When She Asked Him About Bullying, He Gave Her Exactly The Answer She Deserved

Phoebe Gavin Curated by

When I was a kid, I liked nerdy stuff. I still like nerdy stuff. I remember asking why people bullied me for liking science and books — I wish someone had said to me what he said to this little girl.

It's a little hard to hear her question. She asks, "When you were a kid, were you called a nerd? And if so, how did you deal with it?"

Transcript:
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Child When you were a kid were you called a nerd, and if so, how did you deal with it?

Wil Wheaton When I was little boy I was called a nerd all the time, because I did not like sports. I loved to read, I liked Math and Science, I thought school was really cool and it hurt a lot because it is never OK when a person makes fun of you for something that you did not choose. You know, we did not choose to be nerds. We can't help it that we like these things and we shouldn't apologize for liking these things.

I wish that I could tell you that there is a really easy way to just not care, but the truth is, it hurts. But here's the thing that you might be able to understand. As a matter of fact, I am confident you will be able to understand this because you asked this question. When a person makes fun of you, when a person is cruel to you, it has nothing to do with you.It is not about what you said, it's not about what you did, it's not about what you love. It's about them feeling bad about themselves. They feel sad. They don't get positive attention from their parents. They don't feel as smart as you. They don't understand the things that you understand.

Maybe one of their parents is really pushing them to be a cheerleader or a baseball player or an engineer or something that they just don't want to do. So they take that out on you, because they can't go blaming the person who has actually hurt them. So when a person is cruel to you like that, I know that this is hard, but honestly the kindest and best reaction is to pity them. Don't let them make you feel bad because you love a thing.

Maybe find out what they love and talk about how they love it. I bet you'll find out that a person who loves tether ball, loves tether ball exactly the same way you love "Doctor Who", but you just love different things. I will tell you this, it absolutely gets better as you get older. I know it's really hard when you're in school and you're surrounded by the same 400 people a day that pick on you and make you feel bad about yourself.

There are 50000 people here this weekend who went through the exact same thing and we're all doing really well. Don't you ever let a person make you feel bad because you love something they decided is only for nerds. You're loving things for you. Thank you.

There may be small errors in this transcript.
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This portion of a panel discussion with Wil Wheaton was captured by CGPhotogcom at Denver Comic-Con 2013.

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