Words Can Hurt you

Mke - Auburn, Washington
Entered on November 7, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: setbacks
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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 stupid and short. However, my teachers and family would tell me the exact opposite and say words cannot hurt me, but in reality, they did. Going to school everyday was fun most of the time until someone had to say something cruel. I disagree with the statement words can’t hurt, because in reality 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 enraged 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. Over the years, my peers have changed. I got into my classes in high school and my life became pleasant once again. I met a guy in my history class 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.

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 assailant 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 had rancor towards him that whole year, and I still do. I was around seven when it happened, I’m seventeen now, and I still would be disgusted by that kid. In my case I was injured emotionally and I never forgot how much it hurt me. My size has not changed, but 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 and five foot four inches, I’m considered short. 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 struggle with my self-esteem because of the names I was labeled. What kind of advice should I be given to help with my struggling? I give advice to people just like me that words do hurt and it’s insurmountable. 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.