The Hurt We Can Cause

This is really a people issue rather than a fat issue, but I think that fat people may be more at-risk because we are taught to think negatively about ourselves and not trust our own instincts about what is true.

From Junior High to High School, I had the biggest crush on a boy.  Now he was not a hunka-hunka love – skinny, pimply, unsocialized, geeky, red head; but he was so smart and talented and funny.  And at one point he told me that I was not smart.  He claimed to have seen my IQ tests in my files and that I was at best average.  And I believed him.  And I have lived much of my life believing this was true of myself and fighting to prove him wrong (even though he moved away shortly thereafter).  So afraid this was true.

Well, it isn’t true.  Now this may have made me push myself to excel; but it has caused me to doubt myself and not stand up for myself in many ways.  One stupid statement.

He also told me that I was talented.  After seeing me play the lead in Hello Dolly, he told me that I was good – not just high school good, but good-good.  And I believed him then too.  And that is probably why I have gone out for roles that nobody would think a fat girl could play.  One kind statement.

So try to remember that what people say to you is not necessarily true.  It’s their opinion, and the only opinion that really counts is your own – and you should live accordingly. 

But also remember how just one thoughtless statement (or one compliment) can hurt or help someone; especially when they are young. 

Just think twice before you speak or before you believe.

By the way, I did finally tell him how I felt; but by then he had already hooked up with a girl at his new school – a fat girl.  Yet another lesson learned – tell someone how you feel, you never know!


4 thoughts on “The Hurt We Can Cause

  1. Oh that is so sad that someone could have such an negative and lasting impact on you like that. I struggle with the intelligence thing, too. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s common for women. I once took some online IQ test and it said I was borderline genius, everyone made a big joke out of that really hurt me. I dropped out of high school and so that is always an insecurity of mine, to be seen as less intelligent. UGH! Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. Hugs. I’ve been on both sides of this sort of conversation, although not so much as an adult. My biggest regrets are the times when I’ve made such statements.

  3. I dunno, I think it’s just the nature of us. We can be incredibly strong, hear things against us repeatedly and it’s water off a ducks back.

    Whereas at other times, like the one you described, just one sentence, or word can change the way we see ourselves sometimes forever.

    I don’t know what the answer is because that’s how we’re designed, sometimes it works the other way, that one word is all it takes to change from a negative course to a positive one. Both outcomes happen by the same course.

    I suppose I’m saying we shouldn’t see it as a personal failing.

  4. I very much believe that thinking twice before one comments on anything to do with another person is a good thing. It’s a skill I’m trying to practice and perfect, because like you tanterri, I’ve been on the receiving end of that one. Countless times in fact.

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