A few years ago, one of my closest friends used to say really mean things to me, nonchalantly. He probably never knew it, but the things he said cut deep into my heart and magnified my worst insecurities. We were always platonic, and he’d tell me I was ugly, that I was flat-chested, or that I had no ass. These were already thoughts I had about myself but tried to ignore, and when he said them out loud, to me, it meant they were true. It meant I really was ugly. I’d cry in private even though I acted like his words didn’t hurt me when I was with him.
Recently, he told me the same thing: that I wasn’t hot, that I wasn’t feminine. Now, I have the self-confidence to know that his words aren’t true. I love myself enough to know that I’m attractive in my own way, to myself. And if I think I’m beautiful, then his words mean nothing. I let them roll off of me because I know they don’t mean anything. If anything, his cutting words are only an indication of his own insecurities, and for that, I want to show him love even more. If he doesn’t love himself the way I love myself, I hope he will someday. But for now, I hear his words but don’t accept them, and use my self-love as my armor. Once you know who you really are and accept that, then nobody can ever hurt you.
Tyrion Lannister’s words sometimes come in handy with this. I have a mole right between my eye and the bridge of my nose, and people used to tease me about it all my life (one guy actually gave me the nickname “Moley” for years). Now, I love it–it makes me unique and gives me a distinctive look. Nobody can make me feel bad about it again.