Listen Up: Hurtful Words

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. I’m sure we’ve heard this saying or some variation of it in our lives, most often from our well meaning parents after we’ve come to them with tears in our eyes over something someone said to us. In their quest to soothe our pain they tell us that words can’t hurt, but we know better. My own mother told me don’t worry about what they say, when I came to her crying because a group of girls that I thought were my friends decided that that day I was the ugliest girl in the sixth grade, and proceeded to tell me as much. Words can hurt just like sticks and stones, except people can’t see your scars, but because people can’t see them doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

No one has the right to make you feel horrible about yourself, not even you. So when someone tries to tell you you’re not pretty enough, smart enough or good enough don’t listen to them. Regardless of their opinion of you, make sure your opinion of yourself is higher. You have value and worth, and that is not determined by outside forces that can’t recognize just how wonderful and special you are, and if this fails, just remember my mom’s final words to me during my tearful conversation. “Stop crying sweetie. They’re just jealous of you.”