“Questions & Answers: Reacting to Comments at School,” New Era, September 2017
No doubt about it: unkind words can hurt. But knowing the truth that you are indeed a beloved child of God can help when others turn against you.
The Savior taught us what we need to do when He said: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:44–45).
He also set the example on how to treat others as He loved and served those around Him and forgave His enemies.
Remember the example of Joseph Smith, who was 14 years old when he experienced severe persecution after his experience in the Sacred Grove (see Joseph Smith—History 1:21–25). Persecution followed him the rest of his life, but he stayed true to what he knew was right and put his trust in God to see him through his trials.
So what can you do when some people say rude things to you? Choose to not give in to anger, even when you need to walk away. Turn to your Father in Heaven for comfort and guidance, talk to your parents and priesthood leaders, treat others kindly, and move forward with your life, doing what you know is right. As you do this, you will feel the Savior’s love—and no one can take that away from you.
I have been bullied, gossiped about, and spoken rudely to, so I know what it feels like when people are rude or mean. I have found that often it is best to walk away. It is hard not to let rude comments affect your confidence, but remember that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know and love you. They know your feelings and who you are when it feels like no one else does. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says; you are a cherished child of God.
Turn to Heavenly Father in prayer for comfort. Satan wants you to believe the hurtful comments others throw at you because he is jealous of all that you have and are. Don’t give in to that, and stand for who you truly are. But remember the person who said something rude to you is also a child of God, so don’t be rude back to them. Treat them with respect. And if the comments go on, tell a trusted adult, have faith, and just keep pushing forward. It will all be OK in the end.
Abby A., 16, Washington, USA
I have gone through this situation and learned that the best thing to do is pray. God will always be there and help us when we need it. People will never fully agree with what we do or say, and we do not have to please them. If we know who we are, what other people say about us does not matter.
Let us forgive others, and try to love them even when they hurt our feelings.
Areli B., 19, Mexico
I have had others say bad things about me. I know that it hurts a lot, makes us sad and angry, and lowers our self-confidence. Does it matter what others say and think about you? No. I overcame this by thinking of others and how I can be more kind when others aren’t. I prayed for help and to know if Heavenly Father knew me and loved me. I know that no matter what people say to you, He loves you more than you can ever know.
Eden W., 16, Utah, USA
Ignoring the people who are speaking badly about you must sound like a difficult thing to do, but it is the best option. Self-control prevents you from doing something unwise about the situation and making the problem worse. These people are only looking for someone to make fun of. The only power that gossip and talk have is your attention, so don’t fuel them.
Richelle F., 17, Mexico