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How to Talk Smack & Win

Updated on January 18, 2012

Winning at smack talk isn't just an art---it's a science. Like most people you've probably encountered someone online or in real life talking trash. They talk big, they talk bold, and they talk to make you look small. When the person they start smack with is you, it can become a smack talking contest. One person eventually walks away the winner, and the other looking like a fool. What factors determine who comes out on top, and who comes out on bottom?

I'm Better Than You

At the heart of smack talk is the expression of superiority. When people make aggressive comments, they're looking at your reaction for an acknowledgment of insecurity; they're trying to find a weakness in you that they can exploit. They might make criticisms towards your appearance or draw attention to any problems you might have. Smack talkers are hunters looking for insecurity to prey on. If they find out what your insecurities are they will be ruthless at exposing them to belittle you. People are vulnerable when their own behaviors have been figured out and exposed. Such as knowing when you're sad or angry, jealous or emotional, and knowing why you behave in certain ways. Smack talkers use this information to gain a psychological advantage.

Traditionally smack talkers use creative and clever wordplay to befuddle their opponents. But that's not necessary to be effective at smack talk. Smack talk can also take a more personal tone: "I make more money than you" --- "I slept with your girlfriend" --- "I drive a better car" --- "your boyfriend thinks I'm hot" --- "are you jealous?" etc.

Don't Acknowledge a Word They Say

When confronted by an aggressive comment, you should never acknowledge it. If you take ownership of what they say then you've only justified their aggressive statements. Smack talkers are hunting for insecurity, but they don't necessarily know where those insecurities are. They make guesses at what they might be, and that's why they criticize your appearance or personal problems in the hopes to uncover a weakness. "Are you jealous?" is an attempt to uncover jealously as your weakness. If you respond by saying "what makes you think I'm jealous?" WRONG answer. You've acknowledged their comment and focused the attention on yourself. They can now build upon the topic of your jealousy because you've exposed it as a potential weakness. Smack talkers talk smack to draw attention away from their own insecurities. So long as you're in the spotlight of their attacks, they're safe. Rule: the spotlight must always be kept on the opponent, never on yourself. Let their comments pass by like the wind as though you never heard it. Instead fire back and say, "Your speech is stuttering, are you nervous?" and let them answer to YOU. If they say, "You didn't answer me, you're just jealous cus you're ugly" keep persisting in this fashion "you're still stuttering" and make sure to point out any flaws about their physical appearance "and your teeth are YELLOW do you brush your teeth?"

photo by betsyweber
photo by betsyweber

Pick Apart at Their Insecurities

Keep the spotlight on your opponent and analyze every aspect of their behavior and physical appearance. Are they wearing baggy clothes to hide their extra pounds? Make sure to point that out. Are they wearing a lot of makeup to hide their face? Point it out. Are they speaking quietly so that no one else hears them? Tell them to speak up. Pretend you're a psychologist and they're your patient sitting in a chair. Everything they throw at you is now viewed as a cry for help from a helpless patient. "I make more money than you" is an attempt to uncover your financial situation as a potential insecurity. Such boastful statements are often just bluffs so you might inquire into the details of their employment "oh yeah so what do you do for a living?" and be sure to keep digging about the details of their job. If they lied they will try to change the subject. If they really do make more money than you then you can say "you feel the need to prove yourself, do your teeth give you problems getting laid?" Analyse their behavior like a psychologist and attack their insecurities.

Notice how the spotlight is always on the opponent, the winner of smack talk is the one who throws the most shots, not the one who answers to them the most. If they say "are you mad?" then that usually means they've run out of useful comebacks and have resorted to attacking your emotional state as your potential weakness. If you respond "I'm not mad" WRONG answer. You're acknowledging and defending against their attack. You're putting yourself in the spotlight. Instead, you could've responded "you sound frustrated, can't come up with something better than that?" or if you want you could target the fact that they work at a dead-end job, have acne on their face, are still living in their parent's basement, etc.

Never Defend, attack! attack! Attack!

They're going to try to put the spotlight back on you. Have none of it. "You're just avoiding my questions" if you respond "how am I avoiding your questions?" WRONG answer. You're defending and putting the spotlight back on yourself. They can now build upon the topic of you avoiding their questions. They can now say "ugly face what do you got to hide?" etc. Instead you should've fired back immediately and said: "you're just attacking me because you're insecure about being fat & overweight. You're unhappy with life so you try to belittle people to make yourself feel better" keep the spotlight on them and keep picking them apart at their insecurities. Don't defend against anything they say, just keep the spotlight on your opponent and keep attacking.

Sometimes some things just can't be avoided, such as when they state real facts about you. "Yeah yeah, you're just a 5 foot 4 midget anyway I don't care what you have to say" if you ignore this type of attack they will view your height as your insecurity because you're avoiding the facts; they will pounce on you. If they say "you're just jealous" that's not a fact; that's speculation and they need your acknowledgment to prove their speculation; you don't have to acknowledge speculative statements because they can't back it up if you don't give them anything to work with. Comments like "you're ugly" "you drive a cheap used car" "your breath stinks" "you wear cheap clothes" "you're a loser" etc. are not facts; they're opinions & speculations that need your acknowledgment for it to be true. But if you're 5'4 then that's an unbeatable fact. You must answer "I'm 5 foot THREE! Get your facts straight!" He's testing your height as a potential insecurity but by admitting the facts about yourself proudly you've eliminated it from being a weakness. They can't attack you about your height if your response is always a proud acknowledgment of the facts. "You're 5'3!" - "yep that's right FIVE-FOOT-THREE!"... "I caught you watching porn" if it's true and he really did catch you, don't deny it. If you deny the facts they will sense weakness within you and attack you relentlessly. You must say: "Yeah porn is awesome! Do you watch porn too?" right back at him. If he answers "yes I do" then he can't use that to attack you anymore because he admits doing it himself. If he answers "ew no of course not!" then you know he's lying and you've put him back on the defensive spotlight. You can continue your attack and tear him apart about his penis size and the fact that he's single and masturbating to porn.

Make Them Feel Sorry

Make sure you talk extra loud when talking smack in public so that everyone around can hear it. Insecurities being exposed to the public is one of man's greatest fears. At some point they're going to realize it's not in their best interest to talk trash with you because all you're doing is just exposing their insecurities. Often times they might start apologizing to save face. "Oh we're just playing around" or "I didn't mean what I said let's be friends". You could walk off at this point but why let them off the hook so easily? It's time to make them feel guilty; make them really mean it when they say they're sorry. "I thought you said that I'm just a 5'4 midget and my opinion didn't matter" and they might say "I'm sorry I didn't mean it". "Oh so you didn't mean it now, what happened to me being jealous of you?" They will start feeling self-contradiction and this creates a feeling of humility and guilt. They'll start regretting their actions. Well not really, they're just regretting that you've exposed all their insecurities to the public. Only then shall you accept their apology and move on.

photo by Jeff Sandquist
photo by Jeff Sandquist

And the Winner is...

In summary, smack talk begins with a person wanting to prove that they're better than you. You do not acknowledge this and immediately get to work at exposing their insecurities. You do not defend against their assaults but instead attack relentlessly at their personal flaws until they give up. If they state real facts about you (such as your waxed eyebrows), you admit it proudly and don't show any sign of weakness. If they try to apologize, you then kick'em while they're down and make sure they regret messing with you. You then part ways and go on with your day as though nothing ever happened.

The winner is the person who doesn't start smack. The winner is you. No matter how hard you tear them down, you can never look like the bad guy because well---they started it.

Disclaimer: if smack talk gets you put in a hospital, don't hold me responsible. Make sure you can back up what you say or keep your mouth shut!

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