It happens to all of us -- you’re talking to a friend or colleague who says something incredibly rude, and you’re just flabbergasted. Firing back just escalates the situation and makes things worse. So what should you say? These three words: “Are you okay?” You’re making clear that the comment was unacceptable, but you’re not being offensive back. Usually this will put the person in their place without leaving them feeling insulted or hurt, too.