Day 2176: What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?

Yesterday, on Facebook, I posted and posed the question: “What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?”

Was that called for, to invite people to remember the worst thing they had ever been called?  I believe that if we expose and share the worst thing we have ever been called, we can

Now, somebody may call me out and ask, “Ann, what if the worst thing that anybody ever called me IS true?”  If  there is truth in it, you can decide what you want to do about it. However, in all my years of asking this question, and people answering

  • stupid,
  • lazy,
  • worthless,
  • crazy,
  • selfish,
  • fat,
  • ugly,
  • incapable, and
  • other harsh, hurtful,  and over-generalized judgments,

I have seen no helpful truth there.

We could do worse than examine today’s photos for worst things we’ve been called.


Has anyone ever called you despicable, including yourself?


Has anybody ever called you gross? Artificial?


Has anybody ever called you out for  hanging on for too long?


Has anybody ever called you weird-looking?  Scary?  Too starey?  Too expressive?   Too transparent?


Has anybody ever called you an ass? Too distant?


Has anybody ever called you too spacy?


Has anybody ever called you foolish?  Greedy?  Not knowing what’s good for you?


Has anybody ever called you vain?  Up-tight?


Has anybody ever called you pushy?  Has anybody ever told you you’re not doing enough with your life?


Has anybody called you thoughtless?  A doormat? Catty?  A baby?


Has anybody ever called you a psychopath?

I’m working on a song called “Don’t Call Me” (and I’ve called out the lyrics here). Before I can call that song finished, here’s “Call Me” by Blondie.

Also, I found “The Worst Thing You’ve Been Called” on YouTube, which shows the same exercise I’ve done in my therapy groups.

I call that effective.

Now’s the time I call for comments.

I’ve never been called ungrateful (at least to my face). Thanks to all who helped me create today’s post and — of course! — to YOU.


Categories: group therapy, personal growth, photojournalism, Psychotherapy | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

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31 thoughts on “Day 2176: What’s the worst thing that anybody ever called you?

  1. I’ve been called thoughtless, selfish, self centred, irresponsible, callous, and shirking my responsibilities (all that by one member of my family). I was called worse by someone who supposedly loved me, making me feel less than what you would scrape off your shoe. I hit rock bottom but refused to stay there.
    I like to think I am none of these things, and the people who know me know that.

  2. hanspostcard

    The worst thing anyone ever called me- wasn’t a single word but a sentence. I should have asked what she meant by it. Not that it mattered then or now over 25 years later. I asked this woman out and her response was “I could never go out with someone like you.” For some reason that was worse than any name I had ever been called. What did she mean by that? It was all for the best anyway.

    • I call that unfair and hurtful. Thanks for being brave enough to post this comment.

      • hanspostcard

        At the time that really hurt and I spent a lot of time thinking about what she said- in the end I came away feeling that it revealed a lot more about her than it did about me. It couldn’t have been a surprise to her that I had asked her out- she had to have been thinking of some response back that would be hurtful.

  3. I’ve been called the familiar word for one’s rear end, Ann. That does make one reflect.

    • That is no reflection on you, Mark. People often call us what they are, so that reflects badly on the ass that said that to you.

  4. I know throughout my life I have been called names (I do have 7 siblings….). But I am very happy that as I read this….and looked back over my life….none of them stick out as the worst. I think I just lump them all together and want to forget them.

  5. When I was in Grade 5, our teacher had this bizarre and horrible idea that she would put different students on trial for their worst traits in front of the whole class with a student being assigned ‘defense attorney’ and another the ‘prosecution’–she was the Judge. One girl was tried for being vain, another boy for being loud, and I was put on trial for being bossy. It was humiliating. Then she put on my report card that I was “outspoken” and I got into trouble at home. All of this made me afraid to speak out for years and it’s still one of the reasons that I’m so introverted. Luckily, I now realize that she was just intimidated by my “leadership skills”:-)

  6. My first or second day in high school I was called a nerd. That was considered a serious insult back before we knew the geek would inherit the Earth, but even then I laughed it off and embraced the label. Not every insult deserves that, though.

  7. This stirred up a recent comment “you are so selfish and uncaring”. Some people know how to push my ego buttons that’s for sure. Still smarting … and figuring our how to be understanding and caring towards someone who is verbally abusive, and in a lot of pain. 🙏

    • This stirred up a lot of feelings in me, Val — that somebody in your life would use those words about somebody who is the opposite of selfish and uncaring. Thank you for your compassion and caring, so obvious to those you know you. ❤ ❤

  8. My niece once said that she thought I was “sad & self centred” sadly for her my sister, her aunt heard her and put her straight in a not so nice way.

  9. After a baseball game a young and very inebriated woman called me a fat cow. I couldn’t believe how hurt I was by that statement even though I didn’t know her and she didn’t know me.

    • I can’t believe that somebody could be so rude to you. Sometimes I think people throw out words they’ve heard other unkind people say. Where else could they learn them? And negative words always seem to have more power — they stick, even though they are NOT TRUE. I hope that sharing this memory here helps you let it go. Be gone, all those awful negative words we’ve heard!

  10. Oh boy. My abusive ex-step-father had many. If we dared to take the last scoop of food and didn’t leave it for him, my sister and I were “pigs” and “oinkers”. It took me years to realize that I always left a little bit of food in a dish if I were at a function – no matter how small and ridiculous that remaining portion was.
    One that also sticks out was that he called me a “barnacle” in regards to my roll in relationships. He went one to say, “you know, they can sink a ship if there are enough of them.” I guess he was trying to say that I was bad for folks. I dunno. At the time, I didn’t internalize that one, but that moment has stuck with me as one of the more overt instances of abuse.

  11. Well, I’m often called lazy and a scaredy cat. ฅ(≚ᄌ≚)

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