This mind map explores the well-known proverb:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”

Throw me a stick or a stone and you could hurt me. Throw me a handful of words and only I can hurt me.

Only I can catch the words
Only I can process the words into thoughts and/or feelings
Only I can accept the invisible sticks and stones of words
Only I can choose to allow their impact
Only I can choose to let the words land
Only I can give the words meaning
Only I can feel upset, hurt, angered, insulted, wounded, sad, miserable, by invisible sticks and stones called words

If someone throws a stick or a stone you would most likely get out of the way quickly to avoid being hit. If you saw it coming, you would be unlikely to stand in the way and allow yourself to get hurt. If words are the sticks and stones (or “names” in the proverb) you can still get out of the way by choosing not to accept the offering. You can elect not to accept.

You are the catcher and interpreter of words, processed via your thinking. You may not even be the intended target; whether you are or not, you can choose not to be the target, by not listening, not taking it on board, not taking it personally, not being offended. When or if people call you names and you choose to ignore it, they might as well write them up on a blackboard – a blackboard you don’t have to look at. The flipside is of course to create your own positive blackboard – summarize who and what you are, irrespective of other people’s opinions and name calling.

You are the choice maker in what you focus on. If someone throws stones get out of the way. If someone throws ‘names’ imagine they are snowflakes that melt before your very eyes or wind that passes right by you. The tendency is of course to imagine the ‘names’ are cast in stones – untrue words are not concrete and even if they appear so, you still have the choice of focus – you can look the other way.

I choose what I focus on
I choose what I see
I choose how to see it
I choose to be offended or not
I choose the words and thoughts I allow in
I choose how I feel
I choose

Hopefully this mind map and blog post will help you remember the proverb:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me”

See also:

The Art of Non-reaction Mind Map

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 by Brandon Hassen
Sticks and stones

This was very good