It is a universally acknowledged truth that kids are master minds of cruelty. They have a sixth sense which allows them to pinpoint the source of insecurity in another human, craft a statement that is as cruel as it is creative, and launch the insult with cold and distant absence of guilt whatsoever.
Unfortunately, Redditors remind us that other adults, even friends, can provide self-esteem battering statements just as bad. Years later, statements like these fork into two distinct paths: the humorous shade offered by hindsight or the profound snowball growing intensity.
Reddit was stocked with both.
TheCrowsNestTV asked, "What is the cruelest thing someone has said to you?"
A Deadpan Slam
"When I was a kid, my best friend was always kind of mean or standoffish with me at school but we hung out a lot just the two of us."
"At some point I confronted him and said, 'you keep doing this, are you embarrassed to be my friend?' He just said 'Yes.'"
Objectifying in the Other Direction
"It was a thing in my school where guys would go up to an 'unattractive' girl in a group, in front of everyone, and ask them on a date."
"Just when the girl would start to believe it was real and give a response, the guys would all start laughing and the one who asked would tell her it was just a joke and that, 'no one would ever wanna go out with something like you.'"
"And yes, they would say 'something,' not 'someone.' It hurts yeah."
When the Kids are the Mature Ones
"My son had a liver transplant and has huge scars on his belly. He was playing at our local park where they shoot up water. Great summer fun for young kids. Another parent says, 'they should cover that kid up so we don't have to see it.'"
"Thankfully, another parent spoke up snd said, 'just because that kid's gone through a lot doesn't mean he has to hidden to make you feel comfortable.' I started to breathe evenly and smile."
"Funny thing is, when kids asked him about his scars, my son would just say, 'I had surgery.' Then they would continue playing. Adults were more cruel."
"The worst was probably in fifth grade, just after my dad died. The whole school knew, and everyone was being really nice to me except one girl. I believe the exact quote was, 'go suck your dads d*ck. Oh wait you can't, he's dead.'"
"It didn't even hurt my feelings, more of just bewildered me like who says something like that?"
A Most Certain Red Flag
"Ex-wife once told me that she wished my mom had died of the breast cancer that she beat when I was in 2nd grade. She's been in remission for 20+ years now and has always been a sweet, thoughtful and smart lady. I had to leave the house to calm down - and luckily i left the relationship eventually."
"'You are caring, smart, treat me well, have your shit together, and are great husband/father material, and are a wonderful man to be around. I wish you'd lose 20 lbs. so I could date you.'"
"Dad, it's Boston Pizza. Also, that's Horrible."
"When I was 16 and looking to apply at Boston Pizza which had just opened up in our town, my dad said, 'don't you have to be pretty to be a waitress?'" -- laurieali
"Please don't say parents, for the real word is creeps." -- King_Pecca
A Backhanded Guestimation
"'Guys our age'...Dude was at least 20 years older then me. Yeah, honestly me and my partner had a laugh about it later. But at the time i died a little on the inside." -- anotherDutchdude
"He didn't think of you as older, he thinks of himself as younger." -- Hektikdt
Taking the Long Way to Attraction
"'Your freckles look like you stood behind a screen door and had sh*t flung on you.' This was a neighbor who was looking to hook up. It never happened and I quit talking to him." -- sukiintheshower
"Is this some kind of advanced ninja flirting technique I'm not aware of?" -- UHMWPE
An Out and Out PUNK
"7-year-old cousin: 'Hey derp, how old are you now?'"
"Me: 'I just turned 26.'"
"7-year old: 'You're not a man!'"
"I'm 21 and my niece is 8, but she considers us to be basically the same age. Makes me feel good when I get sad that my childhood is over." -- brearose
Not Something You Can Just "Try Out'
"My mom said that her life would have been better if I never existed." -- earthling_probably
"To hopefully make you feel better, some people just should never have been parents. It's much more likely she's saying she just never should have had kids because she's not able to handle it." -- Not_A_RedditAccount
"My biological father came back into my life when I was 14 and had a girlfriend. Everything was great for a year until she made him choose between his new family, and me."
"I got a text message on Christmas Day saying 'Father and daughter relationship not working out, all the best for your future. Please dont call me, it will cause me problems.'"
Suddenly, a Snob
"There were years I worked multiple jobs to help support us while my ex was working on her doctorate. Once she had herself a tenure track university position, she let me know I wasn't 'educated enough to be married to a professor' like herself."
"I have my bachelor's degree."
"Well, I found myself sleeping on the sofa for about a week, while looking for an apartment so I could move out. During that time, every morning as she'd greet me with the phrase 'Why haven't you killed yourself yet?'"
At Least an Insult is Attention at All
"Nothing. When my best friend of 20+ years ghosted me, that was the cruelest thing." -- MelissaMiranti
"Wow, that's terrible. I really hate when people don't even have the guts to say why or have an adult conversation instead of ghosting." -- Neilia_Moon
Abusive Control 101
"'No one will love you like I love you because you're uninteresting, boring, & annoying.'"
"Getting past it a day at a time, but I do occasionally find myself apologizing my husband for being 'boring/annoying.'"
Severely Out of Touch
"I struggled with anxiety caused bulimia a few years back... One of my best friends (who has some self consciousness issues so she likes unhealthily skinny bodies.) told me after I recovered and gained my healthy weight back that I 'looked better when [I was] bulimic.'"
"....That made me feel so small and empty."
The First 25 Minutes of "Grease"
"9th grade year I met a girl who moved on to my block the week summer break started, we spent almost every day together. We lost our virginity to each other."
"First day of school and she won't talk to me because I'm not on of the 'cool kids.'"
"The boy I had a crush on in high school had kissed me and I was pretty excited about possibly dating. When I asked him about it the next day he said he didn't like me in that way."
"I asked why he kissed me then, and he said, 'I needed to make sure I didn't like you.'"
A Wild Escalation
"My stepson told me he was glad that my husband and I have fertility problems."
"He was 15 at the time, and pissed that he was in trouble after several of his teachers had contacted us to tell us he wasn't doing his homework or completing schoolwork and assignments."