Sticks and stones may break my bones…you know the rest, right? How many times have you heard that saying? Countless times, I’m sure. But, have you ever really stopped to think about it? WORDS will never hurt me. Words will NEVER hurt me. Words will never hurt ME. No matter how many ways I spin it, the fact still remains: words can hurt. Today I’m sharing some tips for getting over hurtful words.
The other night, I was talking to a friend about our kids and how they are growing up so fast. Somehow, our conversation then turned to us reminiscing about our own childhood. Both of us were able to think back on hurtful things that people said to us when we were in middle and high school. We also talked about how our children have come to us when someone has said or done hurtful things to them. I hesitantly admitted that I find myself using that same old tired phrase with my children to help them bounce back from the pain caused by someone’s careless mishandling of words. It’s not okay to dismiss feelings of hurt. There are much better ways to deal with the effects of hurtful words.
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Why do words hurt so much?
An article in Psychology Today states words can hurt just as much as sticks and stones. Studies have revealed a connection between emotional and physical pain. Sometimes the things people say can cause you to be frustrated, discouraged or even embarrassed. And those feelings may torment you for a long time after the unkind words were actually said.
How do you respond to unkind words?
Instead of trying to pretend that mean words are not hurtful, figure out ways to cope with the pain caused by hurtful words and actions. Here are some quick tips to try the next time you are hurt by someone’s words or actions:
1. Don’t take it personally. Hurt feelings are a part of life. Everyone experiences hurt from time to time and it’s perfectly normal to experience hurt. The phrase “hurt people hurt people” has some truth to it. Oftentimes, when people say hurtful things to you, it is not even about you. It is just their way of dealing with other things going on in their lives. So, do not internalize hurtful words.
2. Express your hurt feelings. Keeping your feelings bottled up is not the correct way to deal with them. Talk to the person that hurt you. If you do not feel comfortable talking to that person, talk to someone you trust. It is not okay to keep you feelings bottled up inside.
3. Let it go! Other people’s opinions do not define us. Period. If someone says something hurtful, let it go. Try not to dwell on it.
4. End it. The “Pay it Forward” concept is great when it comes to everything EXCEPT saying mean things. You know how it feels when someone says something hurtful to you, so make a vow to let it end with you. Don’t say mean things to or about other people.
What piece of advice would you give to someone who is hurting because of something that someone has said?
Best Journals for Self-Care
Journaling is one of my favorite self-care activities. It’s also a great way help you begin to move towards forgiveness. The key to making journaling a habit is to find a journal that you love. One of the first things I look for in a journal is one that is good quality, like this gratitude journal from Therabox.
I also love this guided self love journal that is filled with prompts and practices to help improve self-esteem and self-confidence.
People who have been hurt try to hurt others. Praying for them will may you feel better.
You are absolutely correct, Betty! Thanks for reading!
Whew! This is such a good one. We can build people up or tear them down with our words! I would encourage the person to remember who they are and focus on their good qualities. I would also encourage them to be kind to themselves. 🥰