Words Break Bones (WBB) is a global interactive training program created by Dr. Anna Szilágyi, a multilingual expert in media, communication, and politics. The goal of WBB is to provide children, teenagers, and adults with crucial linguistic skills to connect easily with others. WBB helps people to engage in confident, constructive and fair communication as well as to identify, resist, and avoid abusive and deceitful communication practices in private and public life.
As social beings, we are conditioned to downplay and belittle verbal abuse. Indeed, the “innocence” of discursive violence is routinely imprinted in us through popular phrases and sayings which juxtapose verbal and physical abuse. “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me” — teaches children, for example, a well-known English-language rhyme. Our program aims to debunk such deep-seated cultural stereotypes. In line with the relevant social psychology research, WBB highlights the idea that words can hurt and may even “break bones”.