How Words Affect Us

Ariana Bruno, Writer

It’s been proven that other people’s words have the option and opportunity to hurt us on how we view ourselves. I can’t even begin to describe how words can change our outlook. No matter how young or old you are, words will hurt you and will eat away at you. A lot of people tend to look on the negative side of things and sometimes struggle to find the positives. Of course, you’re going to remember the hurtful words someone said to you rather than the nicer ones. 

Someone told me I had a big nose once, and ever since then, I’ve looked in the mirror and thought my nose was ugly. I had someone else point out the bags under my eyes telling me that: “you need to sleep more” and now I’m inclined to wear concealer and powders so people won’t notice it. Another person told me I had really bad acne and I needed to fix it, so every time I washed my face I tried multiple creams and medications to get rid of it. However, the nice compliments I got about how contagious my laugh was, and how someone said they liked my smile, and then how someone said my eyes were pretty completely slipped my mind. I will never understand why people say hurtful things even out of anger. 

Though, I hate hearing the argument: nobody cares about what you look like because everyone is focused on themselves. While that’s partially true, people will still say rude things to your face and even behind your back. It’s become so normalized in society that hearing the word “self-love” will make people cringe. It’s so easy to push your insecurities onto others. We all have to stop feeding into the narrative that we have to be this perfect person for our friends, family, and even for society to like us and accept us for who we are. 

We will be with ourselves from the very beginning of our life to the end, and I think learning to love ourselves unconditionally will make a difference. It’s hard for a lot of people, and it’s also draining to realize how much time you’ve taken away from your life worrying about the insecurities you have. I still regret worrying about my insecurities. I’ve realized that I’d have more fun if I wasn’t so worried about how I looked in certain clothes, or how my appearance was because I compared myself to one of my friends. No matter how young or old you are, it’s never too late to start enjoying life. It’s never too late to realize that you’re supposed to live your life for yourself and not others because this is the only life you get, and you’re going to be the only person you get from birth to death. You have to love that person unconditionally. 

I’m very passionate about this topic. After all, I’ve witnessed close people in my life attempt to hide their insecurities because someone pointed something out. I also watched people ruin themselves because of the hateful comments they got. However, I do understand that not everyone is going to like you and won’t understand why you look a certain way or dress a certain way. I try to see eye to eye with someone when they point out an insecurity of mine. Maybe they want to be better than me. Maybe they’re frustrated about an insecurity they have and want to push it onto other people, or maybe they’re just being brutally honest. We all try to make ourselves smaller because we’re afraid to be outgoing. Sometimes I’ve always thought that making myself smaller would be better because then not as many people would say things about how I looked or how I acted. I fed into that narrative of wanting to be socially accepted among my peers. Part of this is because I grew afraid by watching society change. I watched society pick on young and old people for how they looked, dressed, and acted. I watched how people lost themselves because of what people said. You can’t just tell people that “this is the real world” because it’s not. Words can hurt people, and when we show that words hurt, we’re painted as “sensitive” and “a pushover”

All individuals worry so much about things we cannot change, and that’s what hurts so much about our words. You can’t change or take back what you said to someone because words are permanent. Sometimes that’s the hardest pill to swallow at the end of the day.