeling is enjoyable, and he gets a dose of energy. This is the way tyrants lead, trying to bring to tears, scandalizers, provoking any emotions.

How to deal with insolent people?

If a colleague and a loved one allow themselves such attacks, learn to defend themselves verbally, to deprive the insolent of the opportunity to put pressure on the sore spots, to assert themselves at your expense. NLP techniques and more can help. Deliberate provocations and non-standard phrases successfully put boorish people in their place. Before you need to adequately assess the potential of such interlocutors, overcome the fear of an awkward situation, and not be afraid to confront. The proposed strategies will help “to shut up” the opponent and discourage curiosity.

Do not respond to provocation

In dealing with the boor, do not show real emotion. Answer dryly and specifically, or refuse to engage in dialogue. The easiest way to put the other person in their place is to honestly say, “I’m not discussing this topic with you,” without further justification. By refusing, you put him at a disadvantage, making it clear that continuing the conversation is impossible. Suggest a correct rephrasing of the question or say that inadequate criticism and boorishness make your ears prick up. Ask: “If you were in my shoes, would you respond, be offended, or send?”

Break the pattern

In a conversation, each participant plays a role: accuser, leader, advocate. The other has to accept the game and adjust to the position of the first.E. writes about this in detail. Berne“The games people play. The dialogue goes on the rut, where the “responder” mirrors the expected reactions. Try to switch roles.

Use speech manipulation to confuse. When asked an uncomfortable question, answer with the first phrase that comes to mind: “By the way, where is the remote control from the air conditioner??”. The unsophisticated person will know that there will be no contact. Answer a question with a question. “May I know what is causing the interest?” or “If I say something, it will make a difference in your life?”

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Exclude from the conversation

If the topic is common, you don’t have to engage in a discussion with one opponent. Decisively cut off the dialogue: “I’ll discuss it with the person concerned.”. If you don’t want to offend your loved one, make your offers more delicately. To the eternal question about having a baby, respond briefly that you will discuss the topic with your husband. The problem is that curiosity never ends. Give birth to the first, they’ll ask about the second, then, “Have you thought about the third?”. Unpleasant when questions come from women with innate sensitivity. If they are constantly asked by parents, find out the reasons for such interest. Make it clear that you make your own decisions and ask not to be bored.


The technique is equally effective for blackmailers and insolent. You have to face inadequate bosses at work. The essence is not to criticize the words, but the merits of the person. The dialogue goes something like this: “Our department needs increased financing. – “Only a fool like you would suggest nonsense.”.

You are first insulted, then conveyed to the team that the idea is bad. If you answer the first part of the remark, the conversation will turn into a skirmish, and the issue will not be resolved. Answer simply, “I’m not stupid, and the department needs a budget.”. Whenever you agree with what you hear, but stubbornly repeat the request. At the end of the conversation say that your mental capacity is better than some. Let him guess who he was talking about. Another example:

– You have no talent, and your detectives are read by idiots!

– I’ll think about it when I get my fee.

Requests for compliments

Learn how to refuse a boorish person nicely. “I can see you’re busy, but I need to come up with a headline right away. You’re good at it, and you’re fast at it.”. If you say “no,” you question your creativity. Answer briefly and clearly: “Thank you for the high praise, but I do not have time”. If a coworker unceremoniously throws a pile of documents on the table without consent and asks for copies, say no: “On what grounds are you giving me papers without asking for consent??”

Decrease in importance

This technique is used by smart people to publicly humiliate or lose their temper. Phrase: “You look so good today, or did I lose my eyesight overnight?” will piss anyone off. A sense of humor is the salvation from tactlessness. Even hurtful phrases lose their poignancy in a humorous response. Build a response from the insulting phrase in reverse order: “Looks like you’re really losing your sight – I always look gorgeous.”. If the fact is obvious, it’s unlikely that a sassy person will start proving otherwise.


Often meaningful pauses are more effective than reasoned arguments. If you don’t give out a reaction, the adversary doesn’t know whether or not you agree with the opinion, or formulate piquant phrases, and waits for a catch. Many people can’t stand long pauses, and try to fill them with nervous chatter, watching you. The tactic is especially effective for shy people in the absence of counterarguments. If the person is persistent and asks back, a pause will give you an opportunity to come up with a decent answer.

Destructive phrases

Your arsenal must include embarrassing, disconcerting, silencing phrases. Make your own list by analogy:

  1. That’s the dumbest question I’ve asked today.

  2. You are not ashamed to ask?

  3. You realize you’re talking? I, for one, don’t understand your wording.

  4. You’re not good at this, but you probably know how to idly drive billiard balls.

Learn to respond ironically:

– Would you go on a diet?.

– Can’t, I need lots of room to kiss.


– Idiot!

– Don’t be so critical of yourself. Don’t forget about personal evolution.

“Black rhetoric.”

Carsten Bredemeyer, a well-known communication coach in German-speaking Europe, has created a system for effective manipulation. It is based on techniques for redirecting conversation and the ability to argue. Include techniques:

  1. dialectical;

  2. eristic;

  3. Rabulistic.

They confuse opponents, break stereotypes, and help make a logical picture out of absurd facts. One way that works is to ask leading-away questions. The technique is effective when communicating with loved ones. If you don’t want to be subjected to parental “interrogation with bias,” get stuck on the little things and try to find the truth. As a result, the ultimate goal will be forgotten.

For the annoying colleague save the phrase: “I’ll answer an off-topic question as soon as I find the time. Or, “You asked to change the subject, but I see no point in answering. Tips for last: do not take silly things personally, answer the boor, do not be shy in wording.

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