Hurt feelings ‘worse than pain’

The old adage “sticks and stones can break your bones, but words can never hurt you”, simply is not true, according to researchers.

Psychologists found memories of painful emotional experiences linger far longer than those involving physical pain.

They quizzed volunteers about painful events over the previous five years.

Writing in the journal Psychological Science, they said evolutionary brain changes which allow us to work better in groups or societies could be key.

The volunteers, all students, were asked to write about painful experiences, both physical and emotional, then given a difficult mental test shortly afterwards.

The principle was that the more painful the recalled experience, the less well the person would perform in the tests.

Test scores were consistently higher in those recalling physical rather than “social” pain.

Psychological scoring tests revealed that memories of emotional pain were far more vivid.
LINK

Piehole Comment: I always hated when people would use that little rhyme to pacify whomever’s feelings were hurt at the time. I also love this line. “you need to grow a thicker skin” or “You need to let it roll right off your back like a duck in water”.

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