You'll never amount to anything! You're an idiot! No one likes you! NIGGER! These are phrases and words meant to hurt people. The culture you're brought up in and your family life can determine if words or phrases hurt you or are meaningless.
If a person is brought up believing he will never amount to anything, after awhile he'll believe it. It could shape how he lives his life and how his life turns out. I have a neice who has been brought up believing that. I don't know where she is or how her life is. I'm the only one it seems who wants to help her. If I had enough money, I would even try to support her. But the damage has been done.
The way something is said can either help or harm you. If I were to say you really ought to be more careful and I do it gently, it will help you. But if I say it as if I'm screaming at you, it can hurt you and make you angry with me. If I say something over and over as if I'm nagging you, it can make you even more angry.
If I say something you don't understand or if it is something ridiculous, it won't hurt. Let's say I told you that you were verbose. You may take it as a compliment until you found out I meant you talked too much. If I told you that you throw like a girl and you happen to be Randy Johnson, you might laugh at me before you throw a 99 mph fastball past my head.
Sometimes you can train yourself to believe the old adage, sticks and stones can break my bones, but names will never harm me. I've been told a lot of things meant to make me mad or hurt. I have a friend who calls me bumble bee brain. I call him Crazy Dan. We can tell each other those things and they are meaningless. We are still friends no matter what we tell each other. And that's the important thing. They say a best friend will tell you that you have bad breath. A best friend can tell you that you're a moron. If you know it's not true and he is telling you that because he wants to provoke you to have an argument, it may be perfectly harmless. It may even help when some stranger tells you he thinks you're a moron. If you are confident in your intelligence, he could say you're brain dead and it won't matter.
Insecurity, cultural upbringing, and constant nagging can make words painful. Confidence, overcoming ones upbringing, and the attitude that nothing is going to bring you down can make words nothing more than a bunch of letters that are meaningless. If you're sure of yourself and know what your abilities are, nothing anyone can say will destroy you.
At times you can turn an attack into something you can benefit from. You can be told you should be more observant and take it as an attack and resent the remark. But if you try to be more observant, you can benefit from the remark. Not all cruel words are meant to be destructive. Sometimes it is constructive criticism. Once you try to "clean the mud you're given," you might find a nugget of gold you would have never discovered had you thrown the mud away.