• Yehudit Zicklin-Sidikman

1. Snarky, Disrespectful Tone of Voice

Updated: Oct 8



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Six Inappropriate Behaviors Recently Seen on TV and Tips for Handling


Behavior 2: Snarky, Disrespectful Tone of Voice


The goal of this behavior is to convince you that you do not deserve to be treated respectfully. It is saying words that, without the snarky tone, would be considered reasonable.


Test that out for a second.


Say, with a perfectly reasonable tone of voice, “I know you put the peanut butter away. Thank you.”


Now say the same thing again but with a snarky mean tone of voice. Same words, totally different meaning.


One of the skills we teach in ESD is how to build defensive walls between you and the offender.

One of the skills we teach in ESD is how to build defensive walls between you and the offender.


A verbal wall in this case can simply be, “I am not ok with your tone of voice. Clearly, there is something going on that you feel needs to be expressed. Either express that, outside of the peanut butter conversation, so we can deal with what is really bothering you, or this conversation is over.”


Now, honestly, that is a high level of engagement which I would most likely only use with someone who I am invested in changing our interactions for the better. Someone who I am going to have to keep some level of contact with, ie. a co-worker or family member.


For an interaction with a stranger who I am not going to need to continually communicate with, I would step into my mantra:


“I will not speak with you if you talk to me like that.” Repeat as needed.


And I am by no means saying this is easy. It is a skill that needs to be practiced. Preferably before needing it. Practice in front of your bathroom mirror. Keep your message clear, concise, and personal.


These words and phrases I suggested here work for me. You need to create your verbal boundary setting walls with words and tones you feel comfortable with.

These words and phrases I suggested here work for me. You need to create your verbal boundary setting walls with words and tones you feel comfortable with.


That begins with knowing that you are worth protecting and you have the right to set boundaries.