Facing mean people on a regular basis can definitely sap the life out of anyone, so you have to master the art of rolling with the punches, or even the art of ignoring what they say.
This doesn't have to involve getting into a shouting match or a fistfight with them to drive your point home. Here are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to mean people.
When someone is being mean to you—or to the world at large, for that matter—you should realize that the problem lies with him, and not with you.
If the mean person you're having problems with is a friend of yours, then it may be more challenging to handle this situation. What you need to do, first and foremost, is to avoid becoming his clone. Just because he's being mean doesn't mean you also have to behave the same way.
If he's directing his meanness towards you, then it's time for you to back off and disappear for a while. Just wait for him to realize how horribly he's been treating you. When it happens again, you can confront him about his behavior... and hopefully, this will be his wake-up call.
If the mean individual's tactic is to crush everyone's self-esteem to smithereens, you can calmly face this challenge by having a strong sense of self-esteem. Only by having a strong sense of self and confidence will you be able to keep from cracking under the tormentor's treatment and will serve you well if you want to train yourself on how to deal with mean people.
You can disarm mean people by being overwhelmingly nice to them. As they say, you can kill 'em with kindness. This will definitely catch mean people off-guard. It will be hard to keep your cool, but it's worth it to see the mean person become confused by your behavior.
Finally, come up with some witty comebacks. Part of the mean person's arsenal includes sarcastic barbs and attacks, and just general insults. So if you have a general idea what things he usually says, plan your lines to prepare for the next time he chooses to direct his insults at you. If your reply is snappy enough, the mean person might either be stunned into silence or hurl further abuse at you, but you'll know that you managed to defuse him. Your action might even inspire other people to stand up to the mean person.
Figuring out how to deal with mean people is something that we all have to learn throughout life, but with a little patience, and even some sense of humor, you can successfully rally through the challenge.