Every person has their story, their worries, and their struggles. Too many people make “accidental” negative comments. By accidental I mean that possibly, their intention was not what the real effect of that comment caused. Whether they were joking, or they meant it but didn’t think the other person would take to heart, the truth is that one negative comment does not affect everyone in the same way. Why is that so? Because we are all different, because we have been through different circumstances in our lives. For instance, you could make a comment to someone about how slow they are, or how they can’t keep up the pace, and you will probably expect the other person to laugh and take it as a joke. But for someone like me, although I have never been in that circumstance where someone made that comment towards me, I would probably feel a little bad about myself because I can’t help being slow, and I will never be able to keep up with them or anyone else that is physically healthy. You could say I’m just looking at that comment negatively and it is something so minimal it should not affect me the way I described. But I don’t see it like that, I see it that if anyone in the same situation felt like that it would be realistic, because not ever being able to keep up with them is not an exaggerated thought, it is realistic and something you already knew, but it’s just another reminder. A comment like that would not have a greater effect on me than that, and I would probably forget about it after some minutes, but it is still a reminder that isn’t so pleasant.
Nobody has the right to undervalue someone else’s emotions or reactions to something. No one should think that the other person is over reacting by crying or feeling sad because of a comment that was made to them. Everyone has the right to feel, and just because that comment does not affect you, does not mean it can’t affect someone else. And also, no one should feel like they have to repress their emotions just because other people don’t react the same as you did because of a comment made. If something offends you, makes you feel sad, or ashamed, you have every right to express that and let the other person know that was not OK. Don’t feel like you have to pretend it did not affect you just because others don’t think it was hurtful.
When I was in elementary, a boy from my grade made a comment about my appearance. He said “you look so skinny, you look like you’re going to die.” As a 9-10 year old girl, I had no idea how I was supposed to react to that comment, all I knew is that it made me feel sad and angry at the same time. Angry that he had no idea what i’ve been through to just make a comment like that, and sad because of the type of muscular dystrophy I have, gaining weight has always been a challenge. It’s not like I wanted to be skinny, I actually hated that about myself and I would always wear sweat pants, overalls, or just anything loose that covered my whole body. From elementary through High School, I never dared wear a short sleeve shirt or anything other than pants. That boy probably didn’t think the comment affected me the way it did, and I don’t think his intention was really to make fun of me or try to hurt me. Kids can be hurtful, plain and simple, and I think a lot of that has to do with adults not paying enough attention to teaching kids what effects negative comments can cause on others. Why? Because some adults don’t even know that either. Throughout my later years, most of the people that have made comments about my weight are by adults. They always say it with a smile though, but does that make it less hurtful? When that happens I just smile or do an awkward laugh, because the way they said it lets me know that they did not mean for it to be a negative comment, they just don’t know me enough to know how that comment can make me feel. They assume I might be a girl that is dieting to try to look like those thin models, so they think they’re making me feel better about having more weight, because they emphasize that fuller women are more beautiful. I don’t take too much offense from their comments either, and I try not to judge anyone that says those things because I’m sure if they knew me, they wouldn’t say that.
People need to realize that if they don’t know someone, it’s better to not make any comment that can be negative. I don’t write this specifically for me, but for all the people out there. I see too many around me receiving comments that just baffles me how the person saying it can say it without a care in the world about its effects. Throughout my life comments have affected me emotionally, and I can just imagine how other people that receive negative comments can feel too, and I don’t think anyone should feel like that. There’s really no need for them anyways. If you see someone you don’t know personally, what does saying something negative to them do for you? Nothing. It contributes nothing to them, to you, to anyone.
Let’s be positive, and pass it around. Every time you say something nice to someone, you should feel like you did a great thing, and keep in mind that you could have just made that persons day.