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Words Can Hurt Us

Updated on July 20, 2011

Sticks and stones can break our bones but words can never hurt us is a lie. Words cut into our soul and leave an indelible print that can last a lifetime. They are tattooed on our life and stay with us until our grave.

Bruises heal and cuts mend but words stay forever in our heart and mold us into the people we are. The opinions of the people around us are responsible for our growth and create the person we are today.

If you have a complex about a body part, your size or the way you speak it is the fault of someone in your life putting an idea in your mind that you don’t quite measure up.

They have lied to you.

You are great the way you are. There are no perfect people. We all fall short of perfection. Who are they to tell you that a certain hair color or attribute are better than what you have? Who are they to decide, judge and govern what is beautiful and what makes a wonderful person?

Think back to that individual or those people and pick them apart. They aren’t perfect. They have birthmarks, crooked teeth and feet that are too large. Look at their flaws and pick them apart in your mind. Certainly, don’t tell them or make it known or we stoop to their level of ignorance but in your mind you can overcome their hate.

See? They are not qualified to tell you what is wrong with you when they are not models themselves. How dare they make judgment when they are uneducated, unattractive and most surely unqualified to make an assessment?

Why do we allow such people to change our view? Why let them control our perception of who we are and whether we are worthy?

People who sit around looking for fault in others are generally unhappy with themselves. They hope that in pointing out another person’s transgressions people will be less inclined to see the cracks in their own character. Maybe others won’t notice the problems in their life.

Until they point out a difference or a unique part of us we would not see it. We would look in the mirror and not care if our part was crooked or our nose was a bit large. Without these idiots who feel the need to make ugly remarks we would be secure and happy with the way we are and live complete and satisfied lives.

So right now go look in the mirror and see the beauty that is there. Look for the goodness that is within you and tell yourself, "I am just fine the way I am and no one else has the authority to tell me otherwise."


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    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Tonipet. It's best to build up a shield to negative words if you can.

    • Tonipet profile image

      Tonette Fornillos 

      6 years ago from The City of Generals

      You're right that words cut into our soul and leave an indelible print that can last a lifetime. This happened to me many times, but thankfully I'm not into hatred so I've also learned to forget and forgive then never do the same to others. Thank you Pamela, this is a very insightful hub. I've learned a lot from you.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, Poetic Fool. Words stay with us while wounds heal.

    • profile image

      Poetic Fool 

      7 years ago

      So true, Pamela. Words can be the most effective form of torture man has ever devised. The pain and suffering they can inflict can be worse than the worst torture and can last a lifetime. Congrats of a hub well done.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, 50. We've all been there at one time or another. We just have to overlook the ugly things people say sometimes and realize that they aren't important.

    • 50 Caliber profile image

      50 Caliber 

      7 years ago from Arizona

      Pamela N Red, excellent writing with such a strong message, it really hit me well today as I face written slander here on the pages. I have fought off the temptation to defend myself in ways that cross my mind. I then wipe them away,the thoughts, as there exists more honor in no reply to untruths with rage or hate! I thank you for dropping in on me and my decision to read this article over all the choices you offer was a superb choice, I wish you many blessings and much peace, 50, dusty

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, MPhoenixonline. Sometimes we speak before we think and then it's too late.

    • MPhoenixonline profile image


      7 years ago

      So true. I always say that once you've said something really bad you can never take it back. I feel guilty after letting hate words come out of my mouth. =(

      I love this article, Pamela.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, FaithDream, I hope it helps us to rethink our words before we say them.

    • FaithDream profile image


      7 years ago from (Midwest) USA

      What an awesome and inspiring hub. Sometimes we can feel so "small" in this large world of ours. We self analyze and listen to others to the point of living up to other's expectations of us.

      I like how you said, "The opinions of the people around us are responsible for our growth and create the person we are today."

      Who we are inside is defined by the person we hope to be. Positive messages produce positive results.

      Really nice article.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Denise, I have complexes about myself that are due to things said when I was growing up. I should be able to overlook them but not always easy.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      7 years ago from North Carolina

      Beautiful hub about a most sensitive subject-no matter what age. No one likes their feelings hurt, but how we handle the ungracious behavior is a sign of our own maturity. Well written.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Absolutely words can hurt you. Other people's view of us do matter. To some they matter more than to others but an unkind word can wound.

    • profile image

      should i text him 

      7 years ago

      Thank you! You usually publish really interesting hub. You enhanced my mood.

    • TelsHub profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      Great article, Pam. Thanks for sharing. Oh yes, words can indeed hurt. On the other hand, they can also delight. Cheers.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks for reading, sergs_pogi, Pamela, Crystolite, and Nellieanna.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 

      7 years ago from TEXAS

      There is another saying: "It's better to be hated than ignored." I don't know much about being hated, but the other part of it has sometimes been familiar. Growing up in a family of five vocal adults, being younger than all of them by 10 to 42 years, I became accustomed to being ignored, except as their mascot and little servant. I am sort of laughing, but not much.

      To me, the meanest things are aimed at character & personality more than physical flaws, though I do remember a terrible experience when my glasses lens (on the eye without the problem) had broken and we hadn't had a chance to go the several hundred miles to my ophthalmologist to get both a new prescription and news glasses. I was a new kid in a Junior High School. Kids would come up and poke a finger in the empty frame and laugh. I just wished that the ground would open up and swallow me.

      My daughter's shame was sucking her thumb, which she never did where she could be observed. But once her mean brother and father broke in on her in her room, catching her doing it and made ugly fun of her. She was just devasted. She was only 5 and didn't have the vocabulary to express her fury, so she just said, with all her little power behind it, "Oh! You big old gracious things!" It was delivered with such passion, no one could miss her meaning! Ever since then "BOGT" has meant an ultimate name-calling. :-)

      But yes - the rare times I've endured actual cruel words - from folks from whom I both expected and deserved respect and love -that is excruciating. However, that happened after I had matured and found my being and had learned to not take things into myself which do not fit. Even praise can be ill-fitting, after all. One needs to be steady inside, and especially to help others and to not hurt. If we know how it feels either to be ignored or lambasted, we should not wish to lay any form of cruelty on others is my personal belief. If we must cut someone "down" - best if it is by letting their own words and actions boomerang rather than adding further fuel to the fire.

      Of course each of us is beautiful and unique. When we realize it, it actually imbues a light on and around us. I see yours, Pamela N Red!! Thanks for this good piece and also- for following me! That feels really good!

    • crystolite profile image


      7 years ago from Houston TX

      Yeah,i strongly believe with you that words can really hurt even more than you actually expected that is why we ought to be careful on how we use words.

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Dapples 

      7 years ago from Just Arizona Now

      Hi, Pamela. I agree with you that words can cut into our soul....but I don't think they ever need to leave an indelible print.

      I did notice in one of your comments you qualified that by saying something to the effect that children can be really hurt by comments for a long time. Yes, if we could only protect our children a little longer (or forever).

      May we all have a short memory for mean-spirited barbs and may we protect our children and grandchildren as much as possible by helping them know they are important, good and special no matter who says what. Thanks for a thought-provoking hub.

    • sergs_pogi profile image


      7 years ago

      Wow. Another nice hub again. The part that I like the most is this: "Bruises heal and cuts mend but words stay forever in our heart and mold us into the people we are. The opinions of the people around us are responsible for our growth and create the person we are today." This is really true. I felt it too. Sometimes the material things provided by others are not enough to mend the heartaches we feel when insulted, ashamed in front of others,... I had once an experience with my best friend. He had taught me a lot and given me lots of things, but I was just hurt in the way that he speaks sometimes. I am still thankful though.

      Voted up!

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Kashmir 56, they certainly do.

      Becky, good advice. Thanks for reading.

    • Becky Puetz profile image


      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      You're right words do cut deep and some carry the hurtful feelings that deeply affect them throughout their lives and to those I say this; ask God to remove those terrible words, insults and feelings from you, turn them over to Him. Ask God to forgive the one that hurt you so and pray for the strength to forgive them yourself-then let it go and push it as far away from you as possible. If it pops into your memory again-repeat until it has faded away and gone from you completely. Just remember who made us and in whose image we're created. Flaws, I think not. Great hub voted up and awesome.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Pamela, great hub, verbal wounds hurt just has bad has a physical wound .

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Amy, good luck on your job search. Hang in there and you'll find something.

      Genna, they truly do have an impact on us.

      Anginwu, sometimes we don't mean to hurt those close to us but a joke isn't taken as one or we say something the wrong way.

    • anglnwu profile image


      7 years ago

      I agree it's lie--words hurt, wittingly or unwittingly. Great ideas on how we can deconstruct negative things said to us. Rated up.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Wonderful hub. Maya Angelou once said that "words are things," that can hurt. Up and awesome.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      So many of us buy into the cosmetic industry, which is still, even in this economy, thriving. With a huge amount of fashion magazines touting the "best in beauty", the fountain of youth remains compelling. With ads and articles bombarding nearly every magazine and TV screen, we are left to feel lacking.

      I remember the hoopla over the "America's Got Talent" contestant from Scotland and the amazement on the team of judges, when she sang. It was unfathomable to the judges and the audience that such an "under groomed", matronly woman would have such extraordinary talent. The quest began to "make her more presentable". Despite the rhetoric to the contrary, this example illustrates the importance appearance still holds. Until I see the time when skin deep is not a deciding factor in attaining a job or critical to the whole of any person, self-esteem will continue to be based on how we rank on the beauty scale.

      I am unemployed due to the economy presently. I can not afford new duds for an interview. I went to a recent interview on a very cold blustery day and as my coat was a gift and the nicest thing I presently own, I left it on as I was also honestly cold. The next day I got a call from the employment agency that sent me on this interview. I was more than qualified for the position, but, apparently, because I did not show the goods, the interviewer might have wondered if I was "hiding something like a tattoo!" I was dissolved to tears. The irony is I had an adult entertainment business ask me to consider joining them. But, I didn't imagine that a law office would require that much information from someone answering their phones! It is very demoralizing to be treated as a commodity. Thank you, Pamela N Red, for this thought provoking read.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      SilentReed it is the ones closest that hurt us the most and man times it is unintentional. Thanks for reading.

    • SilentReed profile image


      7 years ago from Philippines

      Words...they may be unintentional or maybe we really meant well. But we sometimes hurt the people we love with careless and tactless comments.It is not the words of people we do not care about but those close to us that hurts and remain within our memories.A parent scolding a child,a friend who betrays our trust,a lover saying goodbye...

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Will, it is best to not let them know they have hurt or bothered us. Sometimes easier said than done.

    • WillStarr profile image


      7 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      The secret is inner be calm in the midst of the storm.

      Those who use words viciously want a response, so I've learned not to respond. Let them waste their time and energy.

      lmmartin put it far more succinctly: "So what?"

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Thanks, Cogerson. I've been busy lately and haven't seen it yet but would like to.

    • Cogerson profile image


      7 years ago from Virginia

      Nice daughter just saw Beastly this weekend, and some of the things you are writing about she was talking about with her mother after seeing the movie...voted up

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      Immartin, good come back. I think we all need one. I've been know to say, "so?"

      Twilight that looks like a good movie. I bet it is good.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      7 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      A reassuring hub, but "everything is relative" and "beauty is in the eye of the beholder"... Will you come to the movies with me Pamela?

      I would love to see 'Beastly'.

    • lmmartin profile image


      7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      When I was a little girl my favorite response to teasing was "So what?" It still works today. I'm getting old -- so what? I'm twenty pounds overweight -- so what? Of course, you have to inject just the right combination of nonchalance and spite into it. Try it. "So what?" Works wonders.

    • Pamela N Red profile imageAUTHOR

      Pamela N Red 

      7 years ago from Oklahoma

      That's the spirit, mckbirdbks. :o)

      Mentalist with age comes wisdom but some are still vulnerable and children greatly so.

    • Mentalist acer profile image

      Mentalist acer 

      7 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

      Oddly enough,I greet the rare negative comment with confusion and delegate it swiftly to the unanswerable phenomena section of my brain and then forgotten,lol.;)

    • mckbirdbks profile image


      7 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Good morning beautiful. I am one handsome devil. (Part of that sentence is right.)


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