A chat with beck: harmful phrases addition


Beck Iannucci

TW: ableism, ED, relapse, coming out

I want to discuss some harmful everyday phrases. One I hear quite often is, ¨You haven´t faced hardships yet.¨ Lots of adults say this without seeing the damage behind it. You don´t know what someone has or is going through mental health-wise and saying something like this diminishes their struggles and tells them that things will be worse in the future — which is not what a suffering person needs to hear. This can also make someone who´s struggling feel less comfortable coming to you for help.

The next one is the r-word. For some reason, so many people can´t get enough of this word. The word originally stemmed from a no longer used medical term. Because the word has been taken from the name of a disability it´s incredibly disrespectful and fuels the idea that disabilities are negative. Using a word that came from a disability to call something stupid is incredibly irresponsible. Literally, just say the word stupid.

Making comments about someone else´s appearance is not only gross but can cause someone with ED to relapse. You should never point out someone´s weight — even if you don´t say it to the person´s face. Making a comment to your friends or family is still bad. Again, you often don´t know what someone is going through. Be mindful of that. Weight jokes aren´t even funny and never were. Even if you aren´t picking on a particular person, it´s not okay to joke about it. This is basic human decency — it should be easy.

¨I already knew¨ can be so problematic and it needs to be acknowledged. For many, when coming out hearing those words can be a relief because it means that the person has already accepted you for a long time. For me, it made me feel like the person was ignoring how hard it was for me to tell them. This can be a slippery slope so I would say ¨I already knew¨ with caution. Instead, I would tell the person that you love them and that you´re proud of them, because hopefully, you are.

¨It´s not that bad¨ or ¨you should be fine¨. If someone tells you they can´t watch a movie or show because it has triggering content respect that. Again, you´re diminishing their struggles and may be forcing them to watch content that will make them relapse.

In conclusion, stop it.