7 Ways to Fire Back When Someone Is Single-Shaming You
Many women who have advanced achievements in their workplace find themselves single. They tend to blame themselves for not finding their “other half” and let shame overwhelm them. They are used to hearing questions about why they are still single and why they are being selfish and not settling down. Ignoring these questions would be amazing, but it would also be better to fire back and let people know that they can’t tell you what to do.
Bright Side wants to give you a few pointers on how to talk back to someone who is clearly intending to shame you about your single status.
1. Divert the question to show how great your career is going.
If a family member is pressuring you about your dating status, you don’t need to get defensive. Stay on the positive side of things and simply change the topic to something that makes you very happy at the moment. Your job might be going great and your circle of friends might be fulfilling. So, talk about those things that give you joy and avoid answering the negative comments with even more negativity.
2. Describe your way of thinking, but don’t defend your choices.
Making excuses about your choices might mean that, deep down, you are not as happy as you say you are. But, sometimes people who single shame you, fill you with insecurities and push you to take a defensive stand. Instead of doing that, you can keep your calm and explain your point of view. Now, you don’t need to explain your choices in detail to anyone, but just give them a summary of your beliefs.
Jennifer Aniston has said in the past that, “We are complete with or without a mate, with or without a child. We don’t need to be married or mothers to be complete. We get to determine our own ‘happily ever after’ for ourselves. Let’s make that decision for ourselves and for the young women in this world who look to us as examples.”
3. Ask them straight out if they are jealous.
There is a misconception that only single people can be jealous of happily united couples. However, not all couples are happy in their union and they could be jealous of your single status. So, maybe they are putting some effort into making you feel bad out of pure envy for the things that you can enjoy while you’re single. If you suspect something like this, you can simply put them on the spot by being straightforward about their jealousy.
4. You can ask them an awkward question.
This might not be the best thing to do, since you are doing to someone exactly what they are doing to you, but it would be amazing for them to see how inappropriate, intrusive questions make you feel. So, if you are aware of their not-so-awesome relationship or if they have a past divorce, you can ask them why they are still married or what happened with their previous relationship. Maybe you can ask if they are afraid of being alone and that’s why they stick to a very questionable partner.
5. Just be sarcastic and crack a joke.
Instead of losing your cool and being mean, you can give a sarcastic answer that will probably catch a shamer unprepared. All they wanted to do is put you in a tough spot, but you found a great way to clap back. You can tell them how you just don’t have enough money for a wedding or how you are so fabulous that no one can match that fabulosity. Don’t be afraid to be snarky with someone who is too nosey and clearly has bad intentions.
For example, Halle Berry hasn’t shied away from expressing her true feelings about being single. “A man for me is the cherry on the pie. But I’m the pie and my pie is good all by itself. Even if I don’t have a cherry.”
6. Say that a partner won’t make your life any more worthy.
If your life isn’t happy and fulfilled while you’re on your own, don’t expect a marriage to bring that. People should be full beings and not halves who are looking to fill in the gaps. If you realize that, then you can explain it to someone who single shames you. It doesn’t mean that you don’t want a partner if the right person arrives, but you don’t expect them to give your life meaning.
7. Explain how your previous relationship hurt you and how you need to focus on your mental health.
People who single shame you aren’t exactly mindful of your mental and emotional health. They might not know how your previous relationship harmed you and left you with scars you need to heal. You have no responsibility to explain what happened and how it hurt you, but you can simply say that you need to focus on yourself. Many people don’t feel comfortable talking about mental health and they will probably drop the subject once you make this reference.
Selena Gomez knows the struggle and as she’s said, “I had low self-esteem, and that’s something I work on continuously. But I feel so empowered because I’ve gained so much knowledge about what was going on mentally. My highs were really high, and my lows would take me out for weeks at a time. I’ve been single for over 2 years now and I’m OK with that.”
Have you ever experienced single-shaming and, if so, how did you react? Did you become defensive or did you just ignore the comments?
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