Sticks and Stones

“Sticks and Stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

This is a lie I told myself throughout my childhood. Almost all the times I can remember crying throughout my school years was because of words that came out of people’s mouths. Words with no meaning behind and were just used as words to win an argument, usually not actually meant.

Up until recently, I thought I was the things what other people said I was, but I realised I was so much more and that was just their perceptions. Over the past 6 months, although there’s been an ongoing battle with my mind, I’ve gained in confidence. By that, I don’t mean I think I am the most beautiful 18-year-old in my area or I’m the funniest person I know, but I’ve stopped caring about what other people think of me, and only care about the opinions of those close to me.

People will make snap judgements about you. They will judge you before you’ve even opened your mouth, and they will portray you in a particular light whether it’s right or wrong. People remember you at your worst more often than your best. It’s your job to show them who you really are. This may still lead to them thinking of you one way, and that’s fine as long as you don’t allow yourself to believe they are right if you don’t agree or don’t like what you hear. Human Beings are judgemental creatures. I know I am. But it’s what you do with your opinions and your judgement that matters.

The people who I am close to and REALLY know me with will tell you I’m honest. If I don’t like something or I don’t agree with something I will say so to try and avoid it ever happening again. I will not be walked over or watch somebody else be put down because they can’t defend themselves.

Some people who know me will call me a bitch. If I don’t like something or I don’t agree with something I will say. I will often give back as good as I get as long as I’m not too emotional and end up crying. If I do end up crying, these people shouldn’t feel satisfaction as if they’ve won, I was probably crying over how cute my dog was earlier that morning or because my shoelace became undone. If I cry it’s probably just been one of those days.

Personally, I agree with both of these people. I am honest and believe it’s easier than spinning up a web of lies to avoid awkwardness, but I can also be a bitch and be unnecessarily honest about my opinions that I’m often not entitled to. Knowing your audience and identifying differences in relationships between people is the key difference being those two things. I will always be honest, but sometimes I may say something that my best friend would instantly know isn’t meant in a serious way, but could be offensive or belittling to somebody else. I recognise this and know it’s something I need to work on.

My point is, just because I don’t allow people’s judgements to get to me anymore, it doesn’t mean other people do the same. Many of us need to become aware that these labels we put on each other can hurt people emotionally, just because it doesn’t hurt us, doesn’t mean it won’t hurt others.

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