The Power in Your Words.

Posted: October 31, 2014 by Dorian in Tough Stuff

wordsfordhebbie“What can words do?” It is the title of an anthology that a dear friend gave to me as a birthday gift. One day, I took the book to school, (I was in the funny habit of carrying any book I was reading around then so I could jump into an unsolicited review, he he.) and a mate saw it and laughed at the title, calling it dumb. I smiled and shook my head. He was the dumb one, not my dear book’s title.

I grew up not liking the way I looked. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not really ugly. It’s just that I look real small…way too small for my age. Nah nah! There goes your imagination again. I don’t have a disorder. Hehe! I was born normal and I still am. At first, I wasn’t bothered at all because to me, it was pretty obvious. But words, yes, made me become overly conscious of my looks. It’s not really that bad, you know. The thing is just that when one looks at me, seated and fiddling with my pen, trying to seriously brainstorm, one can easily mistake me for a fourteen year old kid, whereas I’m actually four years older than that.

It started when I got into the senior secondary school. I knew how I looked but one thing I really hated was how my mates would shove it under my nose. “Dhebbie, why do you look so small?”, they would ask. Well, I didn’t have an answer but inside me, I boiled. I hated the way I couldn’t always get a nice dress because it was too big, and the way the seller would tell my mother, “Madam, your baby is too small, we don’t have her size”. I also loathed the way my so-called friends then would sneer and ask “Dhebbie, don’t you eat?”. I was bothered by the fact that even though I was older or even the same age as many of my classmates, I looked so small, that one would have thought I was either a kid who skipped classes or a premature baby. That was not bad enough. I hated it more when my mother’s friends would ask my age and almost scream when I say “17”. “Huh? My Bimpe is 15 and she is bigger than you are, don’t you eat?”, one would ask. Even in competitions, when I revealed my age, others would turn to me with a look that screamed, “like seriously??”.

Now, that’s not the real point. The thing is, it began to get to me. I got withdrawn and overly conscious of how small I looked. It became so pronounced that I started to overlook the parts of me that weren’t so bad (like my face) and concentrated on my “smallishness”. I thought about it so much and it began to reflect in the words I said and how I said them. Then, one day, I answered a question in class and the teacher said in a high pitched tone “brilliant! For a girl your size, you talk real smart”. I sat, beaming with smiles. I was happy because he related the way I looked to my intellectual prowess. The teacher went on to tell the class of how much I reminded him of the smallish girl who had a first class in his set when he was in the university. He told us how awed and astounded people were when she was called to give her speech and how she spoke so well that people kept applauding her till she got to her seat. That stirred something in me. I thought about it. Instead of people pointing to how small I looked, they could actually become amazed at how well I could speak, behave or even think. And that was it. I started to get less bothered about the way I looked. I made new friends who weren’t bothered about how small my palm was, how delicate I looked nor how short I was, compared to them. They saw me for who I was and slowly I began to see that how I looked didn’t really matter.

It’s funny, but sometimes, I’m still tempted to ask Sam (a good friend), “Sam, do you think I really look small?” He would smile and say,” No Dhebbie, you’re fine”. I would smile back at him and feel better. So, what can words do? A lot! For people who have a similar case to mine, surround yourself with people who love you and support you. Concentrate on your pretty features and abilities, and don’t let unkind words make you. And for people who are cool with the way they look, watch your words, you might be hurting someone. Why don’t you say, “hey,I like your hair” instead of “why are you so short?”. Why don’t you say “oh, your fingers are cute” instead of “geeeez, your hand is so small”. So now, I’m not bothered much because I feel good when after I’ve said or done something, and someone says with awe “oh, you are smarter than you look”. The tongue may be only 3 inches long but it can kill a man 6 feet tall. Watch what you say.

For Sam, Josephine, Sola and Gideon.

© Otuagomah Deborah 2014

  1. Abbas gbemisayo says:

    Oh!……… doesnt mean aw one luk lyk but wat one is able to deliver matters….i luv ur courage!!!


  2. Olawale stephen says:



  3. simon Daniel says:

    life it’self is uncertain.we dnt only xpect certain words 4rm ppl,like;our physical qualities.what one contain in its inner-man is rili is physical is abnormal to b normal in abnormal world.Debby,u ar worth mor dan gold irrespective of ur look.nice write up.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. stevano007 says:

    Hmmmm. Ghud.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bisoye says:

    Similar Issue. Tnx old time frnd. U gav me courage. Smtymz,i say 2 mysef”why am I so short” “couldnt get clothes that suit me nor shoes cos dy ar smal” I even wondered wot i wud b cald wen I get 2 higher Institution.


  6. Dyphor says:

    The Power in your words. I wanted to read something like this badly. Thank you


  7. komiyo komez says:

    It is important to know that the word of a man represents him even in his absence. Once a word is said it cant be ”un-said” again . I suggest we let our utterances bring hope and not bring people down or break their hearts. Nice one babe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. dabo austine olatubosun says:

    i hoping this blog gets wide like linda ikeji cause its really inspiring. . .the power in your words


  9. Good write really. Dhebbie, greatness, like HIV, no dey show for face or body. It’s all depends on what we say or do, and not really what others say, that matters.


  10. Akinduro Tosin says:

    Yh. It‘z gud for one to knw one‘s abilities nd realize one‘s potentials no matter hw one looks lyk, either tall, short, robust, thin, jst mention…. When one is nt happy about d way one looks, it brngs nothin but a huge low self esteem nd dis restrains one frm achievin wat one wants. This world is made of varieties of human. Diz low self esteem barricades many frm knwin wat dey can actually do. I used to av diz low self esteem bcus of d way i looked ‘too big for my age‘lol. But i had lovly siblings nd frnds who wud tel me hw luvly nd brilliant i ws. These words of encouragemnt hav made me achv some part of my goals nd lookin forward to achvin others. Move with good-minded ppl, positive frnds, dey can hv a knock-on effect on u. Nice one Dhebbie.


  11. Akinduro Tosin says:

    *Happy with, variety of- diz world is made up of variety of human shouldnt be included pls, d way i *looked(my appearance), *some parts of…


  12. […] The Power in Your Words.. […]


  13. orpeljosh says:

    Reblogged this on orpeljosh and commented:
    Words are like eggs,once broken it cannot be put back together


  14. Dhebbie, blogger?! Lovvat, dear. Keep it up. U go blow soon. Lol


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s