What is the best way to make comebacks for rude people who ask you an offensive question or make an inflammatory statement? 

[Learn: Communicate with Confidence]

That is what several of my pals inquired after I presented my suggestions on Getting Unstuck from Sticky Situations. The questions people asked were things like, “Have you lost weight?” “How much money do you make?” “Is that your real nose?” “When are you going to have children?”, and most importantly, “Did you mean to wear that today?”

Choosing the perfect retort can be a tricky thing. If you can’t seem to walk away or ignore the person, how to make snappy comebacks to rude people to their inappropriate comments speaks volumes about your own morals. If you’re working for an insulting individual, you might only have a few options.

If you don’t want to handle rudeness with more rudeness, that means passing on the expletive that’s top of mind when coming across someone who is rude and offensive. It also means avoiding lines that are overly snide, such as “Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?” or “I’ll try being nicer if you’ll try being smarter”, or “I don’t know what your problem is, but I’m sure it’s difficult to pronounce”, or “I will always treasure the first misconceptions I had about you.” The line that a wisecracking Ginger Rogers offered up in the 1937 film Stage Door is unfortunately not an option: “It must have been hard on your mother, not having any children.”

Hopefully, these responses will come in handy the next time you have to deal with an infuriatingly obtuse individual. Whatever your situation, try to find funny comebacks to say, sassy rude comebacks, or a response that works. It may not be as gratifying as an expletive or snarky retort, but hopefully it will get the job done.

1. So, let me get this straight: You actually said… (repeat their words back to them, making sure to sound as incredulous as possible so they’ll know just how offensive their remarks were).

2. I’m sorry, but I wasn’t paying attention. Could you please repeat yourself?

3. Yeah…

4. I believe we have come to the end of this discussion.

5. I don’t really care what you have to say.

6. Are you expecting me to answer that? (And if they say “Yes, I do expect an answer,” I refer you to a line from The Princess Bride: “Get used to disappointment.”)

7. That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. (Laugh.)

8. Are you joking? Wait. You must be kidding, right?

9. Ouch. Are you trying to be rude?

10. Can you explain to me why you said that, and why you think I should respond?

11. Thank you. Your unique perspective has reinvigorated and challenged us all.

12. Excuse me. My English is not good.

For the record, I loathed being asked, “When are you going to have children?” after getting married. While “It’s none of your business,” in my opinion, is a perfectly acceptable response, I generally opted for, “By when do you need to know?” Ginger Roger’s remark was quite appealing.

Editor’s note: Originally, this article was published on One Thing New. We’ll admit it, some of the responses in the article could be seen as blunt. For that reason, we wanted to include a few of our favorite responses from the Levo-approved community.

13. Isn’t it about time we got down to business? I am so pleased you stopped by! What have you been up to lately? If they continue, a little “I’d rather not say” should be enough. Of course, with a big grin on your face!

14. I think that was a bit rude of you or I’m sorry, but I took offense to what you just said.

15. I understand that you may not have meant your question to come across as rude/intrusive/inappropriate, however, that is how it sounded. A less confrontational approach would be to blink and politely say (with a bland expression), “excuse me?” Then wait for a response. They usually recognize their mistake, apologize, or try to rush by their mortifying scenario.

16. That’s a tough one. I’m not sure how to respond. It’s simple and straightforward.

What do you think? Leave a comment below with your comeback.

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