Update

The old adage “sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me” has gotten an update. In fact names, words, do hurt us. A more recent version reads:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones

But words can also hurt me

Sticks and stones break only skin

While words are ghosts that haunt me.

Pain from words has left its scar

On mind and heart that’s tender

Cuts and bruises now have healed

It’s words that I remember.”

Words are powerful and once said can’t be unsaid.

In Sue Johnson’s book Love Sense, she writes that social and relational pain is as real as physical pain. There is science behind this. When people feel rejected or emotionally hurt their brain scans reveal significant activity in the same region of the brain that records physical pain. There is “neural overlap”. Researchers have found that Tylenol can actually lessen hurt feelings just as physical pain can decrease with emotional support.

The good news is that while a thoughtless remark can hurt, a kind word can mend.

If you need us, we’re here to listen…and to help. Contact us for a free phone consultation.