People say that words "...may never harm me", but for those of us who've been harassed or ridiculed by them we know that it's not true. Words are one of the foremost destructive things that people can use in their arsenal of negativity. We read and hear these horrible words on a daily basis, and can feel alienated and awful when they are directed at us. This leaves us with a very tough situation. How do we block or counter something that's not a physical threat, but harms us mentally? It's difficult, but there are ways. Taking a more logical perspective can help when dealing with people using verbal abuse. Understanding a little as to why people say such things can give us a more rounded defense. Sometimes, verbal abuse is unintentional and takes a more passive disguise. People will regurgitate things that had been driven into them as a child or are trendy in the media, such as "fat shaming" and "passive racism". Some people genuinely don't understand that by saying such things they are perpetuating hate. That's not an excuse by any means, but it still happens. Then there is direct verbal abuse. People who use this as a means of harassment and violence are often very troubled in their own lives, or in some cases not emotionally or mentally intelligent. Some people say harmful things around a group of peers to try and fit in, while others do it because it may be the only situation in which they feel they have control over. Knowing some of this and applying it to a situation may help logically explain some things in your mind, and better help you deflect those negative words. Also, remember that: Strangers don't know you. They only know what they want to know about you by what they see. They can only interpret you by physical appearances, and that's not an accurate assessment. Sometimes I go to the store in my Pajama pants when I'm in a rush, but that doesn't mean I'm homeless or a slob. However, I've been called such. The point is, you know the truth about yourself, and they know nothing. And this doesn't just apply to appearances either, emotions and performances can be included in this as well. Say you did poorly on a test and people make fun of you about it. They don't know why you did poorly. You may have severe test anxiety, a problem that they have no mental grasp of. It's hard to feel accepted into a society that propagates this perpetual wheel of negativity and high standards. Standards that, I might add, nearly no one can conform to. So it's important to accept yourself as who you are. There is no shame in being overweight, or gay, or tall, short, bi, black, Asian, white, skinny, freckled, nerdy, purple, 9 headed, or from Jupitor. We're all different, we must simply accept that. So the next time you hear some slander hate being thrown your way, think about how those people are probably dealing with something else in their lives and can't cope with it. Or they aren't disciplined enough to know that being rude is a crime against humanity and you're above that. You've got more important business elsewhere in your life than taking time to deal with haters. :) And you're not alone. Just know that if you said hello to someone on the street and smiled at them, there are people who would give you a nice smile back, and that's worth more words than any hate-monger can say to you.