I do realize that coming up with a response like that in the moment is very hard. This is why I recommend first just learning to recognize when it is one of those ludicrous moments. If you can think back to some of how you felt and how your body felt and look for clues that "this what a **** test moment" then the idea is to begin to recognize it at the time.
For example, for myself when it is a **** test moment for me, I hold my breath, my jaw clenches (I literally keep my mouth closed), and somethings my chest feels heavy and my hands or arms stiffen up. When I notice those physical things occurring--I know that SOMETHING is happening that I have to speak up. Sometimes it's a moment where I need to say "This is not okay with me" and sometimes it's a moment where I have to be honest and I'm afraid. So I feel myself holding my breath I automatically think "I have to speak up. What do I have to speak up about?"
THEN I recognize a **** test moment when I feel like defending myself. If I feel as though I must "explain" or justify or protect, that's the clue to me that likely a **** test is occurring. So just like "holding breath=I need to speak about something"... "defend=emotional response, probably to a **** test" See?
So in literally part of a moment I get that far, and my first response to feeling like I need to defend is 'It sounds like you're saying X? Is that really what you meant?" In your example it might sound like this: "It sounds to me like you're saying that protecting young children from hearing adult language is an old man thing. Is that really want you meant?"
Now if this can go one of two ways: "Yep that's what I meant" or "No that's not what I meant at all." "Yep" usually turns into them defending the ridiculous and at that point I'm already clued in that this is a **** test, and I already know that you take the wind out of the sails by saying "YOU'RE RIGHT' and then pointing out how absurd they sound. So while I kind of think of the silly reply, I start with "Oh you are so right" and with a little time to take a breath I can usually figure out some way to work their silliness in the moment. Not perfectly, but enough to sound sarcastic but joking and also point out how inconsistent they sound!!
If they say "No that's not what I meant" then you have the opportunity to communicate and reach an understanding. In other words, maybe you just misheard and you can straighten that out and all is well!
Originally Posted by Celtic
Just to be clear; am I to show her how ludicrous her response to my normal behaviour is or how ludicrous it is for me to react in the first place?
You are somewhat making a joke by going OVER THE TOP to show that your response was reasonable.
Again, in your example it is exceedingly reasonable to protect young children from hearing some of the words that teenagers use with ease such as the F-bomb. You saying "Please watch your language around the young kids" is a request--not a commandment--but also just pointing out to the teens that there are youngsters present and there's 'a time and a place.' Right? You're not their daddy! You're not bossing them around! In fact, it's appropriate for teens to try out swearing and be a little edgy.
But her response is entirely absurd. Her position is that only old men would speak up about foul-mouthed language. Well...that's silly! So by going over the top and also being a little funny, you point out that her response is ludicrous whilst also not being a "know-it-all" jerk.
I think responding with "And I expect you to stay off my lawn too!" would have been hilarious!
Likewise, though the idea of "Yes, and I expect guys to be gentlemen and women to be ladylike--aren't I an Old Fart?" is similar.