I worked with a student that would take the bus every day to school. On that bus, there was a girl that was ruthlessly mean to my client every single day – for no reason whatsoever. My client did nothing to provoke this. She would call him names, pick on him, and tease him. Every day. Her words weren’t even true, but she didn’t care. He couldn’t understand why this was happening to him.
He tried ignoring her. He tried talking back to her. He tried asking her to stop. But, she didn’t. He didn’t know what to do. He reached out for help from adults. That only caused the girl to be more careful with her taunts – less obvious to outside observers.
He just wanted it to stop.
He heard her words… and kept them all inside. The more the pain he felt inside, the harder he worked to push it down.
Eventually, without even realizing it, he started believing the things she said about him. He started believing that he wasn’t worth anything. He started believing he was stupid. He started believing he was ugly.
I am here to tell you, NONE of that was true. But, he was told that so many times, he started to believe it himself.
That is the power of words – when we let them in.
This young man is one of the most intelligent, handsome, hilariously funny, amazing teens that I have ever met. It took some time. But, eventually, he found his self-worth again.
It wasn’t easy. It took work that only he could do. He had to believe in his own worth. He had to understand that he is 100% worthy of love and that no one can ever take that away from him. He had to relearn how to treat himself like someone who matters.
Your take away from his story…
- You matter.
- When other people’s words hurt, we need to care for ourselves. We need to understand why those words bothered us (I usually find the answer for me is fear or shame). Do your own investigation of your thoughts about it.
- No matter what others say… no matter what you have said or done… you are 100% worthy of love. Always.