We all know the old rhyme “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me.” We all also know how untrue that is. We’ve all been hurt by an off hand remark or word shouted out by a bully to mock us. Yet, I’ve learned something from my study of fighting – disarm your attacker. I won’t go as far as to say then use that weapon against them – nope. Just get it away from them.
Nothing disarms bullies or someone trying to make you feel less than, than disarming their weapon. Sure I’ve been called many things that could hurt but I’ll claim them all – bitch, sure you get between me and what I think is right and I won’t be friendly about it. Nerd – yep I love and use knowledge as part of my every day life. I don’t dumb down to fit in. Nothing there to hurt me. Geek – Sure I love pop culture, comic books, movies, fantasy, board games, and such. I go to conventions about it at times. I enjoy it because I find it relaxing. I’m a geek and don’t mind the world knowing it. Fatty – oh yes I’m overweight, however because of it I’ll pit my health knowledge of why that is what is nutritional balanced food, and effects of exercise on chronically ill, the body in different times of life and side effect of medications on metabolism and weight against yours any day. Really when I claimed those words as part of my identity, they couldn’t be used against me.
Noting deflates bullies or people who make fun of others than when you say “Yeah, I’m an asshole. What else ya got?” They are in it for a reaction. They are in it to see you hurt. When you hand it back as a mark of pride, you’ve disarmed them. They can’t use it against you. So I look at what they are calling me, and I see why I have a trait they may not like. In the end, it’s more about them and their fears than me. They don’t want to be a nerd – that’s not cool and the others might not look up to them. They don’t want to a geek – because that’s not cool and makes them feel superior by belittling other’s tastes. They don’t want to be fat – look at the media and see the fear of that, even thin models are extremely photo shopped to look even thinner. They don’t want to be a bitch/asshole – because standing up for what they think is right might rock the boat and make them less popular, glamorous, or whatever. In the end, name calling is about the person shouting out their own fears at you because you were brave enough to embrace who you are and they weren’t.
Not claiming these labels to me is giving power to those who don’t deserve it (kinda like voting). It’s allowing others to have undue power over you and your life. Those I allow to influence me – earn that right and don’t use it to harm me. So yeah I’m a bitchy nerdy fat geek and I like myself that way. I’m also much more than just that! C’mon namecaller give it a try you can name more of my traits I’m sure.
Look at the words you avoid to describe yourself. It is because they don’t fit or it because you fear what others will do with them. If it’s others then may I respectfully suggest claiming that word as your own- make it a positive thing, not a weapon. Then it can never be used against you, you’ve disarmed your opponent. Once that happens I’d like to suggest another adage, “kill ’em with kindness.” Don’t sink to using weapon words against these fearful people instead, be kind to them. They fear you don’t abuse that power.
Remember the power to disarm words comes in how YOU define them. Until next time!