Last weekend, some friends and I hung out at Sneaky Pete's in Lewisville. We were playing sand volleyball on one court when shouting erupted on the court next to us. It was obnoxiously loud and laced with expletives, so we all turned our attention to it. We didn't see the initial cause of the argument, but at this point it was just meaningless shouting back and forth. From what we could gather, a girl on one team (Girl A) had cause to argue with a guy on the other team (Guy A). They were shouting at each other back and forth, while each staying on their side of the net. Guy A started calling Girl A names, which infuriated her. She yelled back at him, cursing as much as possible. A guy on her team (Guy B) tried to intervene by telling Guy A to stop speaking to her that way. Guy A's response was, "You better get your ho under control." Of course, hearing this sent Girl A into a frenzy for being referred to as a ho. She threw out a lot of f-bombs, and acted like she would charge Guy A if she wasn't held back (yeah right!). I'm sure the initial reason for the fight wasn't that big of a deal, but once the name-calling and cursing started, it quickly escalated. We were afraid we were about to see Guy B getting into a fight with Guy A over the stupid comments of Girl A. Eventually the management stepped in, and I think Guy A was asked to leave.
On the way home, Jer and I started discussing the situation. Why do people get SO FURIOUS over words? Guy A and Girl A had never met before that day, yet he had the ability to make her act like a maniac by calling her a name. A name that was completely irrelevant to the situation and more than likely untrue. Why would being called a ho by a complete stranger matter one bit? Was it true? If not, why get upset about it? Even if it was true, why would she care that THAT guy was using it? Does she put any stake in his opinion? It's amazing how bent out of shape people can get over words, and even more amazing how upset they can get at a stranger's words.
I'm sure some people would mention that alcohol plays a part in how upset we allow ourselves to be over word exchanges. But, there are plenty of situations where fights are started over words when no alcohol is involved (high school, little league games, relationships, etc). We need to learn to shrug it off when nonsense comes out of other people's mouths. It's just words. If someone says "Screw you" or calls you a "Bitch," what does that really do to you? Did it literally hurt your body?
Words are only as powerful as you allow them to be.