Let me explain. The most fundamental aspect of my personality is based on my family experience. Namely, that my mama taught me to "never take shit from anyone." I learned it and I live it. Often to a fault.
Over the years I have learned a bit of finesse in dealing with assholes. Emphasis on a bit. I can still get a little rowdy if someone pushes the right buttons.
Now I don't know how I would've reacted had I been in that woman's position of a face-off with a high-ranking dipshit. Depending on how many allies I had in the room, I might've repeated his own statements back to him after his presentation: "No, no no. That's IMPOSSIBLE."
But here's the thing: you can't really do that. What I have learned in my relatively few years on this planet is how, when someone starts flinging shit in your direction, to fling it back harder with a smile.
This is going to sound incredibly bitchy, but the key is to patronize the other person. If they have an ego, attempt to cut it down a little. A well-timed patronizing smile directed at an arrogant prick of an old man can go a long way. It's kind of like a silent reminder that they're on their way out the door and you're the newer, fresher, more savvy generation who will take his place.
Picture it - the woman in AA's scenario hears this guy say this shit to her, and instead of being shocked or stammering, she looks at him for a second, and then slowly breaks into a smile, shakes her head slightly, looks back at the guy and says, "I believe you may have misunderstood me when I previously explained X."
It's not perfect for every scenario. It also takes a lot of practice to do it without coming across as cocky. You need to have developed a confident smile first. But once you have it, that's all you need.
Think back to a time in your life when someone has made you feel really, really stupid. Made you feel like a total asshole. Chances are, they weren't yelling at you. They weren't angry and didn't act offended. They most likely had an air about them that said, "This poor, stupid, ass. I pity them." It cuts to your core.
I really hope this makes sense, because if not then I have just convinced the entire blogging community that I'm a bitch. LOL.
I'll summarize, just in case I've been misunderstood at any point in this post:
When someone gives you shit, it doesn't matter all that much what you say in response. It matters that whatever you choose to say, you say it with a confident smile.