There have been a few times in my life that I’ve been called ‘cold’ or ‘heartless’ by another person. Not that this is a regular occurrence, but hearing this once is enough to hurt. Whether it was an ex-boyfriend or a disgruntled friend, it still hurts. The thing that people don’t realize soon enough is that everyone shows love and affection in different ways.

You might think that you’re being funny, but you’re not. And if you mean it, that’s even worse. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes for once. I know that it’s hard when you’re in the heat of the moment to stop and think about what you’re saying before you say it, but it’s important. Especially when the thing you’re about to say is incredibly hurtful and probably not true.

Think about how you would feel if someone called you ‘heartless.’ That’s literally someone claiming that you have no emotions and don’t care about anyone else. Nobody has the right to dictate another person’s emotions. Just because someone doesn’t express their emotions as openly or as often as you do doesn’t mean they don’t have them. Saying that can discredit all of the emotions someone is having, whether that’s on the inside or out.

Girls are told they’re supposed to a million different things, including strong and independent. Girls are sometimes told that they’re too emotional or sensitive. Then when a girl is being too unemotional or insensitive she gets called ‘cold.’ What kind of message does that send? Girls don’t need people they care about (or once cared about) telling them that they need to change. They already get that enough as it is. If a girl wants to be emotional let her, and if she is more guarded that’s fine too. Again, nobody has the right to tell another person who they are or how they should be.

Next time you feel like a girl that you deem too ‘unemotional’ has wronged you, think about the consequences of what you say to her. You might have a bigger impact than you think.