"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.