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What's a good adjective to describe someone who doesn't react when someone does something immature or insults them?

closed as too broad by Mazura, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Kristina Lopez, tchrist, Hellion Oct 15 '15 at 17:04

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  • 5
    There are many reasons you might not react. For instance you could be an apathetic person or afraid of retaliation, but I guess that's not what you're thinking about. I think you should be clearer about why the person does not react. – Jacinto Oct 14 '15 at 21:42
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    Why don't they react? Are they frigid, catatonic, passive, holier-than-thou, dumb or just playing dumb? – Mazura Oct 14 '15 at 21:50
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    Sounds like a Buddhist to me. – michael_timofeev Oct 14 '15 at 23:46
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    Too broad! More context please. – Dan Oct 14 '15 at 23:56
  • A practicing Christian! Don – rhetorician Oct 15 '15 at 12:59

15 Answers 15

25

I prefer unflappable, which means in the face of provocation one is usually unfazed.

  • cool under pressure – GEdgar Oct 15 '15 at 12:31
18

How about stoic?

1 capitalized : of, relating to, or resembling the Stoics or their doctrines

2 : not affected by or showing passion or feeling; especially: firmly restraining response to pain or distress

From Merriam-Webster Online.

  • Where did you get the quote? You should attribute your sources. – Scimonster Oct 15 '15 at 16:16
  • Sorry! I should know better. It's fixed now. – Heath Oct 15 '15 at 16:28
16

To remain impassive (or impassible)

Definition: revealing no emotion; expressionless, giving no sign of feeling.

Example: she remained impassive as the officers informed her of her son's death

  • Keep in mind that the connotations of someone's being impassive do not quite match with OP's circumstance. I understand the incident to be something along the lines of name-calling or a childish prank. Impassivity is generally used more to indicate a general blankness, even coldness, rather than a positive attribute indicating resistance to nonsense. That's my feeling, anyway. – Albatrosspro Oct 15 '15 at 7:35
12

There are many terms that spring to mind, but the first for me was thick-skinned.

9

I think the word you need is phlegmatic.

The OED lists etymology, and multiple senses - nounal and adjectival. Perhaps the one most relevant to the question is adjectival sense 2.

  1. Having, showing, or characteristic of the temperament formerly believed to result from a predominance of phlegm among the bodily humours; not easily excited to feeling or action; stolidly calm, self-possessed, imperturbable; (with pejorative connotation) sluggish, apathetic, lacking enthusiasm.

The various senses have examples from as early as the 14th century. But here are just three recent ones from sense 2.

1888 F. Hume Madame Midas i. iv. 33 Selina resumed her knitting in a most phlegmatic manner.

1915 W. S. Maugham Of Human Bondage xxx. 130 No sign of astonishment appeared on Emil's phlegmatic face.

1991 Sunday Mail Mag. (Brisbane) 1 Dec. 12/2 She has the robust air of a true countrywoman, phlegmatic, pragmatic, aware that sooner or later, nature, or life, will kick you in the teeth.

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    This was the word I thought of first. I would upvote if you added some supporting information. – dennisdeems Oct 15 '15 at 15:53
8

How about Unaffected or Unperturbed?

5

blasé

/bläˈzā/ adjective unimpressed or indifferent to something because one has experienced or seen it so often before.

Example: He was blasé about being down voted.

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    Et tu, Brute? Et tu, Brute! – Zan700 Oct 15 '15 at 3:08
5

You could be indifferent; just don't care.

4

In such a generic situation as that, I would just say mature.

She was perfectly mature in the face of her younger brother's taunting. She didn't even bat an eye.

More casually, grown up.

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    This sounds like you're describing the person's character, not their reaction to being insulted. Are you saying that mature people never react to any gratuitous or childish insult? Moreover, not all insults are infantile. – Mari-Lou A Oct 15 '15 at 7:57
  • In regards to "does something immature or insults them" from the OP, I'm interpreting what we have to work with as general peevish childishness. Naturally, there are serious insults that require serious responses. "Mature" is often used situationally, not just to describe character, e.g. "she was so mature about that!" "Way to be mature." That's all I mean by it. – Albatrosspro Oct 15 '15 at 8:04
  • The OP seems well aware of the term immature, it is present in the actual question; I think the OP is looking for a different or more specific term, but what exactly, is unclear. – Mari-Lou A Oct 15 '15 at 8:11
4

Could this person be a perfect personification, of pluterperfect imperturbability? So in a word, imperturbable.

Of course, that answer assumes you wish to describe a person who maintains a regular expression in the face of adversity. So my reply presumes the response is part of a pattern matching the expected behaviour of your character. If, however, your narrative has this reaction as an isolated incident, then the suggestion of Shark Trager, may be more appropriate in this case.

3

nonplussed

North American informal
(of a person) not disconcerted; unperturbed.
3

They're like Teflon

Or it [the insult] is like

water off a duck's back

2

If you don't react when you should, then you are 'numb' or 'dead' or a 'potato'.
If you're good at controlling yourself in a good way, then you are 'stoic'.
If you self-control like a robot, or get no feelings to control, then you are 'stone-faced', 'affectless', or a 'robot'.

And so many other adjectives ...

2

In the case of an immature act or insult, I suggest - confident.
A person with confidence knows they are above the insult or immature act and will not allow it to steer them off course.

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    Welcome to ELU. Can you explain a bit more, or back up your suggestion with a relevant definition or cited source? (It's always a good idea to include good quality references to support your answers.) – JHCL Oct 15 '15 at 13:08
  • I don't think is a good answer. "Confident" might explain why they don't react, but it isn't an adjective describing that they don't react. – AndyT Oct 15 '15 at 15:55
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You could say they have a "stone-cold" poker face.

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