Words Can Hurt

December 12, 2007
By Kelley Clark, Wilmore, KY

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”, we’ve all heard this quote whether it be from a neighbor, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, or grandparent. But do we really understand, how powerful words actually are? Well, I believe words can hurt.

If you are told something again and again you start to actually believe it. Which is exactly what happened to me, when I was about 13 one of my best friends always told me I was dumb or stupid. Sometimes she even told me that I couldn’t do anything right. Well one day I completely exploded on her and told her exactly how I felt. She said that she was very sorry and that she didn’t realize that what she was telling me hurt my feelings so much, and that she was just kidding around. Now we are all past that and we are the best of friends, it’s all good.

Words really do hurt coming from just anybody but when they come from someone in your family they can absolutely destroy you. One time I was playing around outside and I went to sit on this scooter thing that we have (it’s very expensive). Well I got off of it and went on my merry little way. Just as my dad walked outside the door the scooter’s kickstand gave out and the scooter toppled over and fell on the house. (This left a big white scratch on the side of the scooter) My dad, understandably, started yelling at me thinking I was the one that knocked it over. So I calmly told him that I didn’t do anything. Well then he gave me a stern look and said “Kelley Lynn, don’t lie to me.” So I took this like he was calling me a liar. It really hurt my feelings and once I calmed down I told him “Dad, I know that you were upset earlier but you jumped to conclusions because I didn’t knock the scooter over. I was sitting on it and when I got off and walked away it fell. I’m sorry about that but when you told me to quit lying to you I wasn’t lying so it hurt my feelings.” Then he said “Kelley, I know that I jumped to conclusions and I’m sorry I should have figured out the whole story and believed you when you told me your side. So I’m sorry if what I said hurt your feelings.” This shows that what family says can hurt tons worse then when a friend tells you something.

Even though from family members can cut like a knife, friend’s words can make you feel completely useless. For instance one time I had on a new shirt. So far everyone had told me that it was cute, but when I got to my last class one of my “best friends” walked up to me and said “You look fat in that shirt.” I was flabbergasted. I was angry at her for days. She still has apologized but we still worked it out. I don’t think that she realized how much her words meant to me and to hear her say that really hurt me.

I believe that words are a lot more powerful then people want to think. When I say things I try my hardest to think about what I’m saying and the impact it will have before I open my mouth. So I guess the quote, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”, still holds true.

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