Arguably the rhetorical device of our era is the insult. Even people at the top realize its power. Take Donald Trump for example. He understood that insults make news, and rode to the presidency on a stream of "losers", "elites" and "nasty" women.
The entire Internet is full of insults too. And while it's up for debate when (if ever) belittling someone is a morally right way of interacting with them, one can't help but appreciate the poetry that goes into a brilliant diss. And there is no place where good insults are valued more than the subreddit Rare Insults. With over 1.6 million members, this online community is on a mission to spice up their vocabulary, collecting the most savage insults they can find. Below is the stuff they have found lately, and you can access their older posts in an earlier Bored Panda article here.
The first thing you see when you open up r/RareInsults is its cover image—the king of hurting people's feelings, chef Gordon Ramsay, and his quote: "You guys cook like old people f**k." One of the subreddit's moderators, Tycoinator, told Bored Panda that it was their CSS mod who chose to put up those words because "it's pretty f**kin funny." Can't argue with that.
"Gordon Ramsey is an exemplary example of someone who is known for their unique and rare insults," Tycoinator said. "Also, he's really handsome and we all wanted to see his face whenever we opened up the subreddit."
As ruthless as some of these insults are, the subreddit does have its limits. "Any racist and really hateful insults will be removed," the moderator said. "Commonly posted insults and non-rare insults are also a big no-no."
Susan Krauss Whitbourne, Ph.D., ABPP, a Professor Emerita of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, thinks the first step after you're insulted is deciding on the nature of the insult and whether it is poking into a fundamental aspect of your identity. "Making fun of your shirt or hat is entirely different than having an insult directed at your body, your sexual history, or sexual orientation," she wrote. "The insulter may not intend to be mean, but by tapping into your deepest layer of identity, it's going to strike a nerve. Such direct aims at your personhood constitute harassment and may call for you to take action to call out the perpetrator especially if this is occurring in the workplace."
"Opening the channels of communication instead of retreating into insecurity and anxiety about a possible insult will allow you to gain the data that will allow you to proceed accordingly. It would be nice if we lived in a world without either obvious or subtle insults, but since we don't, you can at least gain insight into the feelings these provoke within you. Fulfillment may not always be within the realm of possibility in your relationships, but by handling these unpleasantries, you can improve your chances of achieving it."