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.
The other night, I was at church talking to a friend about our kids and how they are growing up so fast. 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 come to us when someone says or does hurtful things to them. I hesitantly admitted that I find myself using that same old tired phrase with my children in attempts of helping them bounce back from the pain caused by someone’s careless mishandling of words. When in fact I should be honest with them. Instead of trying to make them pretend that words mean words are not hurtful, I should be teaching them to cope with the pain caused by hurtful words and action. So, the next time one of my children comes to me and lets me know that they have been hurt by someone’s words, here’s my advice to them:
1. Don’t take it personally. Hurt feelings are a part of life. Everyone experiences hurt from time to time.
2. Express your hurt feelings. Keeping your feelings bottled up is not the correct way to deal with them.
3. Let it go! We are not defined by other people’s opinions.
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?