Without Your Consent

Can we stop saying “Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent”?

That’s not empowering. That’s pain-shaming.

It’s also a load of baloney. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can break your heart.

Yes, we choose our response to injury, just as we choose our response to affirmation, boredom, opportunity, regret, and all the other facets of human experience. But when we state that a person who feels hurt is consenting to their own injury, we are enabling the one doing harm, not freeing the injured. The perpetrator can now be as hurtful as they desire to be because the pain is your fault, not theirs.

Hurtful words hurt. Hurtful behavior hurts. The pain they cause is real, and it is CAUSED. It comes from the sender, not the receiver.

So let’s stop skipping that part. Before we accept responsibility for our response, let’s assign responsibility to the person and context that made it necessary.