Originally Posted by personguy
I'd just like to know.
- How can I deal with it if I think someone is baby talking me?
- What's the offical view on the subject?
- Does anyone here do it and if so why?
How you deal with it depends on the setting, how well you know the person, how disruptive their behavior (not only to your day, but the productivity of everyone around you if you are in a group setting), and exactly how they are "baby talking" you.
Talking down to people with a perceived difference is a terribly unjust thing that, unfortunately, people do when they are unsure of themselves. That is what I now think anyway. A person who speaks down to you probably doesn't know how else to behave. Maybe I am being nice by hypothesizing that, but I would like to think that it's the case. Maybe for some people things like that become an unconscious habit and they simply need to be made aware that they aren't being appropriate.
If they are making clearly inappropriate "baby talk" (not just speaking down to you once or twice), maybe try asking them if they could speak like an adult. If they get embarrassed, good. They should be. If they are instead doing it as a defense mechanism for themselves they will not be embarrassed and probably explain. (I am a full grown adult and completely unawares to me, I often use baby talk when I am uncomfortable. But this has nothing to do with the person with whom I am speaking.)
If it is a subtle kind of speaking down to you, as in making comments that continually make you feel stupid, or belaboring a point that you've made quite clear you understand, or being flat out rude in insulting your intelligence consistently, it would depend ...
There's always that advice that if you become really good at one thing people will respect your skill and will treat you with more respect than they might otherwise. I don't know if that's always true. It's worth considering, but, hanging all your hopes on that belief seems unwise as you can only control the outcome just so much. Believing that advice wholeheartedly might cause a person to become depressed and anxious if things don't work out.
I have recently wondered if maybe, in the past, when I have assumed people were discrediting me, or talking down to me, or thinking I couldn't do something, possibly they were unsure as to what I was talking about since I didn't explain myself well and I then interpreted their confusion as an insult. I am not sure this is the case but it has recently occurred to me as a possibility. I'm not sure how you can ensure offense is not intended other than ask them, but it's worth thinking about whenever a conversation seems strange.
People talking down to me, etc., for some reason I can't fathom is one of the things I am trying to work on myself, so I do not have a definitive answer, but those 3 things are what I am trying to keep in mind for myself:
1. Consider that they may not know how else to behave. Possibly they are doing this without awareness.
2. Try to highlight your strengths, but don't pin your hopes on other people's appreciation of your strengths.
3. Consider that you might be misinterpreting events, but, if they are clearly treating you badly, tell them frankly that it is NOT OK to disrespect you. (I did this once and then became good friends with the person I told off. It was really quite weird. I suddenly felt like I was in a dog pack, and apparently, behaving as if that were the case actually worked!! It flabbergasts me to this day. I would normally never behave like I did that day, but I saw a really large problem evolving that disrupted the entire balance and efficiency of the group as a whole. It turned out to be the right decision in that case, but it wouldn't be in all of them.)