This is a I-don’t-know-how-many-yet part longform examination of insults (and getting offended)…
And Part 2 – Words are nothing but a series of letters arranged in a certain order to make a certain sound that comes out of the face hole.
Imagine there’s two people…
Human Person #1 is kind, down-to-earth, self-aware, calm, considerate, compassionate and helpful.
Human Person #2 is a terrible, shitty person (ie. an absolute cunt).
Now, imagine Human Person #2 calls Human Person #1 a stupid asshole, or a dumb loser, or ugly virgin or disgusting slut or fuckhead or some other arbitrary arrangement of English alphabetical characters.
Now, what Human Person #2 is effectively saying is: ‘In my eyes, you suck. Compared to my standards of what ‘Good’ is, you suck. Based on what I know about being a good person, and all the things I’ve done, and the cunty way I usually act, you suck.’
In other words, Human Person #2 is saying: ‘I’m a cunt. The things I do are cunty. And I think doing things the cunty way is the RIGHT way. And I don’t approve of you because you do things differently to ME.’
Do the maths… if someone you don’t respect insults you, why do we respect their opinion? And secondly, if someone we don’t respect says we’re doing things wrong in their eyes (and maybe in the complete opposite way of the cunty way they do them), you must be doing something right. You must be doing Good in your life.
You can be grateful that this shitty person disapproves of you, so you may want to thank them for their positive feedback. Or, as William Irvine says in his book, The Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, the most appropriate way to respond would be to say:
“I’m relieved that you feel that way about me.”¹