Saturday, 30 August 2014

Sticks and Stones

I've never really cared what others think of me. It amuses me to find out how creative people can be with their insults and to be honest, I usually agree with whatever they say. 

But occasionally, people say things which really bother even me. Never strangers, because I have no reason to care what they think. But friends, family, or just people I spend a lot of time with. Very often, people say things without malicious intent, but whatever it is they say can really mean something.

Image sourced from here.

And why? The more I consider it, the more ridiculous I feel because simple words shouldn't mean anything. Saying that you are something or you act like something should be nothing more than a description. But this happened again recently, and I finally think I know why little words can hurt me so much.

The fact is, words on their own mean nothing. But what leads people to say them does. Even when people make friendly jokes and everyone laughs, those words still show something about how others think of you. They show what others think about your characteristics, how you react to things, and what your intentions are when you say or do things. And sometimes, if we feel that those perceptions of our character are wrong, then it can be quite hard to deal with.

Image sourced from here.

On the one hand, we have to consider what it is that we're doing to make people see us that way. Then people, such as I, who consider things way too deeply think about the billion things that must be wrong with us to make people think this. But more importantly, it makes us question the relationships we have with people, and how well they actually know us. Because even if you come across in a certain way, the people closest to you should still know what your actual intent is. And they should be able to help make you aware of how you're presenting yourself, and find a way to help you change it.

Words as a whole fascinate me. Words said by strangers amuse me, or have no effect on me. But the words said by people whose opinions I value matter hugely to me. Not because of what the words are, but because of what they mean about me and anyone else.

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