I do wonder about that? I have been reading a lot lately about the use of words, language, verbal and non-verbal communication. Words can be said and come out of our mouths, often fueled by a range of emotions, that can never be unsaid or unheard. Sometimes emotion is so singular with its focus and intensity, that it can be scary. Other times a mixture of emotions and plethora of feelings are influencing what is being said.
I believe and feel that words can and do hurt.
I can remember when I was a young girl .... maybe 5 or 6 years old, I heard my father being called a "dago" and a "spag". I didn't know what the words meant, actually, I am still unsure if I completely understand these terms or the origins. Except that maybe ‘spag’ is a derivative of spaghetti and Italians love their spaghetti. Of course we now refer to it as pasta due to the diversity of that food!! So, calling someone a “Pas” does not seen to be as mean or necessary?? . My point is, I do remember that my father was insulted and I felt hurt. I might not have understood the why, but I do remember the feeling. So, after more than five decades, maybe this demonstrates that words do hurt?
More recently, I experienced an "empathy for Kim Kardashian" moment. The results of a community survey needed to be reviewed by my workplace. Many of the responses had very little or nothing to do with the questions being asked. Some folk used the anonymity of the survey to rant, vent or insult. One of the comments aimed at me was of interest.- they did comment that "the CEO had a fat arse". Now as a nurse I need to dissect the actual anatomy of this statement - lets define “arse” as the "buttocks" ..... the Gluteus Maximus .... the cheeks of ones derrière.
Now I did give this feedback/commentary considerable reflection. I am not expecting anyone to have paid much attention to my butt, however, using my definition of arse being my "cheeky cheeks", I defend that my arse is actually not fat. I actually have rather small cheeks - just like my mother had (yep, it is a genetic thing). Yes, I acknowledge that everything else around my butt is well endowed, voluptuous and padded.... however; the actual arse factor is not so big.
So how did I deal with this?
Yes, they were just words. However, I could not help but contemplate, what was the outcome that the commentator hoped to achieve by adding these words (anonymously) to a public survey?
All I could do was laugh ….. and again, checked out the rear vision of my rear end and confirm that DNA does not lie.