In recent decades, a movement of political correctness has shifted our collective cultural attitude. From racial slurs to sexist overtures, our society has become increasingly aware of how our comments and our actions affect the emotional well-being of others. As a result, the public chooses it’s words more carefully in a show of consideration for other people.
But hair loss sufferers haven’t come under the protection that politically correct pundits offer. Bald jokes are rampant and nobody’s calling out the jokesters, especially not in public forums. That means hair loss sufferers have to fend for themselves. But how?
Laugh it Off?
When someone makes a tasteless joke about the bald spot that’s starting to appear at the crown of your head, you could just laugh it off. Letting remarks like this roll off your shoulder diffuses the situation. It’s better than starting a fight or letting on that such comments actually hurt your feelings. Right?
Wrong. Because chances are, that cruel comment will haunt you and whoever made the comment will go about his business clueless that it caused any real harm.
Turn it Around
You could always turn it around on your attacker. Everyone has flaws, including whoever is insulting your hairline. Maybe he’s fat or has a big nose. Maybe she’s got pock marks or a flat chest. When someone’s using your weaknesses to cause insult and injury, why shouldn’t you just do the same? After all, if you can’t beat ‘em, you might as well join them.
Not true. Joining them only brings you down to their level of lowliness and that doesn’t do any good at all. Sure, you’ll feel all high and mighty for a few seconds after the retaliatory jab pops out of your mouth, but remember what Mom said? Two wrongs don’t make a right.
Talk About Your Feelings
You’re sensitive and that’s alright. So tell people when they’ve hurt your feelings. Just say, “Man, I don’t like it when you talk to me like that. It really hurts.” We’re living in the twenty-first century after all. It’s the age of metrosexuals. Why can’t a man have feelings?
Yeah right. Reality check. Unless you’re starring in a chick flick or living in an alternate universe where they don’t publish mags like GQ, Maxim, or Playboy, telling other guys your heart’s aching because of an off-the-cuff comment about your thinning head of hair is probably not the ideal solution. Instead of big hugs and lots of apologies, chances are, if you react like that, the person who insulted you in the first place will just laugh even harder as soon as you start talking about your feelings.
Dude, That’s Not Cool
There’s no need to start discussing feelings or insult the other guy and there’s no reason to make a fool of yourself by laughing along with a joke that’s in bad taste.
Just make direct eye contact and casually respond, “Dude, that’s not cool.” Seal it by giving your head a subtle shake for emphasis and then (here’s the key to making this situation diffuser work like a charm), suggest grabbing a beer or a pizza. Or lean back and say, “How about those Lakers?”
Handling the situation like this will teach your acquaintances several things. One: you don’t take any crap. Two: you’re not going to make a big fuss. Three: you’d rather go out to have some fun than sitting around trying to work it out.
Try it for yourself and see if it doesn’t work. Before too long, making bald jokes will join the ranks with other politically incorrect remarks and then we can all skip straight to beer and basketball.