29 People Reveal The One Phrase That Destroyed Their Confidence

People say really mean things to each other. And for what reason? Why do you do it? Read more awful confidence breaking things people have said on this Reddit thread.

1. Broke my nose

I broke my nose three times before I was two years old. This has resulted in a somewhat odd voice (I’m VERY conscious of how nasal it is), and also a destroyed sense of smell.

A (female) coworker told me once that “I always smell like [feces].” Bam. Self conscious about that since I heard it. I already showered every day, applied deodorant religiously, wore clean clothes constantly (no sniff tests for me), etc. She just told me that my efforts had all been in vain. I don’t even know what else I can do. I can’t smell. I live with the spectre of being a social pariah looming over me, and being literally physically incapable of telling that it’s there.

Anyway, some common addresses that need to be made. First, no, she didn’t say “feces.” She said a word that started with an ‘S.’ I have a weird mental block and I can’t bring myself to swear. She also said this to intentionally be damaging. I don’t remember the context, but I remember exactly how she said the line and it was very angrily. Also, to people telling me to get revenge, she hasn’t worked there for a long time.

This happened years ago. Probably 4 or 5. I haven’t been told that since and I am not too too worried about it because I trust people to tell me if I smell awful. Doesn’t mean I’m not paranoid, though, and if I sweat even a little bit I kind of freak out internally. The second I get a “gross” reaction from someone I step up my hygiene regime.

My sense of smell isn’t 100% gone. It’s just pretty awful. The two scents I don’t seem to have a diminished ability to detect are feces and vomit, which I find especially abhorrent. (Imagine if those smells were 5x more powerful than every other smell you’ve ever known. Yep.)

I don’t think it’s my breath because no one’s ever commented about my breath ever. If that was the case I’d’ve been harassed mercilessly about it during middle school, don’t you think? Also I have a decent (not great) oral hygiene regime, so I think that’s cool. I can do the lick-back-of-hand-and-smell-breath trick and if it’s bad I can smell it but if it’s not awful I can’t smell anything, so, yep. By “bad” I mean “this is about when I would brush my teeth.”

And lastly, how I broke my nose three times: Got out of a high chair, jumped down, face hit a regular chair on the way down. Jumped down stairs. Cry of “I’m Superman!” was heard before ominous thumps followed by deep crying. Lastly, I closed my eyes to run through a sprinkler. Then I kept running. Until I hit a picnic table.

I was a very accident prone kid. My mother was actually confronted by a doctor for being abusive because I had SO MANY injuries and the like (last I heard I had 137 stitches in my head alone growing up; no not all at once). I slipped and cut my head open on the corner of a table right after the doctor asked that, and his response was something along the lines of “Oh… uh, never mind.”


“This motherfucker needs some Proactiv.”

A dude said that to me within earshot walking by me in high school. I had really bad acne at the time, so that shit cut deep.

3. That’s so awful

A few years back I got on a dating site. Around that same time my hairline was starting to recede a little bit and I was very sensitive about it. I saw this one girl’s profile, liked it and decided to write her a message asking if she wanted to go on a date and have a couple of drinks.

Her response consisted of only one question:

“One for every hair on your head?”

My confidence was absolutely crushed for a long time after that.

4. Kids these days

The other day I stopped to get a drink at a gas station. A group of kids were out front, had to have been age range 17-20. One kid in a wife beater started walking toward me, “What’s up fat ass!? Yo, fat ass? Why don’t you lose some weight? You should let me be yo trainer. Alright fat ass. Have a fat day.” Unprovoked, just random and hurtful. I’m almost 30.

5. Oh, honey, I have no skills, that means no lunch

I am a stay at home dad. Yesterday I was explaining to my 4 year old daughter what skills are and how her mom has skills (teacher), her grandpa(mechanic) and so on. She asked me if I had any skills. I told her that I take care of all my girls, including her mom, and the whole house. She just laughs at me and says “Daddy thats not skills!”.

6. This makes me sad

I was having sex with a girl and she went on top, then after minute she says “Why wont it go in all the way?”

7. That is so fucked up

“You’re too ugly to have been raped” – direct family member.

Never been the same since.

8. Crushed, just so crushed

“Stop trying to be funny, you’re not and it just makes everyone uncomfortable.”

I was a stand up comedian at the time.

9. What a BITCH

“You don’t understand it because nobody in their right mind would want to hook up with you on a daily basis, or even once.”

10. Are you serious?

“You have a weird accent.”

It’s a speech impedi- impeda- IMPEDIMENT!!!

11. Thanks mom

My mother once told me I was five minutes away from being an abortion and she wished she’d followed through. That was almost 20 years ago and it still messes with my confidence.

12. People, you need to stop saying shit like this

“You’re pretty for being Asian, but like not really compared to normal people.”

13. So bad, so, so bad

I had a girl tell me that I was so ugly that looking at me made their eyes water.

14. I appreciate the confidence, mom and dad

I was showing my mother my newly purchased condo, and she decided that I needed new pillows (hey, free stuff). They had 2 pillow cases in each bag, and a two for one deal on pillows. My mother goes, “I’ll just get one, its not like you are going to have anyone over.” She was dead serious.

From my father, just talking over breakfast one morning, he says “its a good thing you are single, that way you won’t ever be tied down with a family, and can just move around wherever the work takes you.” That was a double hurt.

15. Wow, dad, you’re the best

After an argument in the courthouse my father yelled across the office that I was supposed to be an abortion. He filed because he wanted to stop paying support in order to “develope a relationship” with me. He’s always been a deadbeat dad anyway, but it still didn’t feel the best.

16. Jackass mother

I remember a guy saying that when he was 10, he learnt Smoke On The Water on guitar, but not just the root notes of the opening riff, the full thing, chords n’ all. He got to school and he was waiting outside for it to open, telling his friends excitedly, and some bitchy ass mum overheard and said “Big deal. My 6 year old can do that.”

17. Teachers like this, they should be FIRED

I’ve always been nerdy in school, even as a young child. In the 6th grade, I was going through a lot and had some traumatic experiences occur. I became depressed and not as interested in school, however, I tried my best.

One day, my teacher was comparing the intellectuals of the class and was naming all of the students who she predicts will get into good colleges. She didn’t name me. This girl (who prior to this action, I disliked and thought of her as jerk) raised her hand and said, “What about her? She’s one of the smartest kids in the whole school.” My teacher looked at me and said “She’ll get into college, but not a good one.” It seriously made me want to give up. I lost a lot of my motivation.

18. We pay professors to do their JOB

I was told to withdraw from university because I was the worst student he ever had by a professor during office hours for asking a question about Taylor expansions. This was in front of a whole bunch of my friends and classmates. I never went to his office hours after that and then ended up doing really poorly in the class, causing me to retake it the next year.
Took a while to get back my confidence. I eventually got my degree. He’s still an asshole.

19. Take that, guidance counselor

When I went to my high school counsellor halfway through Grade 11 and told him I was serious about getting into University of Guelph (Canada), he told me that there was no point in trying and I’d never get in. He completely brushed me off as another stupid kid wasting his time. Maybe he didn’t realize but it honestly was a soul crushing thing to hear. I had screwed up badly with my grades the first couple of years, high school being a hell of a thing with drugs and social acceptance. I had just started to turn things around when this meeting took place.

When I told my dad about this meeting I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so pissed off, he was definitely ready to beat the shit out of this counsellor. Regardless, he sat me down and told me that I was smart enough to do anything that I wanted to do, and this guy was just a bitter high school counsellor who wanted to see me fail to make himself feel better. This was a life changing moment and I did a complete 180 and pounded out nothing but high 90s, collecting some awards at graduation for being the top in certain courses. I got accepted to Guelph and my backup school for their Chem programs too and I still remember how nervous I was and how much it meant to me when I got that letter in the mail.

I made an appointment near the end of Grade 12 with the same counsellor and maybe it was childish looking back on it but I brought in my two acceptance letters, looked him in the eye and said “Last year you told me this wouldn’t happen, well I got into both of these schools. I didn’t do it because of you, I did it despite you.”

20. “What are you doing?”

In high school, a girl thought I liked her and burst into tears.

After College, my gf at the time would randomly say “What are you doing” during sex.

Luckily I met a SUPER FREAK, and my confidence was GREATLY restored.

A chick I know went on a blind date, basically ended it quick and treated the guy like shit, I asked why, she responded “HE looked like you EWWWW!”

21. What a mean, mean girlfriend

In junior high I had a friend jokingly tell me I had no life. This didn’t bother me, but when his girlfriend said “You really don’t have a life do you? It’s kind of sad,” it definitely hurt my self-esteem.

22. Ouch, that hurts

“Sorry, I just don’t see Asians as men.”

23. I have no response to that

“You looked quite intelligent, until you started speaking.”

24. Goddamn, that sucks

“I couldn’t imagine myself being with you, I’d feel like a pedophile.” #Shortguyproblems

25. Gorilla arms?

In grade school a little girl told me I had gorilla arms. I’m Italian. Wore long sleeve shirts for an entire summer.

26. A crushed destroyed my self-confidence

I really liked a girl once, even though we had never spoken. I considered it one time. She gave me a slightly disgusted look. “There’s white stuff in your hair you know.” (I have Psoriasis). After explaining this, the look of disgust grew a lot stronger.

27. That one really hurt

Senior year of English, we all had to write stories and then the teacher read them aloud anonymously. Mine was first.

After school, at play rehearsal, my friend comes up to me and says “Let’s try to figure out who wrote the first story, because it was the WORST story I’ve ever heard in my life!!”

“That was mine…”

“…” She waited for the “just kidding!” It never came.

28. They went out of their way to make me feel bad

Strangers yelling “you’re fat” at me out of car windows

29. What a bitch

After 9 years of marriage

She was a virgin when we started dating (edited for clarity)

“I need to find out if sex can be better with others”

“I want to try a threesome, with 2 guys, just not with you”

And then came the real kicker, after 9 years of saying she didn’t want kids (I did, but had talked myself into giving up on that to stay happy)

“I’ve decided I want kids, just not with you”

Yes, all these were in one night. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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