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People Explain Which Insults Permanently Damaged Their Self-Esteem


Our self-esteem is the key to our drive. It's how we present ourselves and the level of comfort with how we behave in certain social situations. It's not easy to repair if anything cracks it. Unfortunately, what can happen is our self-esteem can be shattered when we're young or by someone we trusted, and that's when the break stays for a long time.

Reddit user, u/RIPTOR147, wanted to hear how you were hurt with words forever when they asked:

What insult was so cruel that it permanently damaged your self-esteem?

Can We All Just Agree Middle School Is The Worst?

7th grade. Girl I had a crush on was giggling and doing a weird walk for her friend who were all laughing as I walked into the classroom. Asked what they were doing and without any hesitation she said "Thats how you walk. I am doing your walk. Its hilarious. All straight up and stiff like that." She then did the walk again, and everyone laughed....again. I am now 40, still self conscious about the way I walk too.


Might Be Time To Get Better Parents

My parents came in and just started fat shaming me out of the blue.

I'm over 6' and have never broken 200 lbs in my life. I've been ashamed of my body ever since.


This Kind Of Language Makes You Think You Deserve This

"No wonder your last boss bullied you"

My girlfriend at the time, knowing full well I was off for 5 months with depression after leaving my previous job.


Hard To Argue With Something On Your Face

It's so silly, but 15 years ago a classmate told me I have a huge nose and I've been self-conscious about it ever since.


Same. I always got told I had a big nose as a teen and was incredibly self conscious. My mum once said 'don't worry your face will grow in to it' which confirmed it for me. Anyway I literally never wore my hair up to hide it. Weirdly my husband and kids have never understood why I think I have a big nose and say I don't. As do some friends now. So I've been paranoid for about 30 years for probably nothing!


Get Told It Enough, You Start To Believe It

I got called ugly a lot as a kid. So I've always been blown away when somebody is actually attracted to me.


Me too, up until I got big boobs. Now I am innately suspicious of guys showing interest in me


I'm a dude so it just never changed. I don't think I'm ugly anymore but I'll always feel that way.


A Spoonful Of Unnecessary Honesty

In high school I used to sit alone at lunch. One day in my junior or senior year some random freshman comes up to me and tells me that I looked like a school shooter and then left.


Some People Aren't Meant To Work With Kids

A classmate's mom told me "you're just annoying" while chaperoning a school trip when I was 10 or 11. I basically turned completely inward and stopped talking to new people socially for decades afterward.


Yikes. The worst thing is that she almost definitely doesn't remember any of that.


It's Like, Why Would You Even Say Anything?

"Like, why did you even go to Vegas? You're so boring. I bet you ruined it for your friends." - My coworker, completely 100% unprompted, weeks after I had returned. My other coworkers jumped in basically immediately and called her out, but the damage was done. Years later I still can't help but label myself as the boring friend.


How Do You Escape This? Death.

Not necessarily one insult, but my mother destroyed my self-esteem and self-confidence over the course of my life from a young age. Never-ending snark, put-downs, insults, patronizing comments, disdain... even after I'd got my degree, a job, a house, it never ended. According to her I was stupid, didn't know what I was talking about, didn't work hard, only did things to impress people, I was always trying to "rise above my station" (whatever the hell that means), exaggerating, making stuff up... I couldn't win. Nothing I did was good enough.

If she could find a way to sh-t on something, she'd sh-t on it.

Got my degree? "I don't know why you need a degree, it's a waste of bloody time, I got a job without a degree, anyone can get a job. Besides, it's not that hard to get a degree so stop showing off." (Mum left school at 14 with no academic qualifications).

Won a total of 20 awards at work? "They must be giving them out to anyone who wants one." (Mum never won an award for anything in her life).

Lost 95 pounds over two years? "You always were a fat pig." (Mum was at least 50 pounds overweight).

I worked in newspapers doing editing and layout. "That's not a proper job, you should have a proper job like your sister's boyfriend." (The now thankfully ex-boyfriend was sh-t thick, racist, lived on Stella and dope and drove a truck for a living. He'd also been in prison for theft. But that's OK, he has a "proper job".)

I was telling a cousin about life in a newspaper office as she was interested in journalism. My mum comes over. "Don't listen to him, he lies all the time, it's not really like that in his office, he's just trying to impress you." Cousin: "What the f-ck?" (Needless to say, mum had zero idea about working in newspapers.)

She died last year, and although I'm sad for my sis who hasn't got over her death, I don't miss her at all. When my dad died in 2017 I spoke at his funeral. I didn't speak at mum's. Several relatives thought it was because I was so upset; I simply couldn't think of a nice thing to say about her.

It took me till the age of 45 to realise she was one of the dumbest, ignorant, narrow-minded and nastiest people I've ever had the misfortune to meet, let alone be related to.


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