Returning an insult is like taking a baseball bat to your face when a bee is stinging you.

Returning an Insult
Returning an insult is like taking a baseball bat to your face when a bee is stinging you.
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Sure, you might kill the bee. But you’ll also break your nose and get a black eye.

And you might miss the bee anyway. Now you have an angry bee looking to sting you again.

Something to think about the next time someone insults or offends you. Don’t take a baseball bat to your face.

You know the proper reaction. I don’t need to tell you. My hope is that this mental picture helps you realize the severe damage (often permanent) that can result from returning an insult.

If your default reaction to being insulted or criticized is to immediately fire back, here is my one tip for you:


Practice reacting properly to insults.

Learning to react properly to an insult is no different than learning any new skill or breaking any bad habit. It takes practice and visualization.

Imagine that you found out your best friend was throwing a surprise party for you and you want to act surprised. What do you do? You spend at least a minute either practicing your fake surprise or visualizing it, don’t you? This works the same way.

Practice and visualize being insulted and then reacting in a way that would make you proud. Give it time and soon you will have a new default reaction.

Question: Do mental pictures like this help you to change your behavior?


Matt helps online business owners and brands, small and large leverage the power of partners to grow their businesses. He teaches you how to make money as an affiliate and how to work better with affiliates. Entrepreneurs and companies such as Shark Tank's Kevin Harrington, Zig Ziglar, Ray Edwards, Brian Tracy, Lewis Howes, Shutterfly, Jeff Goins, and Michael Hyatt have trusted Matt to run their affiliate launches.

25 thoughts on “Like a Baseball Bat to Your Face

  1. Dan Erickson says:

    This is what I love about your blog, Matt. These crazy, but catchy headlines. I do use visual ideas. Speaking of baseball bats, yesterday I did a photo shoot. I live across from a park/baseball field and I had this idea: I used a 3/4-size banjo, (my weapon of choice) as a bat. The image will hopefully be a header on my blog in the future. That visual will communicate that we can succeed using our creativity.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Thanks Dan!

      I look forward to the picture…sounds kind of crazy.

  2. Todd Liles says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t turn this into a fun game! Like “Send me your best insults.” I mean rally Matt, you are usually so much more creative than this.

    Just kidding – Yes, visualizing the situation does help. Comedians do this before they take the stage. Thinking through the before hand possibility helps them avoid rude audience members.

    1. Matt McWilliams says:


      Hey you can do whatever you wish in the comments…just keep it clean 🙂

      1. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        Did Matt REALLY just say we could do whatever we wish in the comments??? Self-promo here I come!!! I’m changing my name to “Elegant Resumes” and spamming your blog from now until the end of the world!!!

      2. Lily Kreitinger says:

        The end of the world was scheduled for this morning. You missed it.

      3. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        DANG IT!! I always get left!!

      4. Matt McWilliams says:

        Not “we” as in including you. @ToddLiles:disqus can though.

      5. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        ohhh, good one matt! #win

  3. Kent Julian says:

    I think your title is even better than the picture. The title makes me visualize the danger much more vividly!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      Definitely! But I couldn’t find a baseball bat to the face on shutterstock or creative commons 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by Kent!

      1. Kent Julian says:

        Could have taken a real picture. Just saying…

      2. Matt McWilliams says:

        You win.

  4. Mark Sieverkropp says:

    Ok…practice reacting to insults…hmmmm…Matt makes some snarky comment about me breaking his blog…my response: “Your mom!” wait no, thats not right. Ok, one more time, Matt makes a short joke about me…my response: “I hope you hit your head on a door!!” Dang!! this is hard. ok, Matt insults my pet rock…my response: “I’m rubber, your glue, what you say bounces off me and sticks to you!!”
    How am I doing???

      1. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        HA! I’ll take it!

  5. Mark Sieverkropp says:

    But in reality, yes, it does take practice! Our natural response is very rarely the correct one (at least mine never is). Mental pictures like this really do help get the point across. Thanks for sharing my friend!

    1. Matt McWilliams says:

      And boy did I need it this morning!

      1. Lily Kreitinger says:

        Who insulted you? Should we go punch him?

      2. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        yup THATS the response he was talking about! Dont hit yourself with the bat! Hit the person that insulted you!!

      3. Matt McWilliams says:

        Ya’ll crack me up.

        Long story. But, as usual, I will probably end up sharing it.

        I can’t say I didn’t return the insult, but it was more like doing so with a flyswatter than a bat thankfully. I was about say something worse, but caught myself…”Oh my gosh, I just wrote about this.”

        I hate taking my own advice sometimes. No one said this was easy!

      4. Mark Sieverkropp says:

        you should get like a free pass…like in monopoly…that you can use sometimes so you dont have to take your own advice!! I’m just sayin…

  6. Tom Dixon says:

    Your headline really sums it up – we only hurt ourselves (our witness, our reputation, our credibility) when we insult others. Love it!

  7. Jon Stolpe says:

    I don’t know if it’s visualization or learning from the past, but I have come to believe in the words of James…”Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.” In other words, I don’t like the taste of my own dirty shoe leather.

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