If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Shut Your Damn Mouth

A few years ago, I got my septum pierced and it quickly became my favorite piercing. I felt this beautiful/bad-ass combo feeling, something I never felt before and I wore the ring in my nose proudly. Some former friends decided to speak their mind about my new look. But instead addressing their “concerns” to my face, they hid behind their computer screen. They sent me messages on Facebook, saying that my septum ring looked hideous- one friend said that I looked like a bull. Needless to say, I was crushed and stopped talking to these people.

I was taught that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Saying mean things are just mean. I carried this belief with me throughout my adulthood- most of the time, I find it’s easy to stay quiet. Sure, if someone severely pisses me off, I will let them know. If I’m talking with someone about another’s appearance or an opinion I disagree with, I leave the comment alone and shut up. For example, I don’t believe in god. Having many religious friends and family in my life isn’t a problem because I keep my opinions about religion and spirituality to myself. I don’t tell my friends that they’re “wrong” for believing in what they chose to believe in- I don’t diss praying (I know it just doesn’t work for me). I don’t hate on gospel music (musically, some songs are gorgeous). Even on Christmas, when I attend church with my friends, I participate despite my beliefs. Who am I to say that their beliefs are wrong? And vice-versa? I silently respect what they chose to believe in- and I expect them to respect me in the same way. No one is stupid for having a thought of their own.

After the SlutWalk this past weekend, I posted some photos of the event on Facebook. These were pictures I was extremely proud of- that event meant so much me as both the event organizer and a protestor trying to get her voice heard. Some pictures apparently struck a nerve with people and they left some pretty rude comments on some photos. Of course, I was hurt. If people respected my opinion and knew how much time and effort I put into the event, I think they wouldn’t have said anything so awful and nasty.

Before you tell me that I’m being too sensitive- shut it- I believe there is a lack of consideration and dignity in the world. We are cruel to each other. We constantly hear about the kids who are bullied every day, pick on for being different and thinking differently. Those comments on my SlutWalk pictures? They were typed by bullies­- cowards hiding behind their computer screens.

Can you imagine if all the online trolls and offline bullies decided to give up hating others? What would the world look like if they practiced tolerance instead? It’s all about respect and acceptance- you can’t control what others chose to believe so accept it and respect it. I remember vividly another life lesson my parents taught me- treat others how you want to be treated. So, keep your bitterness to yourself.

To me, it comes down to this: if I’m looking for your opinion, I will ask for it. Have some damn respect.


One thought on “If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Shut Your Damn Mouth

  1. I agree with the general sentiment of this blog post.

    Many people don’t have very much tact, so if they don’t like something of yours (such as a nose piercing), they may say so in a way that is crass or hurtful. But it also might be helpful to remember why you thought that piercing was beautiful/bad-ass in the first place. You probably thought it was beautiful because you liked the way it looked and how it fit your face. It’s “bad-ass” because it’s not something very many people would do, a counter-culture sort of thing. It gets a reaction out of people, maybe because they are shocked or disgusted.

    The fact that some people reacted is exactly what you want, isn’t it? The fact that they didn’t react the exact way you want them to isn’t under your control.

    It reminds me of when I had a mohawk. I sported that haircut for 2-3 years while living in california. Most of the comments I received were good, but I did receive a few comments from people that were negative. It hurt at the time (which negative comments usually do), but stepping back I realized that was the whole point. It was a look designed to separate me from the crowd. Things that do that cause people to make comments, both positive and negative.

    I think the challenge is to handle situations like that with as much grace as you can muster. Showing that although you may look different, you can be just as kind (if not more so!) than anyone else. At least, that’s how I tried to do things. Sometimes I was more successful at that, sometimes I was less successful.

    As for the the slut walk, I did see your pictures on facebook, but I didn’t see the comments. I’m not sure what the slutwalk was about since I don’t live in Reno any longer, but I remember thinking it was strange that a little girl (probably only 8-10 years old) was wearing a shirt with writing on it and participating in the protest. It reminded me of the abortion protesters I see outside planned parenthood with their children holding signs of dead babies. Children doing things just because their parents want them to. It seemed in bad taste, even if it was for a “good” cause (the abortion protesters think its a good cause too!)

    I didn’t choose to comment on it because although I don’t know you terribly well, the things I do know about you indicate you are a pretty awesome person with good morals.

    Wow, I wrote quite a bit, and I didn’t really have an overall point…. hmm…hopefully I conveyed my thoughts clearly enough. Keep doing what your doing, and if you like nose piercings, then keep wearing em! 🙂


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