As long as there is something about you that causes you to feel bitter, inferior or ashamed, the mere mention of certain words will hurt you. I said it many times before and I’ll say it again; words cannot hurt until you give it the power to do so. Only then can they hurt you.
Some of the causes for hurt may be being dyslexic, stuttering, wearing glasses, having lost a limb, being born cripple, blind or deaf and too many other things to list here. We’re talking about things that you cannot change; things that are neither disgraceful nor scandalous. And until you can make peace with yourself, they will continue to hurt when people talk about it.
And if the reason for your hurt is something you can change, like bad teeth or untidy hair, or is due to intolerance to others, I have no sympathy with you for you are making yourself unhappy. If you don’t like homosexuals or hunting or if you don’t eat meat, you cannot expect the rest of the world to agree with your views. You either fix it you have to tolerate it.
Insults normally come to you as a statement of contempt and there are several ways to deal with it, depending on whether the insult is based on the truth and also whether the insult is based on disgraceful behavior on your behalf or just plain pettiness.
If the statement is based on ill behavior on your behalf, it is not going to help to trade insults with your quarry. This is not just words; it is the truth and it is embarrassing. We are not always proud of our actions. Nevertheless, admit that you were wrong, apologize for the indiscretion and not only have you gained the respect of the people around you but you also have taken the wind out of your enemy’s sails. Your enemy has nothing further on you and if he wants to proceed with his assault he must resort to lies and/or pettiness.
If the statement is untrue, it is not an insult but a lie. There is very little you can do about it… and unless if you can expose the lie in one swift and final stroke, ignore it. Those who know you will see it for what it really is; a common lie. If you try to defend yourself against it, it can only create a perception that there may just be some element of truth in it.
Then there is the third category; normally the tactics that slimeballs employ to hurt innocent people. The attempted insult is true but it is based on pettiness rather than shameful behavior. This is not an insult but we perceive it as an insult because we resent the truth; we feel bitter, ashamed or inferior about something that we cannot help for.
Don’t waste your time on shit you cannot change; don’t fall into the bottomless pit of self-pity because of something that you don’t like about yourself. Accept yourself for who and what you are for there is no shame in it. Say to the world, “OK, I have freckles and so what? How does it affect my character or my person?”
Only then you will have the resilience to resist words but until then words will hurt you more than sticks and stones.