Monday, September 14, 2015 | By: Angela Brown

Just Another Monday...or Not - The Power of Words

Soooo cute!
There is a common phrase taught to most, if not all, children at some point in their young lives:

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."

Those words were extremely helpful to me as I dealt with bullying because I was a nerd who embraced my unpopular nerdiness. I wore glasses and I would sit out on my porch to read books while other kids got together to work on the latest dance steps they picked up from a music video, you know, back in the day when MTV actually spent most of the day showing music videos.

I heard the following from people who knew little or nothing about me, simply because I wore glasses and decided that studying and increasing my intelligence were NOT bad things:
"'Sup four-eyed bitch."
"Why are you so stuck up?"

Because I was a bit of a sassy thing, even at that age, I tended to roll my eyes and ignore the taunts or respond with :
"That's MISS Bitch, thank you."
"At least I'm stuck up in the right direction."
"And your point is?"

I was young and just refused to let anyone think they could say whatever they wanted to me and think it was okay. Without fully realizing it, I reduced the power of their words, and reduced the power of influence they had when it came to my self-worth.

That's not to say it didn't bother me at all. I sometimes wondered what I did for them to pick on me. If, just maybe, there was something I'd done to deserve their mistreatment? Questioning was only natural, but the end result was me always understanding no one deserved to be bullied.

What about you? Have you experienced any bullying? Or maybe known of others who experienced bullying? Have you considered the power of your words? Maybe Monday could use a positive word makeover.


Anonymous said...

I was blessed in my group of friends when I was younger. It wasn't that bullying never happened, it was just that it was so inconsequential when I compared it to the love and support I received from my friends. But I love that you responded so powerfully to the bullying. I'd like to think I could be that sassy if I needed to be. :) Words can be incredibly powerful, but they get their power from those who receive them - so your attitude was amazing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kids are so cruel.
I liked your responses though!

Catherine Stine said...

MISS Bioch, hahaha. Well, you know you trumped all that with your amazing novels!

SA Larsenッ said...

So sorry you experienced bullying, Angela. #sighs.... Yeah, I wore glasses, too. Coke bottles, no less, and got made fun of plenty. (And I went to Catholic school. #snort) I also had braces, and my parents wouldn't let me wear makeup or get my hair done like the other girls. That was until I hit my freshman year in high school and then suddenly these same kids wanted to be my friend. Uh...

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I was bullied mercilessly in middle school. Words hurt A LOT. Some of them are still emblazoned in my memory. :(

alexia said...

I love that you sassed them right back! That's exactly the right response. Bullies are looking for a negative reaction, and when you show you don't care, they often move along. I don't remember being bullied a lot, but when I was I responded about the same - snarky neutrality :)

alexia said...

And now geeks are cool!

Maria Zannini said...

I've never understood how bullies could be powerful. I still don't. There was an older girl once in high school who tried to intimidate little sophomore me.
It. Did. Not. Work.

The only thing I did was call her bluff. She hauled off fast and lost several of her minions because of her cowardice. I wasn't particularly brave but I was logical. I knew she was just trying to intimidate me because I was new and not with the popular kids.

Arlee Bird said...

I think bullies are just trying to get a response from those they bully. They want to instill fear and hurt, but when confronted with wit and intelligence they are often frustrated and will back down.

I was never bullied to any great extent. If it started I tended to keep the situation in check and avoid conflict.

Arlee Bird
A to Z Challenge Co-host
Tossing It Out

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