It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Do Words Hurt?

page: 2
<< 1    3  4  5 >>

log in


posted on May, 5 2013 @ 03:01 PM
I think the words themselves are harmless. It's the intent, and the means by which they are delivered that hurts.

I could use a knife to create a masterpiece of sculpture, a dish fit for a king. If I turn it to being a weapon, I could cause great damage. The knife itself is harmless. It's the intent by which it is flourished.

* "It may be a foolish idea."
* "You are a fool."

Which is less harmful?

Properly spoken, a language has the ability to create a world of wonder. Badly spoken, it becomes a weapon.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 03:04 PM
I think there's a truth to the OP's point.
We'd all be hopelessly over-sensitive if we didn't have degree of a "sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never harm me" attitude.

However, it's a matter of balance and courtesy.
Places and websites where people just trade insults are available.
It's not my choice however.

As for the child who swears at his mother (although hurtful things can be said quite academically, and especially when dressed up as religion), it is true that the swearing may show the attitude of the child, but in that case the attitude needs adjusting to show respect.
A child routinely swearing at its mother is a sign that some intervention is necessary.
Maybe that flies in some households, like the Osbournes, but it's not generally acceptable.

Words do become attached with emotions and feelings, and historic injustice.
I suppose if people want to show they have no respect or emotion inside them for anyone else then they should do that and face the social consequences.
edit on 5-5-2013 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 03:16 PM
reply to post by LesMisanthrope

what I'm saying is that maybe its a big deal because we are too superstitious about words. Maybe we should see words for what they are. Maybe we should teach that words say more about the one who says them than the one they're directed at.

I agree. We are conditioned by our environment. If a person grows up in an abusive environment they might become timid or abusive themselves. Thats the way we spread hell on Earth.

We are misguided. I have relatives who are teaching their child about "bad words". Certain words are bad, you see. If you hear them you are supposed to interrupt the person using them and say, "Thats a bad word." The end result of that is learning that words people use are more important than what they mean. Like any other inanimate object, words have only the power that we give them. Some are trained from very young to be upset about words or insults.

What a shame.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 03:21 PM

Do Words Hurt?

Simply put... only if we either let them hurt us or perhaps, want them to.

Any collection of words assembled into a sentence can be taken in more than one way. Even the spoken word where we have various means of adding emotions into the speaking to avoid misunderstanding... those on the receiving end are the ones who have the final say.

Considering how thin-skinned we have become as a society and this culture that often chooses to assume the worst of complete strangers, there is very little option.

You either dare to walk the rice paper or just shut the hell up out of fear.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 03:23 PM
reply to post by LesMisanthrope

There are enough examples in your own life I take it.. you wouldnt have been able to come up with that conclusion unless you have experienced it yourself. You're not some robot who's disabled all emotions.

Unless you meant words causing physical harm.. well depends how you look at it. Someone might get depressed after verbal abuse and get all sorts of physical symptoms as a result: So indirectly, it can cause pain.

And yeah i agree with the one who's being insulted is causing the pain to themselves, but if you dont know how to let go of these things or have a strong sense of self then it's going to cause harm.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 03:26 PM
I think that the old "sticks+stones" bit was mostly a bravado-front put up to make the one doing the verbal hurting believe that he/she has accomplished nothing.Interesting thoughts,anyway.I feel words do hurt,or rather,the sentiment Behind a hurtful word or phrase.The fact that some one wishes us to feel emotional pain/humiliation/that we are "bad" or unworthy or wrong.This has(in my case personally)no effect when the person saying it is 1)a faceless stranger sitting in front of a pc somewhere in the world 2)some one who does know me,but a person who through their own track record has proven to me,that their perception of me is skewed+inaccurate.Now i was an abused child,often beaten at home,and in those days us kids were routinely beaten at school too,the teachers didnt play around in those days.You got your maths problem wrong on the blackboard-biff upside the head,etc.No one complained,we took it in our stride,it was the done thing.Not once did getting a beating from my mother cause me a fraction of the devastating pain her cruel words caused me.Does a child hurt more from being beaten by a mother,or from being told by that mother:"I wish God chopped off my hand the day i signed that adoption form" "You are nothing but a curse upon my life" "You are a child of sorrow and woe,and i wanted a happy-go-lucky lil girl" "You are just like your real mother-rubbish" Sticks+stones may break bones,but words damages psyches,injure deep down to soulcore.And if we were speaking another language,so the words were different-it would've been just as emotionally and psychologically devastating.So maybe in a way,you're correct,and its not the words themselves,but the hatefulness,the coldness,the desire to hurt Behind the words that causes the pain.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 03:33 PM
This is why I cuss like a sailor. They are just words or rather just a pattern of sounds that our mouth makes. We define these sounds and determine if they are good, bad, ugly, distasteful, what ever. Some people get overly attached to the meaning of these sounds and say that others cannot produce certain sounds from their mouth because they offend their sensibilities. But my question has always been, Why is the word a-- unmentionable, yet the word butt is fine? What makes the first word more crass then the second?

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 03:35 PM
reply to post by Brutebever

There are enough examples in your own life I take it.. you wouldnt have been able to come up with that conclusion unless you have experienced it yourself. You're not some robot who's disabled all emotions.

Who hasn't experienced it? I haven't disabled my emotion. I realize that when someone insults me, I am seeing through their eyes so to speak, seeing their short-comings, ignorances, biases, prejudices and desires. I see nothing of myself in their words.

Yes I wrestle with the ideas that arise from words directed at me. I cannot help the imagery I see associated with certain symbolic cues, but I would think that it would be in my best interest, because they are in the domain of my thought where only I reign, to master them.

Is this possible? And if so, can we teach ourselves and our children to do the same? to laugh where we now cry?

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 03:42 PM
reply to post by Raxoxane

So maybe in a way,you're correct,and its not the words themselves,but the hatefulness,the coldness,the desire to hurt Behind the words that causes the pain.

I agree. A threatening disposition, yelling, aggressiveness, and malicious tone of voice, is a form of physical abuse—worse when it is from one who is supposed to hold a special place in the heart.

But was it the words that harmed you? Or the way you allowed yourself to be convinced by them?

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 03:46 PM
Words can often tell us about the discourse and political power in a society.

After World War Two it was still quite acceptable to use all kinds of racial and ethnic slurs, that would now be the height of political incorrectness.
Sexual phraseology, as defines a lot of swearing today, was however taboo, at least in gender mixed company.
Even in my youth swearing was forbidden in front of women, which also segregated women from patriarchal discourse on the basis of respecting them.
Apparently at one point Victorian society was so anxious about protecting women from all things sexual that bulls had to be called "gentleman cows".

In South Africa it's been a constantly touchy subject on how to refer to the local black nations, and "black" under affirmative action laws now includes proper black, colored people (a distinct group of mixed-race people with a strong indigenous Khoisan component), Indians (from Asia) and the local Chinese.
Yet it's a bit of a joke, because nobody thinks of some these groups as "black".
In the US it also seems like the word "gay" has been reworked in popular culture to mean "uncool".
But so what?
I'll own the word "gay" no matter what others do with it.
It's a terminology that owns stigma as resistance.

So words do change over time.
Humans are social animals, and anthropologists have shown that gossip facilitates social order and good behavior amongst the San (Bushmen) hunter-gatherers, without the need for despotic leaders.
However that can go awry in some societies, when dislike through gossip leads to witch-hunts, for example.

People can be led into a mind-control cults with the sweetest and cleanest words.
Too much of a Pollyanna discourse is also creepy.
Why is the "clean" discourse so appealing to some?
Is it really the source of social good?
After all, Hitler never swore once, but the footage seems like a constant rant.
edit on 5-5-2013 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 03:47 PM
To answer your question if you called your mother all the swear words under the sun. See where it gets you! Not very far. Id imagine. So that should answer your question.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 05:57 PM
reply to post by LesMisanthrope

Do Words Hurt?

Can words soothe?

“You are worthless. You are ugly. You are fat. You are a slut. You are scum.”

Maybe you've fallen into the same trap you're trying to dismantle. You pay too much attention to words - it's not the words as much as the fact that someone would actually say them to you. Words symbolize intent

Blaming the victim while simultaneously telling them that life is nothing but an illusion won't rid this world of any woes

Any child that's been verbally abused can tell you how much it hurts - even if it didn't make them bleed

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 05:58 PM

Originally posted by LesMisanthrope

If we think about it, every time we are offended by the words of another, we are instead offended by our own thoughts about them. We offend ourselves, and mistakenly assume it is the words that harm, when it is us doing the damage. No, the word is harmless. There is only one perpetrator of that nervous pain we feel every time a word offends us; there is only one guilty party of these crimes to our tastes; there is only ever one who would consider suicide in the face of what amounts to no more than—

The power in words lies in their potential to shatter illusions we harbour about ourselves and everything else. The greater the illusion being shattered, the deeper the pain.

To the extent that words have this power, they can cause hurt in another. Conversely, the more our outlook is grounded in reality, the less potential for hurt from the utterances of another.

edit on 5-5-2013 by mysticnoon because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 09:38 PM
I guess I like what it was that Christ said...

10 And he called the

multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and

understand: 11 Not that which goeth into the mouth

defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this

defileth a man. 18 But those

things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the

heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart

proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications,

thefts, false witness, blasphemies...

yup he said it best

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 10:11 PM
Q. "Do Words Hurt?"
A. Absolutely, they can hurt worse than any physical beating

Look at some of the people on the front page of news papers who were falsely accused of heinous crimes (words: murderer, rapist, pedophile) only to be cleared afterwards because of DNA, Polygraph testing etc... and are now stigmatized for life and treated as a pariah. (ponder)

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 10:49 PM
reply to post by LesMisanthrope

Hi LM,it was propably the fact that i could tell she really Was sorry she adopted me.She had mental illness,she was bipolar to an extreme degree,so while she said all these horrible hurtful things to me daily,she would also sometimes declare her love for me,tell me i was rare and uncommon,hug me.Till an hour later,she would pass by me,give me a filthy look,and say:"Better if you had never been born at all" This happened from a very young age,so i was always emotionally and psychologically off-balance.She said the hateful stuff way more than the lovey-stuff,and her general demeanour was of martyrdom for having to bear the cross that was me,and coldness and dislike.She would tell me from a young age,that all her sisters told her she was mad to adopt me,because one day i would "murder her" when i was older-i never found out if they did,as a matter of fact tell her that.I can't imagine why they would.Then there were her 2 adult sons-(she was in her late 40's when she adopted me)-who were one,a zombielike druggie when home,and the other a violent alcoholic,who rarely spoke to me.But often as i toddled up to them as a kiddie,they would point with outstretched arm,and say:"Voetsek! Loop lê!" as one would say to a dog in my other language,Afrikaans-it translates as: "Beat it/scram!Go to your place!" as when you are chasing a dog to its kennel.So that did'nt help much,and she did nothing about it either.I could'nt feel love from her,after the age of 3yo or so,so with all the other abuse,even her words of love did'nt convince me-and her sons actually spoke to me as if i was a dog.So maybe it was a combination of the two,for a child its very difficult to gain a sense of self-worth if they're consistently,and by several people treated as sub-human.Because you have'nt got the frame of reference,the life experience to prove to yourself yet,that you are Not as worthless or unlovable or contemptible as these vile people make you out to be.By the time i could tell her,in my teens:"Well yeah,i pretty much also wish God chopped off your hand when you signed that adoption form" it was too late-i was screwed up emotionally+psychologically,took me decades to gain normal level self-esteem+properly sort myself out mentally.So i would say it was their intent that almost destroyed me,through the use of words.

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 11:16 PM
reply to post by Raxoxane

Thanks for sharing Raxoxane.

I think a lot of the days in South Africa before 1994, and despite some nostalgia it seems that child abuse and a very authoritarian system that facilitated abusers was quite common.
Perhaps it is still common, but back then it had the blessing of the culture, the state and the religion.
Children couldn't really complain to anyone.
What a lot of people experienced at government schools alone was pretty harsh and abnormal, so I can sympathize with what you write.

Daardie mense was almal mal.

edit on 6-5-2013 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 5 2013 @ 11:30 PM
I like the way this guy articulates his message.

Makes a lot of sense if you actually think about it, but not too hard

posted on May, 6 2013 @ 12:02 AM

Do words hurt?

“Sicks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me.”

Child proverb

Nope STICKS and stones may break my BONES but names will never hurt me!! Your rubber I am glue whatever you say bounces off me and STICKS to you. NANNER NANNER NANNER!

Words are just semantics for expressing emotions and ideas. They can not hurt me unless I allow them.

edit on 6-5-2013 by soulpowertothendegree because: to delete

posted on May, 6 2013 @ 01:22 AM
reply to post by LesMisanthrope

Interesting post ! I think it depends from whom the hurting words are uttered.

My wife can use hurting words / phrases, and it DOES hurt.

If I post or reply on here, I expect, and, oft as not get a literal " Broadside " for my troubles.

Because it is anonymous, it is the proverbial " Water off a duck's back " no matter how vitriolic the replying posts.

( I've developed a particularly " Thick skin " for dealing with rude people on ATS who disagree with me. Polite disagreement is fine.)

top topics

<< 1    3  4  5 >>

log in