Actor Wil Wheaton (“Big Bang Theory”) was at Denver ComiCon when a little girl asked him “When you were a kid, were you called a nerd? And if so, how did you deal with it?”
His answer – although initially about nerds – goes into something beautiful that can translate across the board: “Don’t let them make you feel bad because you love a thing.”
“I wish I could tell you that there was a really easy way to not care, but the truth is, it hurts. [...]
When a person makes fun of you when a person is cruel to you it has nothing to do with you. It’s 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 understand the things that you understand. Maybe their parents are pushing them to be something that they just don’t want to do [...] so they take that out on you.
So when a person is cruel to you like that, the kind and best reaction is to pity them and don’t let them make you feel bad because you love a thing. Maybe find out what they love and talk about that. I bet you find out that a person who loves tetherball loves it the same way you love “Dr. Who.” You just love different things. And I’ll tell you this, it absolutely gets better as you get older.”
His answer gets really good starting at :53.