An Easy Technique for Responding to Offensive Comments


When someone says something racist, sexist, or otherwise offensive to us, we tend to freeze. I call these “Oh no you didn’t!” moments.

We freeze in these moments because we’re uncomfortable—we don’t know how to respond because we’re too busy being stunned. It’s not until later at home or at our desks that we craft the perfect response. You know exactly what you should have said, but the moment feels like it has passed.

While these moments are unfortunately all too common for some of us, there are things we can do to prepare for these moments in advance. That way, we’ll know exactly what to say when an offensive comment hits, and we won’t walk away regretting our response.

I use a technique called scripting to prepare for such moments. When we script, we write down and memorize the language and phrases we want to have ready when someone stuns us with an “Oh no you didn’t!” comment. While it may sound out there, this technique is based on how our brains work and is actually highly effective.

Watch this week’s video to learn how scripting can prepare you for “Oh No You Didn’t” moments, and how I’ve effectively used this technique when experiencing bias.