Sticks and Stones may break my bones…

 

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me … this is the biggest load of tosh ever said or written.

 

There is no denying that words hurt, in fact words can sometimes be the most painful things. They are often the weapons people use against one another and weapons that are thrown around with no thought to who they hurt.

 

Sticks and Stones

 

When I was younger, I was told by a family member that I was getting a bit chubby in the face. A mere observation possibly, but this led to me skipping meals to try and lose weight. I spent a lot of time in physical pain from lack of food, pretending I had eaten at friends and generally being miserable and self-hating. I also began to make myself sick after I did eat.

 

Such a throwaway comment that they most likely didn’t even mean, but it stuck with me for a long time in my teens. Luckily for me it didn’t turn into a full blown eating disorder and I gradually began to like myself again and realise that there was much more value to me as a person than simply how I looked. Looking back at photos of myself now I was pretty tiny back then anyway.

 

We as a society seem to place so much value on appearances and trying to attain a level of impossible perfection. As the years have gone by I have really stopped caring what anyone else thinks of how I look. I do care that Si finds me attractive but that’s kind of natural and I care about being healthy. What I find so sad is how often people are judged by how they look.

 

Looks really aren’t important and never an indication of the person within. I have known some truly beautiful but really unkind people in my lifetime so far. To me kindness is one of the most attractive qualities that a person can have, forget perfect legs or a beautiful face, to me being kind is beautiful. So in this sense, I wish the world was full of only beautiful people.

 

I watched a programme a while ago, which I had never watched before, solely in all honesty because I was too lazy to find the remote control. That programme was the Jeremy Kyle Show.

 

On the show, they brought back a woman who had appeared on the show previously. I have no idea why she was on the show originally, but this time she was back to have her teeth fixed.

 

Not because she contacted them to have them done, but because when she originally appeared on the show, people watching decided they had the right to comment on her appearance. They commented on social media saying how awful she looked, they commented saying horrible awful things about her teeth.

 

Her teeth were very prominent after an accident as a child and she couldn’t afford to have them fixed as an adult. So yes her teeth didn’t look great. However that has nothing to do with anyone else, nor does it say anything about the type of person she is.

 

These people made her feel like she wished she wasn’t alive, like she did not want to step outside of her home anymore. They made her feel worthless.

 

Unfortunately, people seem to feel that they can say things online that they most likely wouldn’t in real life. Behind their keyboards, they seem to forget manners and kindness. The majority of people would not walk up to a stranger in the street and tell them they look fat, ugly, mock their disability or worse.

 

Online ‘hidden’ behind their screens people seem to become so much braver, so much more thoughtless and hurtful sometimes to the point of ruining people’s lives. I would like to think that the majority don’t aim for that, that they just don’t think before posting their random thoughts online for the world to see. Sadly I do know that for some it is very much on purpose, the ‘wonderful’ trolls of the online world.

 

It isn’t always blatant trolls who hurt people though. I constantly see tweets and online comments that people write online about celebrities. They mention how they hate this one, how that one has put on weight, this one has a huge nose…. etc etc. Celebrities are people – shocking I know – people who read what others say about them, people with feelings. People post photos mocking strangers for something about their appearance, yes the chances are they may never know about it.

 

However, the internet and especially social media has made our world so much smaller in some ways. Viral tweets and Facebook posts can reach thousands of people if not more. They even pop up in the news or on sites such as BuzzFeed. Suddenly that one tweet you sent to your followers has gone crazy and spread much further than you could have imagined. Your insult about that person being seen by so many … potentially even the actual person.

 

Can you imagine seeing a tweet about yourself doing the rounds where a stranger has mocked your body shape or something else about you? How would that make you feel?

 

Before you send that tweet or make that comment online on a news story, on social media or anywhere else…. just stop for a moment and think would you be happy if someone made that comment about you or a member of your family? Also if it isn’t something that you would be happy to say to someone on the street, then it probably isn’t something you should be saying somewhere even more public.

 

I really hope that the world my children are growing up in will get kinder, that people will realise that it really isn’t just sticks and stones that hurt. Treat others how you would like them to treat you … this is something I was taught as a child and have taught my own children.

 

Basically be kind.

 

Stevie x

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40 Comments

  1. 9 November 2016 / 8:43 pm

    You’re so right and the online world can be a horrible place. Sadly I don’t think our children will grow up in a kinder world, it just seems to be worsening. All we can do is teach them to be kind and that people say nasty things are only a reflection on themselves, not on the people they’re unkind to.
    Nat.x

    • 9 November 2016 / 8:47 pm

      In some ways having the internet really helps them, but in other ways growing up with social media and the pressure from it is a bit scary.

      Stevie x

  2. 10 November 2016 / 7:22 am

    I never understand why people have to be so unkind and yes it does seem to have stepped up a whole gear with the rise of social media. So sad. A friend once tweeted about a celeb, nothing overly hurtful but personal nonetheless and the celeb replied. She hadn’t tagged them but they found it anyway. Lesson learned and she has never spoken publicly about anyone again. Just unnecessary isn’t it? Great post xx

    • 10 November 2016 / 11:09 am

      Thanks lovely and I really agree. I see so much online where people are obviously trying to be funny or just not thinking, but it must be awful if you are the subject of those sorts of posts. I would also be devastated to ever think that I had hurt someone. I keep reassuring myself that there are still so many kind people in the world, it’s just that the unkind ones seem to have more time to spend on Facebook etc belittling others.

      Stevie xx

  3. 10 November 2016 / 10:06 am

    Kindness is the most important quality as a person, if you are kind, good things will always come to you. I do agree words can hurt people so much, those people say some words they don’t even realise what the consequences will be. let’s be kind, the world is already very cold.

  4. 11 November 2016 / 8:01 am

    You’re absolutely right. Speak of others as you would like to be spoken of. Kindness costs nothing and it’s one of the best personality traits one can have.

    Sally @ Life Loving

  5. 11 November 2016 / 10:33 am

    Fantastic post, I have never understood this saying I remember adults telling me this when I was younger, and I always thought ‘but words DO hurt’

    There is so much out there in the media telling us we should look a certain way if we expect to fit in. Kindness is absolutely important and something we are striving to teach our kids. It is not about looks, it’s what’s inside that really matters x #PicknMix

    • 11 November 2016 / 12:39 pm

      Thank you Luce, I really don’t think the media help sometimes. They seem to normalise criticising others for something so ridiculous as appearance.

      Stevie x

  6. 11 November 2016 / 10:34 am

    I had a very similar experience to yourself when I was in school and it worries me everyday that somebody’s mean words may make my daughter feel the same way. Right now I strive for my idea of the perfect body but that’s because I want myself to feel good and happy, not for a anybody else and I definitely want my children to feel the same and he kind to themselves and others #picknmix

    • 11 November 2016 / 12:40 pm

      The world would be a much nicer place if people were even just a little kinder to others and to themselves

      Stevie x

  7. 11 November 2016 / 1:18 pm

    Basically, be kind. I agree 100% and am always quick to pick either of my kids up on any comment they might make about people’s appearance. Of course they mean it innocently enough but I think they need to realise from an early age that everyone is different and that’s ok. Its awful to think that you, and let’s be honest most people at some point in their lives, have felt the need to change their appearance as a result of an unkind word or a not-so-subtle comment. We do live in a time where people care a lot about appearance and actually that’s fine, of course it’s great to take pride in how you present yourself to the world but that’s possible at ANY age, shape, size, colour – it’s ok to be you and even better to strive to be the best version of yourself as long as that comes from a positive place and like you say includes being a decent human being. #PicknMix

  8. 11 November 2016 / 1:25 pm

    Totally 100% agree with you. My motto is, and I say this to the girls all the time, if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything. I also think just being kind in general gets you al long way. A nice comment on a post/tweet, a nice ‘I love your hair/scarf/shoes’ to friends when you see them goes such a long way and you really can help make someone’s day. #PicknMix

    • 11 November 2016 / 1:29 pm

      I definitely agree Jo and I compliment people all the time as I know what a boost it can give you to hear kind words :)

      Stevie x

  9. 11 November 2016 / 3:11 pm

    words definately carry more power than we realize at the time that we say them. :(

    #picknmix

    • 12 November 2016 / 9:33 pm

      They sadly do, I’m always careful in what I say as I would hate to be the cause of someone else’s pain.

      Stevie x

  10. 11 November 2016 / 4:57 pm

    Having struggled greatly with body issues in my life i am terrified for my daughter and the effect the media could have on her….terrified. The world is a scary enough place without constantly judging your features as well. #PickNMix

    • 12 November 2016 / 9:35 pm

      It really is so in their face these days isn’t it? Social media and my boys scares me as they start to approach the years of using in, people online can be so cruel.

      Stevie x

  11. 11 November 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Totally agree Stevie, great post and I am saddened by some of the tings I see people write about others and seem to think it would not effect them. #picknmix

  12. 12 November 2016 / 6:48 am

    I completely agree, throw away comments stick with people. I’ve had comments said to me that I still think about, days, months, years later. I do wish we lived in a kinder world, but with the internet people can hide so much more. Great post xx

  13. 12 November 2016 / 7:04 am

    If only everyone was kinder, if adults could role model kindness to all the children in the world. You are so right, words do hurt, people can be incredibly cruel and I know we should never let it bother us, these peoples opinions do not define us, what we think of ourselves is the most important opinion!! But I know when you have large group of people saying hurtful things you start to doubt yourself, and those people who make comments to young boys and girls about their bodies can have HUGE negative impacts. People really need to think moocher before they speak! #pixnmix

    • 12 November 2016 / 5:50 pm

      They really do, it really makes me sad that there are so many mean people out there, I’m just glad there are also a lot of kind ones.

      Stevie x

  14. 12 November 2016 / 3:12 pm

    I have faced huge amounts of scrutiny for my appearence over the years and despite hating how I look I simply have to crack on. I have suffered online with comments on forums and other places and yes… sticks and stones is a whole load of tosh!

    • 12 November 2016 / 5:49 pm

      People really are so cruel sometimes, I would go mad if I ever caught one of my boys being mean to someone about how they looked or in any way really. Kindness costs nothing.

      Stevie x

  15. 12 November 2016 / 6:54 pm

    Well said. It always amazes me that people can be so cruel in what they say about someone’s appearance. Xx

    • 12 November 2016 / 9:29 pm

      Thank you. I feel the same, it certainly isn’t how I would ever treat anyone.

      Stevie x

  16. 12 November 2016 / 7:56 pm

    Fantastic post. It worries me all the time the things my kids will have to face as they grow up. We can’t protect them from everything but we can atleast teach them to be better people, to be kind and non-judgemental, and that words really do hurt. Kindness costs nothing x
    #Picknmix

    • 12 November 2016 / 9:31 pm

      It is scary for definite, especially as they are growing up in the social media age where they can’t escape it easily.

      Stevie x

  17. 12 November 2016 / 8:01 pm

    Well said! I hate keyboard warriors and their horrible comments, it’s like they say something just to seek a rise.
    It doesn’t hurt to be nice at all!
    #PicknMix

    • 12 November 2016 / 9:27 pm

      I think they’re probably the same ones who like to give the thumbs down on Twitter ;) Thank you

      Stevie x

  18. 14 November 2016 / 4:34 pm

    This is a sad reflection on the world. #PicknMix

  19. 17 November 2016 / 8:31 pm

    I shudder about the online world my children are and will grow up in…very thought provoking postx #picknmix

  20. 18 November 2016 / 9:47 am

    I don’t understand people who feel the need to comment about another’s looks and appearance. People should keep their opinions to themselves if they have nothing nice to say. xx

    #picknmix

  21. 8 January 2018 / 2:40 pm

    Lovely post, I often say to my girls find people with kind hearts. I definitely worry about the world they are growing up in x

    • 8 January 2018 / 2:52 pm

      Thanks lovely and yep how kind people are the people that you want in your life :)

      Stevie x