“Words Can Hurt You!”
Have you ever been hurt by someone’s words? Words can’t hurt is a controversial statement. Being criticized for your intelligence, race or even where you live, can hurt you physically or emotionally. When I was little, people would tell me I was fat and ugly. I often felt like a symbol (word, sound or visual device that represents an object, sound, concept, or experience) trapped around referent (thing that a symbol represents). I didn’t feel welcome around a certain group of kids. However, my teachers and family would tell me the exact opposite and say words cannot hurt me, but in reality, they did.
I thought (mental process of creating an image, sound, concept, or experience triggered by a referent or symbol) everyday would be a better day at school because some people would be positive towards me, but before I changed my lifestyle it was wishful thinking. Going to school every day was fun most of the time until someone had to say something cruel. I disagree with the statement words can’t hurt, because they do. Why do people say words don’t hurt, and how exactly are people hurt by those negative remarks? If words don’t hurt, then why do African-Americans get mad when called “negro”?
All through middle school, I was called “rat boy” for some odd reason. One person told me it didn’t matter because I didn’t have to listen to them. It was hard to do this through my middle school life. It aggravated me and I wanted to move away and go into a deep state of isolation. Finally in eighth grade, most of my peers saw that it made me angry and they quit. It doesn’t matter the type of person you are, I was a three sport athlete that had good grades and still got made fun of. Over the years, my peers have changed. I got into my college classes and my life became pleasant once again.
I met a guy at my best friend’s house that thought I was funny and we connected. Being African American, he is known as a “Negro” and knew how I felt when I was called “rat boy”. I grew up being told negative thoughts about my size. This guy not only makes me feel good about myself on the outside, but has helped me find the little girl who was still lost inside a body full of happiness. I would use profanity (words considered obscene, blasphemous, irreverent, rude, or insensitive) to get other’s attention, and not realize it how uglier I sounded.
I did it to try and fit in and only made it worse. Since words can hurt people, who started the whole false idea about how they don’t hurt? Words can upset you physically or emotionally or you’ll never forget what the bully said to you. I remember back when I was in first grade, one of the other kids at recess called me small fry; he was older than me and thus bigger. I was angry towards him that whole school year, and it still makes me mad when people call me small fry or short.
I was around seven when it happened, I’m twenty-one now, and I still get disgusted by that kid. In my case I was injured emotionally and I never forgot how much it hurt me. Since then my size has changed, but it is very unbalanced. People now are different and don’t vilify me anymore. All through my education at public schools, I have been ridiculed about my size. Being a junior in college and five foot seven inches, I’m considered average. This time in life I can honestly say, I haven’t encountered bullies near as much.
It may have been because I took what was being thrown in my face and changed myself. I try to have a healthier lifestyle, by eating healthier and exercising more frequently. Out of all the names I was called, the two previously mentioned made me upset the most. I’m writing about this to show that I have struggled with my self-esteem because of the names I was labeled. People need to change in order for the remarks to stop completely. To conclude this writing assignment, I myself disagree with words can’t hurt you because in truth they do.