Tearing Someone Down Will Never Help You Build Yourself Back Up

Brook Cagle
Brook Cagle

Hurt people, hurt people.
I’ve heard that phrase a million times.

You can’t let the opinions of others change how your feel about yourself.
I’ve heard that said a million times.

It’s a reflection of how they feel about themselves, not you.
I’ve also heard that said a million times.

Regardless of the things people say, the cliché phrases or the kind + encouraging words that you’ve heard a million times, nothing can prepare you for a blow so deep that reduces you to tears and pulls you into a place of self-doubt. Unfortunately, I recently had that kind of day. Many people that know me, know that I’ve struggled with my weight & body image issues for years. But, those people also know that I’ve worked my little bootayyyy off the last 13 months which has resulted in losing 40 pounds. I still struggle with the body image issues, but I was actually starting to feel proud of myself.

Until recently.

A few months back, someone said something to me that should never be said. No matter what you think, no matter how you feel, no matter the circumstances… you just don’t say this.

“You are too overweight for me to date you”

First, let me clarify. This is someone I had not known for long. We’ve had two interactions face to face. I was not trying to date him, simply trying to get to know him to see if he was even worth my time. Thank goodness the true colors came out before I became emotionally invested. I’ll admit it, I can cry about pretty much anything, but this was a different kind of upset. This was the type of upset that breaks you to your core. It doesn’t matter the amount of time you’ve known this person; it doesn’t matter the amount of time you’ve spent with them. It’s not about the person, it’s about the comment. These were words said out loud, not a text. These were words that he had about and then he decided to take a step beyond that and articulate to them to me. These were words that someone thought it was okay to say.

Guess what, they aren’t.

Everyone is just trying to get through each day of this life as it unfolds. Why would anyone ever think it’s okay to say the one thing you know is going to hurt someone the most? I will never make excuses for this heartless human, however he had no idea about my struggles with body image issues. That right there points out a much bigger issue. WHY are we not more careful about the random comments we make to others? You never know what’s going to trigger something within someone, you never know what may be a very deep underlying issue for someone, you never know what could genuinely hurt someone to the point that it makes them question themselves. What you say to others should always be thought about first and you should always consider how YOU would feel if the situation were reversed.

In a world full of so much hatred, why add one more bit of unnecessary negativity to it? Why hit someone where it’s going to hurt the most? Tearing someone down will never help you build yourself back up, so why not just work on building up others and allow them to build you up as well? Empowerment and encouragement are two of the most wonderful things you can give to a person. Hateful comments and degrading, unnecessary phrases are two of the worst.

I realize that I cannot let the words of others effect my self-worth, and by no means will I let this revert me back to the way things used to be. But that was a sucker punch to the face and I would never wish that on my worst enemy. All I can do is pray for him, forgive him on my own and hope that he never makes a woman feel the way that he made me feel yesterday.

Make sure that you are conscious of the things you say to others, make sure you make an active effort to build others up. And most importantly, men… don’t ever call a woman fat.
Xo. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Twentysomething, Nashville Native, Adventurer

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