This post is part of Linda G Hill’s “Stream of Consciousness Saturday” — Click and read, click and join in! Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “stick.” Use it as a noun, a verb, or add stuff to it to make it an adverb or an adjective. Have fun!
So goes the playground rhyme. What a lie. I always thought that, even when I was a kid. I suppose (like the Wiki article says) that the rhyme was meant to encourage a child victim of name-calling to ignore the teasing and not get upset or lash back. Ok, fine. Bad idea to punch someone in the nose for calling you a name. I agree. I even remember my own mother consoling me with similar adages when someone teased me or hurt me. It’s good advice to not give the taunter the satisfaction of stooping to his level, but it just won’t erase the hurt. Some things, once said, can’t be “taken back” or “glossed over.”
As a child I learned to stay quiet about such things, just try to gracefully avoid the offender in the future. It’s really not a bad way to go, and I still do, most of the time. I don’t know about you, chers lecteurs, but for me, when I look back on relationships, friendships, business deals, workplace interactions, when they’ve gone wrong, all I remember is the ugly words. Sometimes they were said to me, sometimes I said them to others, which I always deeply regret, even if it seems to be “justified.”
I had a colleague, once, who was very very sensitive to these words. We’d be having a conversation, and she’d say something like, “Oh, well evidently I’m just ‘silly girl with no real depth'” And I’d think to myself, “wow. somebody actually said those words to her.” And it must have hurt her because it sounded like a quotation, and she remembered it, word for word. No matter what the person might have said afterwards. The word were “out there”.
Certain things can make working together impossible. A carelessly tossed out word can destroy trust between two people in a heartbeat. In summary,
I endeavor to be more careful with the things I say, because even if I can’t stop others from saying things to me that “stick” with me forever, I can do my best not to be the bearer of such things to others.
What do you think, chers lecteurs? Has your heart ever been broken by “mere” words? Have you been guilty of such yourself? Can hurtful words ever be truly “deleted” or are they like files on the internet, forever existing in the ephemera of the mind?