No one can insult you without your permission

I recently said the above, and got some great responses.  To clarify my position, I’d like to quote a story attributed to the Buddha (and other great teachers):

 

The Buddha was lecturing, and a listener continued to interrupt him with rude questions and insults.  Finally, the Buddha addressed him directly.

“Sir,” he said.  “If I offer you a gift, and you refuse to accept it, to whom does the gift belong?”

“Why, to you, naturally.” the man replied.

“Precisely.  And if you offer me abuse, and I decline to accept it, to whom does the abuse then belong?”

And the man was speechless.

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