People Share The Most Hurtful Thing They’ve Accidentaly Overheard About Themselves

People love trash-talking. Sometimes, people say things that they don’t mean just to join in on the “fun.” It’s an odd way to bond, but a popular pastime regardless. As much as we’d all like to believe that “sticks and stones may break our bones, but words may never hurt us,” words do hurt. In fact, they can leave a lasting sting that can haunt us for the rest of our lives.

Ideally, when we hear people say bad things about us, we’d stand up for ourselves right then and there, but it doesn’t always work like that. If only we could remember all the great things people say about us instead of the bad things. As these internet users can confirm, hearing nasty words happens all the time, but that doesn’t mean they hurt any less.

Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 When You Try Your Best And You Don’t Succeed

“If another nurse had been taking care of him, he’d be alive right now.”I spent the entire night running around trying to stabilize a patient, and my coworkers just sat there loudly talking about how incompetent I was the entire time. Neither of them lifted a finger to help. When the patient crashed, both of them magically disappeared and the nurses from the other side of the hallway came to help with the code. They even told the unit manager that I was crying at the bedside and being unprofessional. Thankfully, neither of them work in the unit anymore.


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#2 Unwelcome Critters

When I was seven years old, I was basically poor trailer trash. One time, I asked my friend if I could stay the night at his place. He called his mom to ask for permission and I overheard her say, “Tell him no. I don’t want roaches and lice.” That really cut me deep. To this day, I have extreme anxiety about keeping my house clean. Back then, I couldn’t help it—I was poor, and our coaches didn’t pay rent!


#3 The Internet Can Be Rather Cruel

When I was a preteen, I posted a picture of myself online with a minor celebrity. I later found that it was reposted on a message board. The majority of the comments talked about how ugly and pale I was. The only person who said anything nice wrote, “Don’t say that, she posts here sometimes and she’s really nice.”


#4 Cohabitating Can Be Hard

At a family reunion, my mother stated: “She was so happy when I moved out.” It was my house and I was letting her live with me for free after her divorce. For the record, I loved having my mom around and I never once thought of her as a nuisance when she lived with me. No matter what my mom says, I’ll always have her back.

#5 Some Girls Are Just Mean Girls

Two girls that I roomed with for a short while in college had been publicly posting on social media about how weird, annoying, and disrespectful I was. They found it ridiculous that I took an 8:30 a.m. class because, according to them, “only weirdos do that.” They also accused me of making a ton of noise every morning. It hurt because I tried really hard to not be disruptive.

I wouldn’t let my alarm go off because I woke up naturally anyway. I changed clothes in the bathroom, tiptoed everywhere, and wouldn’t even EAT or ZIP MY BACKPACK in the room because I wanted to be quiet. As far as I knew, neither of them ever woke up on any of those mornings—and they never said anything to me about it.

#6 Judgments Can Hurt Down To The Core

I was copied into an email conversation in which, about ten messages earlier, one of my employees had called me an idiot and suggested to the recipients that they shouldn’t get me involved in the situation they were discussing. I’d always thought we got on well and it knocked my confidence to hear that person say those things about me.


#7 Make Sure To Double Check Who You’re Texting

Fourteen years ago, my friend sent a text that was intended for someone else to me by mistake. The text was all about how I was awkward to be around. It read: “I spoke to Janice today, I’d forgotten how weird she is.” I always thought well of her and never once judged her for her personality. From that entire experience, I learned the importance of picking better friends.


#8 Families Don’t Always Stick Together After All

When my mother passed away, I received a file from my father that she had intended to give to me. It was a psychological profile, along with some personality tests. This wasn’t a surprise to me since I’m autistic and have been in therapy since I was a child. However, there was a section about my family’s struggle living with me throughout the years.

My brothers and my dad, in particular, were the ones having problems coping. Learning that my existence pained them was difficult. My parents basically got divorced because of me. My brothers were embarrassed by me. Even now that I’m older, I still feel like they don’t take me seriously. I guess that’s something that just isn’t going to change.

Yet, despite all of that, I’m doing better than expected. I was never supposed to be living on my own. There was talk about assisted living or even an institution, but somehow I managed to leave home as soon as I turned 18.  I got married, had kids, and even though I struggle a lot, I get by. I have a good relationship with all my brothers, even though they still have trouble treating me as an adult.


#9 A Mother’s Hurtful Words Can Haunt You Forever

My stepmom told my grandma that I was useless, heartless, abusive, and a leech, all because I couldn’t buy my dad a birthday gift. I had painted something for him instead because I was 16 at the time and had no money. I couldn’t get my mom to help me buy something for her ex-husband and my stepmom never wanted to get to know me. It made me really sad because art was a big deal to me at that age. Overhearing her say those things led me to see her in a totally different light.

#10 If Only He’d Hit The Mute Button

I phoned my friend and asked him if he wanted to hang out. He said he had to ask his mom. I heard him say, “David wants to do something, but I don’t want to see him.” I guess he thought he muted the phone or something. He then came back to the phone and said, “Sorry, my mom said I can’t.” He was a terrible friend over the years.


#11 Nasty Cheerleader Pranks

When I was in seventh grade, I lived in a backwater podunk town in East Texas. I was weird and an ugly duckling. In order to fit in, I decided to become a cheerleader since all of them were popular and well-liked at my school. I made the team and considered all of them my friends, even though they were mean to literally everyone who they didn’t consider “cool.”

One day, during a practice, the bases of my stunt dropped me and I fell flat on my butt. I ended up bruising my tailbone really badly. At our first game, we were on the sidelines and during a break, I overheard our team captain laughing about how funny it was when she and the other base dropped me on purpose. Apparently, they had hoped I would be hurt enough to not be able to participate in the game. As a 13-year-old, it destroyed me, but in order to still seem like I was liked at school, I didn’t tell anyone about it.

#12 From BFF To Worst Friend Ever In A Matter Of Seconds

Someone overheard my coworker say that she’d “quit immediately” if I ever got promoted. Up to this point, I thought she and I were best friends. I even shared my Netflix password with her. I decided not to confront her about it but instead let my success eat away at her. I ended up getting promoted and she now reports to me. I guess all that talk about her quitting was just for show.


#13 Problems With Body Hair

I overheard one of my aunts telling my mother that my arms and legs looked disgusting because of my body hair. She urged my mother to do something about it. I was 11 and really self-conscious about being a hairy girl. Thankfully, my mom defended me and told my aunt that her opinions were completely irrelevant.


#14 The Insults Kids Come Up With Are Endless

In 8th grade, I had the highest GPA in my class, so I got to recite the pledge of allegiance at graduation. At our rehearsal, as I was walking up to the mic, I overheard a classmate whisper to his friend, “Out of the whole grade, they had to pick the kid with the most annoying voice.” It’s been a decade since my graduation and I still shrink into insecurity when I remember it.


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#15 Pretend Friendships Are The Worst

I had just moved into my dorm for my second year of college. My roommate was my best friend since 9th grade. My stuff hadn’t arrived yet, and it was my time to register, so I asked him if I could use his computer. He said sure. I sat down and he had an AIM conversation open. He was talking with another friend of ours. I didn’t scroll up, but from what was visible on the screen, they were talking about how weird I was and how awful it must be to room with me.

We still lived together that year, but we didn’t hang out at all. We just existed around each other. I never asked him to hang out as friends and he never asked me. The day we moved out was the last time we ever spoke. That was over ten years ago. We chatted every day for six years, then stopped talking to each other completely. I still don’t know if I did something to flip his opinions of me, or if he ever liked me to begin with.


#16 The Power Of Dread Is Real

I have epilepsy and I overheard my parents talking to my neurologist about some of the side effects my seizures would cause if they persisted. The neurologist said I would basically become dependent for everything, as well as suffer from severe memory loss and a decline in IQ. It really hurt to hear that in a few years I would go from honors classes to special ed. Thankfully, my seizures have stopped and the only lasting side effect is some memory loss.


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#17 The Lesser Twin

My dad saying he expected my twin sister to do great things. It wasn’t so bad until he followed it up with, “I don’t know what we’ll do about Candice, though.” He still doesn’t know I heard that and I plan to keep it that way. One day, I’ll come home for the holidays and rub in his face my successful life in New York, with my six-figure job and my million dollar penthouse apartment.


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#18 Perhaps Not The Most Masterful Chef In Training

I went to school for a year for culinary arts. There was a program-wide competition and I was one of the only people in our section who wanted to compete. During an exam, I was waiting for some sugar to boil. I stood at the front of the room by a burner when the other chef in charge of the competition came in to talk to our chef.

They were whispering to each other for a few seconds, and then I clearly heard our chef say, “Well, it’s not that she’s bad—” After seeing that I was staring right at him, they stepped out of the room. Looking back at it now, they were probably just surprised that I wanted to compete since I was definitely not the most outgoing person in the universe. Still, it hurt to hear them talk down on my skills.


#29 It’s Also Possible To Kill People With Unkindness

I went out to a bar with some friends for a birthday party for my ex-girlfriend. She really messed me up when she left me, but I was trying to be nice since she invited me, so I figured I’d go out and be there for a drink or two. I should have known that no good could ever come out of being in the same room with my ex.

A mutual friend of ours was there and she had just broken it off with her boyfriend. I talked to her and tried to do whatever I could to let her know it would be okay. I’m no therapist, but I did my best, you know? I knew what a bad break up felt like, as I was also going through one, so I tried to help in any way that I could.

Anyway, after I left the table, I overheard her talking to my ex at the bar. She said she found it hilarious that I was trying to give her advice. “Well, nobody has ever loved him, so what does he know about any of this?” Then, they started laughing. I don’t think they know I heard, but I grabbed my coat immediately and took a long walk home. I don’t need people like that in my life.


#26 Watch Out For The Mother-In-Law

I accidentally saw messages popping up on my mother-in-law’s iPad as she was texting her friend from another room. The messages were about how I used to be attractive but not anymore since I got fat. My mother-in-law even said that her son was basically a saint for still being with me. It broke my heart. I guess I discovered her true colors that day.


#21 As If She Wasn’t Insecure Already…

When I walked in on my boyfriend cracking a joke about my breasts to a group of guys, I very clearly remember it ending with, “She’d be great, if she had any.” I didn’t break up with him over that comment because I knew he always acted a little different around his friends, but we did talk it out and he really is trying to watch his words more.


#22 Feeling Utterly Unwanted

When my oldest sister Tiffany passed away, my other sister was crying to my mother about how she felt alone. My mother was trying to reassure her, saying, “You still have Jessica, though.” But my sister said, “Who cares about her? I want Tiffany back.” This was around the same time my mother told me to my face that it should have been me who lost my life instead because I don’t have a husband or kids like my Tiffany did. It seemed like absolutely no one wanted me in my family and they all wished I could have switched places with Tiffany. And people wonder why I’m depressed now…


#23 If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say, Don’t Say Anything At All

I’ve always struggled with social anxiety and I finally felt like I was getting a good handle on it. I texted one of these girls about where we would be meeting as I was on my way to her apartment. Before I could knock, I heard her saying, “Oh my god. She is so annoying, why couldn’t she just get the hint.” Everyone else jumped in and started laughing. All the progress I’ve made towards my social anxiety slid all the way down.


#24 People Are Shallow

“He’s a great guy, I just wish he was hotter.” My girlfriend of two years said this to her friend, thinking I didn’t hear her. We have been together for five years and all this time, I never realized she didn’t find me that attractive. We’re still good to each other, but ever since hearing her say that, my self-esteem has taken a huge hit.


#25 When Fat Shaming Goes Too Far

I was a youth pastor. I overheard a parent of one of the kids talking with one of my coworkers about how overweight I was and how I didn’t care about my life. They talked about how I was setting a terrible example for the kids by disregarding my own health. They even bet that I will die by the time I turn 30 (I’m 27). The mom said that the only reason she got onto the SPRC (Staff Parish Relations Committee, the committee who does all the hiring at the church) was so she could get me fired. Needless to say, I don’t work there anymore because I left on my own.


#26 They Sure Trash-Talked The Wrong Guy On The Ski Hill

I was on a ski vacation with a group of about a dozen people who I skied with for years. We basically get together to distribute the cost of on-mountain lodging. Anyway, I was on the chair lift ahead of two other people in the group and overheard them talking about how I was bad for the dynamic because I go out first thing in the morning rather than wait for everyone to be ready.

I told them after they got off the lift, “If you’re going to literally talk about someone behind their back, make sure it’s not loud enough to be overheard by them. I spend hundreds of dollars and travel hundreds of miles to have fun skiing, not spend more time stopped on a mountain than sliding down it.” They turned beet red and apologized, but that was the last time I went on a trip with that group.


#27 They Tagged Him As The Worst Kind Of Crazy

“He’ll probably be voted ‘Most Likely to End Up in an Institution.'” That one was… rough, to say the least. I’ve always been kind of animated in nature, and a lot of people find me funny. I guess I didn’t realize that some people could mistake my personality for crazy. In the following years, I toned down a bit and tried not to be so out there.


#28 Don’t Insult Her Cookies

I made cookies from scratch for an Independence Day outing with my fiancé, my parents, and a couple of their friends. I was into trying healthier alternatives for things at the time, so I made them with whole wheat flour. My stepmom went and bought grocery store bakery cookies to take instead. My dad said, “But Mickey already made cookies,” and my stepmom scoffed and said, “Yeah, I know.” I still feel like crying when I think about it.


#29 She’s Got The Brains, But They Don’t Think She Has The Looks

My boyfriend left me on a call while he was talking to his mother. He was telling her that he felt like a failure in comparison to me. I work and study full-time and yet continue to make time for friends, family, volunteering and holidays despite being so busy. My boyfriend was venting that he never had a job and that all he does is play video game until the morning.

His mom tried to comfort him by saying, “When your grandpa met her for the first time, he asked me about why on Earth you would date someone that ugly. You deserve much better than that. I said to your grandpa, I don’t know, as long as he’s happy. Don’t worry, you’re a good kid.” It still hurts and I think about it often.


#30 Never Assume People Don’t Understand Your Language

When I migrated to Europe, I was trying to set up things with the town hall for my residency. The person helping us spoke rather poor English. I was very stressed out over the entire process, so I guess she thought I was being difficult. The town hall worker went around the corner and started complaining in Dutch about me, thinking I couldn’t understand her.

She was saying all this anti-immigrant junk. She clearly didn’t expect me to understand Dutch already, but I heard most of it. It was some of the worst things I’d ever heard, including things like how “I should deport myself,” or “give myself up to the immigration police” because I apparently didn’t belong there. What a welcome.


#31 The Negative Feels When Your Parents Don’t Believe In You

I overheard my dad tell my mom that I am not capable enough to go through with my higher studies. It’s one of the worst feelings when you realize your parents don’t have any faith in you. I have now graduated from a prestigious school and have two degrees to my name, so I guess the joke’s on them. Never stop believing in yourself just because other people have stopped.

#32 The Mistress Comes First

My brother overheard my father talking about us when we were in high school. At the time, we didn’t know yet that our father was cheating on our mother. My brother picked up the phone to make a call and heard a woman asking, “Are you sure you want to keep doing this? What about your kids? You have a family.” Then he heard my dad laugh really hard and say, “I’m not worried about that.” My brother told me about it and then our mother. He still doesn’t know that my brother heard this. We can never un-know it. It had a significant impact on both of our lives.


#33 It Must Be Stressful To Be So Cruel

I heard my high school best friend tell another student which fake name to use when talking about me. I was in the room and heard it all. Suddenly, all those conversations about “Jabrell” make so much more sense… I guess it worked in my favor because knowing their code name for me meant I could always know the truth about what they thought about me without needing a truth serum.


#34 That’s One Way To Get Out Of The Closet

Back when I was closeted, I overread on a friend’s phone a group text of girls laughing about how I was “so 100% gay” and needed to stop lying to myself. It was both hurtful and eye-opening, considering I wasn’t even really out to myself yet. Fast forward to now and I am extremely comfortable with who I am. I guess that situation helped me develop some tough skin.


#35 Some People Just Like To Live On The Surface

In high school, I started opening up more about my mental health. Not that I’d bring it up constantly, but if someone asked me why I had such cracked skin on my hands I’d just tell them, straight up, “I have OCD and it causes me to wash my hands too much.” If someone asked why I was being so quiet, I’d tell them, “I’m just feeling a bit anxious today.”

A “friend” of mine told our other mutual friend that she didn’t like being around me anymore because I “talked about my mental illness too much.” Simply because I was open about it and wasn’t ashamed or afraid to talk about it. These days, I don’t talk about it so much; mostly because of what she said. I don’t like to burden anyone with it.


#36 The Ring That Wasn’t Big Enough

My ex-wife told her sister how her engagement ring was so little she couldn’t show it off. She kept going on and on about how it was pathetic that I couldn’t afford anything bigger. She also said it was an absolute challenge for her to pretend, for months on end, how happy she was with the ring, even though she really wished she could just chuck it away.


#37 You Can’t Trust Just Anyone With Your Nudes

I opened my laptop that my boyfriend had used earlier to check my email. His account was still signed in and a message thread to his ex was open. It contained nude photos of me that he had shared with her without my consent, along with many hurtful and inappropriate words. It was the most hurtful thing anyone had ever done to me.


#38 A Good Friend With An Unkind Boyfriend

Voice text had just come to cell phones and my friend’s boyfriend accidentally sent her a clip of him talking about her “bigger friend”… me. We were chilling on her couch and she played it out loud not knowing why he sent her something and I instantly started tearing up. My friend was mortified and ripped her boyfriend a new one.

#39 Drink Up

Someone in college said that the only time people could stand to be around me is when I’m under the influence because it makes me “turn normal.” Apparently, my sober personality is too awkward to be around and everyone thinks I’m just the biggest killjoy. That’s when I realized that maybe I needed to find better friends.

#40 A Mother Is A Mother, Blood Or Not

My mom passed away from a relapse in breast cancer when I was six years old. Shortly after, I overheard my aunt saying that she didn’t understand why I was so upset because she wasn’t my real mother anyway. And that’s how I found out I was adopted, folks. I’m okay with it now, but when I first found out, it took me to a really dark place. To this day, no one in my family knows I know the truth, but I’m still debating whether to confront them about it or not.


#41 That Dark Eastern Look Isn’t For Everyone

I have a minor medical condition that causes really dark circles around my eyes. On top of that, my family is Eastern European so everyone else in my family shares a sunken, dark eye look, mine being the most prominent. In college, I was seeing a boy who was part of our school’s rowing team. One night, I spent the night at his place and got breakfast with his team that morning. They didn’t think I could hear but they were referring to me at the other end of the table making jokes about how one of my clients must have given me a good beating, hence my dark eyes.


#42 Who Ever Heard Of A Bad Smile?

I heard my friend telling someone during school days that I have a bad smile. To this day, I can’t smile without thinking of that line. At the time, I came home crying to my parents begging them to get me braces. Unfortunately, they couldn’t afford it financially at the time, so I spent that whole period of my life self-conscious about my teeth.

#43 Not The Thinnest Girl Around

I had just finished a phone call and was walking back into the room with a couple of friends. Before I hit the doorway, one of the friends asked my then-best-friend why we weren’t dating yet. He responded with, “I only date girls I can pick up when I’m making out with them.” I’m not fat, but I’m not stick-thin either, and it has really messed me up; I struggle with body image issues to this day. I later confronted him about it and he told me I shouldn’t have eavesdropped. A bunch of other stuff happened and we aren’t close friends anymore, but wow that hurt to hear, especially from someone I cared about so much.


#44 Divorce Can Get Uglier Than We Thought

My parents were arguing and declared they were going to get divorced. They then started yelling about who got to keep the kids. They argued over my sister and both of them said they didn’t want me. I was nine years old at the time. I’m still messed up about that 19 years later. I just recently cut ties with them for good.

#45 Asparagus Hair

I walked up to the bar to order a drink and stood behind an empty chair. The woman sitting next to the empty chair placed her purse down to let me know the seat was taken… so I kindly told her, “Oh! I’m not trying to take that seat. I’m just ordering a drink and going to sit with my friends over there!” She nodded her head and I continued to wait for the bartender. The woman’s boyfriend (I’m assuming) came back to sit down and she “whispered” to him, “That girl with asparagus hair tried to take your seat.” (My hair is short and very curly). To this day, I have NO clue what asparagus hair means but I’m still offended.