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If you can't say something nice ...

Updated on October 14, 2009

Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me … 

The words of this simple children's line could not be further from the truth

The other day at work, I walked into a conversation I have heard many times. A group of 30 some year old woman poking fun of some of the younger woman. This was not unusual occurance and I hate to admit how often I have witnessed this type of behavior amongst woman who by any means should know better. 

 In this country, we have   recognized the damage that  emotional abuse does to our children waging campaigns against it. We have even started to address emotional abuse and bullying in our schools. Schools offer programs and workshops to address this issue. 

However, what about in our day-to-day lives. On the street, on talk shows, or on the job I see countless examples of the bully mentality. One loud and outspoken member who has no problem what so ever telling everyone around them their flaws. 

I personally find it appalling how people will openly put down others in public while others stand around and watch nervously giggling or looking away. I hear words like lazy, fat, and stupid thrown around at will amongst so called adults . It always makes me wonder who these people think they are and who appointed them judge and jury to the world. 

In my experience, people that have made mistakes or have issues in their lives are more than aware of these problems with out the input of a third party. 

I have also heard people hide behind honesty as an excuse for bad behavior. This annoys me to no end. It is possible to be honest with out being hurtful. And the use of “I'm just saying it like it is” as if this is some type virtue is nothing but a pathetic excuse for bad manners  

As a populace, we would never allow one person to walk up and punch another in the face. Physical abuse in the workplace or anywhere else is forbidden however, there seems to be no problem at all with emotional abuse. 

Emotional abuse is damaging. The biggest waist of human potential comes in the form of lack of self-esteem and confidence. With out the confidence to face our problems no one will . Emotional abuse chips away at that confidence bit by bit. 

When a person is down that last thing that they need is for another to rub their nose in it as if they were a puppy who just wet on the carpet. 

As human beings, it is our place to lift up and support those around us… not to tear them down. 

Perhaps the best advice is that of my Grandmother 

If you do not have anything good to say, do not say anything at all! 


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    • Taleb80 profile image

      Taleb AlDris 

      6 years ago

      Yes, your grandmother's saying is perfect.

      Very simple rule but very helpful.

    • wendi_w profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Midwest

      Thank you ... I love that quote by Woodrow Wilson too.

    • dashingclaire profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      Great hub! Bullying doesn't stop with age, getting smart helps. My grandmother also had a saying she got from Woodrow Wilson - "I not only use all of the brains I have, but all I can borrow." Sadly some people don't use the few brain cells they have.

    • wendi_w profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Midwest

      Thank you ... I'm afraid that style wise it wasn't one of my best but it makes me so angry to see grown adults acting like kids on a playground.

    • TamCor profile image

      Tammy Cornett 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      Great hub--I so agree with everything you said.

      "And the use of “I'm just saying it like it is” as if this is some type virtue is nothing but a pathetic excuse for bad manners."

      I am as tired of hearing that sort of statement as you are! Being nice is just not that hard...everyone should give it a try...:)

      Thank you for writing this--I hope others read, and learn from it!


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