Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me. That’s a load of crap if I’ve ever heard one. We all have been in situations where people say hurtful things. This phrase suggests that we should just brush off insults because we are strong, confident individuals and we don’t care what people think, right?
In reality, we should try to learn and grow from anything others say about us. It’s true, sometimes people say nasty things with no basis at all, other than being just plain mean (you tell ‘em Taylor Swift). But often, we can learn a lot from what people say. There are different kinds of insults I have experienced in my day:
The Haterade influenced insult – Like I said, sometimes people are just not nice. I’m a strong believer that when people are insecure, they tend to bring others down. So what can you learn about yourself from a random insult that someone gives you? Well, a lot. First thing is first, process the insult. If someone calls you stupid, and you are doing something stupid, then you should probably reassess your situation. Now if they call you stupid while youre sitting in a classroom learning about quantum physics, they should probably reassess their situation. Regardless, you can still learn about yourself in the way you react to the situation. Don’t get defensive and throw some punches when someone insults you. Put on your big boy pants and take it like a champ.
The “I’m not trying to be rude” but… insult – Don’t you love when people preface their insults like that? Yeah, me neither. These insults are generally intended to be constructive criticism, but they lack the constructive aspect. The key is to not get offended by the way in which they tell you this information. For example, someone might say, “I don’t mean to be rude, but you stink.” So instead of crying, take a shower perhaps. Tears won’t clean your smelliness away.
The constructive criticism insult – Okay, so here is where you need to decide if you are being a sissy or not. Often times in our life we get criticism about ourselves that we may not agree with. People have different opinions, and it can be an amazing eye-opener to get insight into what people think about you. Hey, maybe you think you are God’s gift to earth, and everybody else thinks you are an arrogant jerk. In this case you should jog backwards for a few minutes until you cross back over that line between confidence and cockiness. Unless you’re into that whole “being lonely forever” thing, then keep caring about yourself more than anything around you. Taking constructive criticism and learning to deviate from our norms in order to better ourselves, is a key to gaining success in whatever you do.
Sticks and stones can break our bones, and words will just break down our spirit. We have to be confident enough in ourselves to take insults in the best way possible. Either we take the advice of the person who has said hurtful things, or we build our characters by being the bigger person. There is no need to get all depressed and lock yourself in your room for the rest of your life. Instead, learn to make yourself better at every opportunity you get.
To profit from good advice requires more wisdom than to give it. – Wilson Mizner
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