There’s been a few times that I remember, mostly as a kid and probably getting picked on by other kids. One time as an adult though was during my first professional job. I was fresh out of college and landed a gig as a Proofreader/Junior Copywriter for a direct mail clothing company. I was pretty proud of the work I did. I found a lot of spelling and grammatical errors others missed and I wrote some interesting ads.
But there was this one time I missed a bad typo or something and my boss didn’t just lace into me, she did it in front of a bunch of people. I remember fuming and getting all hot, but managed to keep my cool. After taking a walk to the kitchen and collecting my thoughts on what just happened, I walked back calmly to her office and approached her.
I believe I said something along the lines of that was inappropriate or unnecessary and you can’t talk to me like that. She was the Copy Chief and I was a lowly Junior Copywriter. I didn’t care. If she fired me for for standing up for myself then it’d be worth it. If she fired me for standing up for myself, then good, I didn’t want to work for a place where being publicly ridiculed in front of peers was okay.
She apologized. She probably was having a bad day. I forgave her and we moved forward. We had a much better work relationship after that, and she never did that to me again.