Do you ever confront people? Or do you suffer in silence?



I have what Mamma Smaggle would call a ‘strong personality’. It’s a nice way of saying I’m a bitch. How I managed to get this reputation is completely beyond me but it’s probably justifiable because she’s not the only person who thinks this. I often have friends saying they don’t stick up for themselves like I do for myself. Which I have to say is absolute bollocks. I never really stick up for myself.

If you give me a couple of glasses of red and start talking crap about something that I believe in passionately in like legalising gay marriage or child protection laws then yes you are completely screwed. I’m very quick, very cutting and I never argue unless I’m right. Let that be a lesson to you all.

If someone attacks me personally though I’m very unlikely to retaliate. I’m a bit of a bunny rabbit like that. People either love me, or loathe me. Which is fine because I’d rather have someone hate me than feel indifference towards me, but unfortunately those that do loathe me are pretty hideous and take my ‘strong personality’ as an excuse to take me down.

When an attack is personal, I suffer in silence. It’s a form of self-preservation. I can’t explain it except to say that I can only argue with people who have a valid point. Bullies never do. In fact I’m far more likely to defend a personal attack on a friend than myself.

What do you do? If you are personally confronted do you attack back? Or retreat?



P.S I also LOVE being sickly sweet to people who don’t like me. It’s delicious.

Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.


  1. Fiona 5 years ago

    Been going through a couple of personal attafcks lately, and I struggle with it. Yes, attack my points and my arguements, but not me as a person, I feel these are separate things, but some people go straight to the heart 🙁

    • Author
      Smaggle 5 years ago

      Actually I think that’s my saving grace that I DON’T take it to heart. I usually think the person being mean to me is a total moron.

  2. Nessbow 5 years ago

    Hmm, that’s a tricky question. I think I’m more likely to suffer in silence than to confront somebody who attacks me personally. I’m also more likely to be passive agressive about the attack later on.
    I suppose it really depends on how well I know the person who has made the attack. If they’re somebody I know well, or somebody that I’m going to have to deal with on a regular basis, I will probably confront them. They need to know that they can’t walk all over me and that I won’t let them get away with treating me badly. If I don’t know them, I’ll probably let it slide. You have to pick your battles.

  3. ScribblesNZ 5 years ago

    I choose my places and my times to confront but my goodness, watch out if I do! And I get super sarcastic about it too. Like today I told my students to wait in the foyer til I saw where the bus was… they start strolling outside. Cue big overblown speech “What part of my instructions was unclear? Was it the foyer part? This (*expansive hand gesture*)… that is outside. This foyer is an enclosed space, with a high roof in which people wait to go into the theatre… THAT is outside. No roof…” etc etc till my students roll their eyes.

    • Author
      Smaggle 5 years ago

      Teacher talk is different I’ve been prone to a bit of that in the past!

  4. Granthrax 5 years ago

    I attack.

    Growing up in a small rural town as an obviously gay teen was not exactly an easy experience, and I spent most of my high school years suffering quietly and pretending I wasn’t getting picked on daily.

    As soon as I got out of there though, I mutated. I am an absolute prick when someone is critical of me (unless they have a point), and I don’t take criticisms lying down. If we’re going to have word, I’m going to get petty and mean; I will go places most other people wouldn’t consider, and I’ll do so loudly.

    This extends also to situations where I feel I have been wronged, like restaurants, stores, or while dealing with banks or phone companies.

    And if it comes to defending my friends and family? I’ll gut you like a fucking fish. Don’t even fucking go there.

    I have to say, I’m surprised to hear you’re unlikely to defend yourself; not because you seem like a bitch or anything, but you seem like you wouldn’t have any trouble doing so.

    Great topic though darling.


    • Author
      Smaggle 5 years ago

      Yeah it surprises a lot of people, me included. I don’t know I just kind of sit there and take it like a bitch.

  5. Luinae McAnish 5 years ago

    I’m way more likely to attack or get offended when people insult things I feel very strongly about legalizing gay marriage, women’s right to abortion, that sort of thing. But when they insult me I’m more likely to just be very sarcastic and condescending and say things like: “THANK YOU for sharing.”

  6. kathryn 5 years ago

    I vary between the two. If it’s a personal attack on me, I probably just shrug it off but I’ve got a lot better at confronting people who step over the line – noisy neighbours, messy housemates, that kind of thing. Once I’ve have just fumed but I figure the best way to deal is to nicely confront.

  7. Hopegracey 5 years ago

    I used to cry, and take people’s comments to heart. Then, as time went along I learned a valuable lesson. When people are unkind, or lash out (like a certain former love of mine,) and place blame on the other person (me,) that it is almost always about them and not about me. So I did learn to stand up a bit- the last “confrontation” I had was with a coworker, and in the heat of her anger, I said, very calmly and sincerely “What are you so mad at me for?” she rattled off a list, that had nothing to do with me, and I said “ok, well… I don’t talk to you like that. I’m going to leave.” And I left! When the former me would have cried and tried to make everything better for her while blaming myself for whatever was wrong. It was a big moment for me!
    When it comes to standing up for others though, I am fearless. I feel like a warrior princess when I am moved to stand up for others. I even screamed at a man in a frozen yogurt place for spanking his child (I was 11 when I did this.) I get washed over with such passion for justice, there is no stopping me. I have told strangers to treat their animals with more compassion and nearly broke someone’s car window when they left their dog in the car in the summer time… what an idiot. I found the person instead and told them what for. Towanda ring a bell?
    And yes, I am with you sweet Ms. Smaggle, I only argue when I am right.

  8. Joy F.G. 5 years ago

    I have often been told after people get to know me “I thought you were such a bitch!”, um, really? I’m such a pussy cat but it is for that precise reason. I am extraordinarily and unless wronged (usually they’ve done something stupid to/at my children) or given a chance I won’t speak in public. It’s just who I am. I do have range of comical nemeses of people who habitually piss me off or wrong me in some way but if I were to say anything I’d look like a total nutcase. For example, the lady in my building who purposefully turns the washing machines off of the energy savings. Who does that? Someone who doesn’t like babies or candy, that’s who. Nemesis.

    I suppose it depends on the sort of attack I face, when it is within my family or friends I have a lot of trouble defending myself. It’s the personal element of it perhaps. It’s taken a long time for my husband to coax me out of this withdrawn state and I’m making more of an effort to articulate myself properly. What is up with that? Learned behaviour to just take it? Silliness.

  9. Kate Burge 5 years ago

    Interesting. I feel that a lot of the time I am weak. I’ll grin and bear it. However, there are topics that get me hot under the collar and ya can’t shut me up! It depends on the situation and the people involved.

    I’m the same as you with personal issues, I won’t fight back. I’ll fall apart away from it all. Sometimes though, unless it is specifically AT and ABOUT you, that it’s probably not actually all about you. Paranoia is easily spread and easily bred. Most of the time ya just gotta stop feeling for yourself – cuz for every bad thing said there’s people who will give you at least 10 good things! (unless of course you are a complete nutbag, in which case, good luck with that.)

    But one thing I must say is there is NOTHING worse than leaving a situation and wishing you’d said something. I have awkward situations and I wish I’d stood up and given it a go.


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