I’m reading this great book called, A Slap In The Face: Why Insults Hurt And Why They Shouldn’t by, William B. Irvine.

I’m an exceptionally sensitive creature who can fold from a dirty look images so this book has been quite illuminating.

People can be very critical and mean, but what I’m learning is, we don’t necessarily have to take on the arbitrary criticism. We can choose not to wear it as it’s flung in our direction like a loaded mud pie. It’s where the term, mudslinging, comes from : the use of insults and accusations, especially unjust ones, with the aim of damaging the reputation of an opponent.

That does sound a trifle dramatic, but when someone goes for your jugular for mere sport, isn’t that just cause for drama?

I had someone send an email acknowledging the third year of my blog. But her parting gift to me was…I never read it…that remark stung like a wasp caught in my sleeve. Why even tell me that, what was the point? I do know how creatively constipated she is, but is that my fault? You may not like my prose but you have to admit I’m prolific since I post five essays a week and pen more for potentially paid publication.

When someone says to me, I write too you know, like I’ve stolen their pen, I say, great…glad to hear it. The truth though more often than not is they really don’t write all that much at all. I do, every day, even if I’m sick. I’m more dedicated to what pours out of me than anything else in my life.

Why can’t that be celebrated. Where’s the threat to mankind?

I may need a catchers mitt to keep that mud from landing square in my face.

What I do is offer encouragement. If someone is working on a piece I support them…urge them to continue. I don’t ever make it about me and for as long as I live, will never understand the need to steal the moment as if playing a sport.

I’m using writing as an example because nothing hurts as much as having your art attacked. I can only compare it to someone harming your child.

There are other insults to cut and parry. I’ve been the unlucky recipient receiving a barrage of remarks concerning my looks. I’ve been a model since I was thirteen, I’m not used to having my physical being verbally battered and beat up. Yet unsolicited opinions rage like a brush fire. And it’s always from the one who could lose a little weight or take better care of themselves. At my worst moment I’m coiffing. I keep at it, even if the vista has altered a bit…but that’s another essay.

I’ve said this before, but people say things to me I would never dream of saying to anyone. It just seems to be open season on the Thin Girl. Wonder if Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man had these problems. Another great series I recommend.

A Slap In The Face has been a real education. It reminds me we have choice. Turning the other cheek is one, though I truly don’t know how Jesus did it since mine has little skin    images-21 left.

And yes, we can sling that mud right back over the net, but that never seems to do anything but make life uglier, and who needs that…isn’t it an area ugly enough?

I suppose the best action would be to turn to one’s art…the page, the easel…the instrument…and rest in the gift of having something in your heart you love so, so much.

Sticks and stones my friends….             resized_fencing_0

sticks and stones.


About Susannah Bianchi

I'm just a girl who likes to write slightly on slant. I've had a career in fashion, dabbled in film and to be honest, I don't like talking about myself. Now my posts are another matter so I will let them speak for themselves. My eBooks, A New York Diary, Model Behavior: Friends For Life and Notes From A Working Cat can be found on Amazon.com. Thanks.
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28 Responses to OW, THAT HURT

  1. I am laughing out loud at Sister Linda…I know exactly how she feels…hahaha. Once again you are preaching to the choir. I wear my heart right on my sleeve and often get hurt easily. I know people that I see every day read my blog and never, ever say a word…good or bad, but that is hurtful to me. Why can’t people just be happy that I’m happy is the big question for me? Looks like I will be pondering today.


    • I love your blog and so do many others but what one comes to realize..strangers are your most ardent supporters. Learned that one the hard way. Friends or perhaps more acquaintances tend to get jealous because you have something of your very own. It’s a rare gift and one that should be celebrated. Again, I love your blog…my like button isn’t working right…but read everything you pen fellow, heart on your sleever 🙂


  2. micklively says:

    Folk will throw insults for any number of reasons, and any number of them may have little or nothing to do with the target.
    You’ve been a professional model for forty-six years. No more than a handful of people can match that. Your looks are vindicated beyond any criticism. I say you’re drop-dead gorgeous.
    Your writing entertains me every weekday and I know I’m not alone.
    Smile sweetly and know it will irk the nay-sayers. You’re worth so much more than they.


  3. AF says:

    I know firsthand that you are SO supportive of other’s writing, and art.


  4. rheath40 says:

    Hello my dear Susannah,

    No matter how many times we tell ourselves the positive comments far outweigh the negatives, it’s that one little comment that sticks in our craw. It hurts us. Makes us feel small. Eat less. Eat more. Lose sleep. Sleep more. Write less. Write more. Doubt ourselves. Hate ourselves. For what? The person that said it probably doesn’t even remember what they said. You are beautiful. You are a model. You are a writer. And whatever in the hell else you want to be. Good for you. I’m proud of you. Keep doing what you do.

    Love, Renee


    • Hello Madam…yes, we are prone to lolling in the dark as opposed to that sunshine. I think Pollyanna has been out of town because that woman made me weep like I was five. Got over it…recycled the pain into an essay but I’m an old softie forever and ever. Very nice to hear from you..been a while. Hope all is well in Renee’s world.


  5. katecrimmins says:

    This post hit home. Why do we believe what other’s say so readily? Most times there is a motive (and not a good one I might add). As I have aged, I have learned to deflect more but I still have my tender spots. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why anyone would insult your looks. People would kill to look like you at 30 let along 59! I am also thin. I love it because I feel better from a health standpoint than many of my contemporaries. Walk tall girlfriend! You are one gorgeous chick!


  6. Pam says:

    I don’t think you’d even need one hand to count the number of times that I have commented on this blog, almost never really. However, coffee in hand, you are the first thing that I read. I look forward to it every morning. Your writing has touched me, in so many ways, Susannah.

    As far as acknowledgment goes, people have their own issues which cause them to act in very strange ways. These are defense mechanisms, and some of them are very convoluted and hurtful. When we accept that it’s not personal against us, then it’s easier to just recognize them for what they are, and let them go.

    Regarding people making derogatory comments about your looks, well, there are some rude individuals out there, with too much time on their hands. They are cowards, who somehow feel powerful by insulting others under the guise of internet anonymity. How many people have ever insulted your looks to your face? Exactly!

    Have a wonderful day.


    • Quite a few since I’m sorry to say but I’m getting used to it. There’s a wonderful saying I’ve yet to master…Don’t take it personally even if it has your name on it.

      A goal of mine. When you’re sensitive you’re a target…I always say I’m not a worthy opponent…like shooting Bambi…where’s the challenge.

      Appreciate your views.


  7. D. D. Syrdal says:

    Too often rudeness is explained as ‘honesty.’ I’ve had people ask all manner of rude questions, and then when I look at them affronted they laugh, wave their hands, and say, “Well, I’m just really open and honest.” As if prying into things that are none of their business makes ME rude, or dishonest. They have no boundaries anymore. People just spew whatever’s on their mind and call it ‘honesty’ when it’s their attempt to put you down. I just assume they’re jealous.


    • BOUNDARIES…YES…THAT’S THE TICKET DAME…so many people don’t have them and when you bring them up, they laugh like you’re nuts. I had someone who reads my blog actually locate my home address to send me something tremendously inappropriate, I may add, and doesn’t understand why I’m so pissed me off. Talk about crossing the line.

      And people have no edit when it comes to conversation. I’m always amazed by that. Grrrrrrr


  8. Michael says:

    I was once told about my blog, that I should be careful what I write about so as not to offend people. I replied that I cannot help what people take away from what I write and I would never censor myself for the sake of how a person might feel. It was too out of my control. Always keep your voice. I really enjoy it.


  9. Patricia says:

    I can understand your hurt when people are unkind in their comments about your appearance…bet they are speaking from jealous hearts. As for your writing you are quite outspoken and to the point when expressing your opinions…which I think is wonderful and part of who you are …but I can see where some would think you have a steely constitution and little feeling. I think these are people that read the words but don’t get the whole picture the words are painting. Their loss because there is so much more to what you write than mere words. Ya want I should send Teddy to set em straight?


    • Yes, by all means…send Teddy, my furry advocate. You make a good point…I belie with my two cents my avid sensitivity. I’m perceived tougher than I am. I do stand up, at a price. Sorry we lost the dog park…I was so hoping;


  10. pmahaney says:

    I believe our post should be anything we want them to be, from humorous observations to venting our daily frustrations, whatever we wish to write about, after all its our blog. Everyone’s take on things has value, okay maybe not to everyone, but there is an audience out there for us, whoever they are. As for the matter of criticism of other people, their habits, what they like, how they dress, and what they look like all I can say is what small minded little people. Surely these individuals could find something more productive to do with their time than criticize someone else for imperfections we all share. The world has plenty of trouble to go around, the least they can do is offer something constructive. There is far too much negativity already and the last thing we need is more of it. Climbing down off my soapbox.


    • You’re right of course, but sadly, that’s not how it usually pans out. I think criticism stems from personal frustration. You’re a writer…if you’re busy working you have little time or impetus to criticize others. It’s the last thing I’m ever thinking about. And for the record, I think you should climb onto your soapbox more often 🙂


  11. skinnyuz2b says:

    I’m going to have to read that book. My feelings are easily hurt by cruel or insensitive remarks. I used to leave the room (coward) or actually pretend I didn’t hear or understand the remark (ostrich with head in the sand). Then I tried dishing it right back, but I got so flustered that my eyes watered up and my face turned red. And let’s add that all my great comebacks are thought of after it’s too late. Now I have a stock retort with slight variations. No need to search my frozen/blocked brain for hidden wit. I simply ask, “Why would you want to hurt my feelings by saying that to me?” If he/she responds that they’re just being honest, I tell them they are very lucky that I choose not to be so honest.
    As for writing, I, and many others, love your blog. never doubt your gift. I’m always surprised at which friends/relatives do or do not read mine.


    • Again Skinny it’s envy. You have a wonderful blog that’s interesting and well written, but some people just don’t read anything and others resent one’s creative efforts and their ability to produce. Again we must remember the gift in having something of our own and linger there…go where it’s warm Skinny…where they love and appreciate you. It’s natural though to gravitate to the naysayers. Reminds me of my first cat, Fluffy and Marianne, a friend of my mothers who loathed Fluff. Six people dying to pet her could be in the room but she’d sit right in front of Marianne and purr…even four-legged animals want that acceptance and hurt when they don’t get it. Marianne would shoo her so she’d hide behind the couch then try again.

      As far as witty, clever retorts go, I’d just like to be able to say a good, fuck you, across the board. Wouldn’t that be great.

      Go where it’s warm Skinny, go where it’s warm.


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