Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Negative Self-Talk and Other Fun Things

"You're so stupid."

"Hey, Gracy.  Wanna try walking past that without tripping over it this time?"



"If you had half a brain, you'd be dangerous."



"Smooth move, asshole."

Yeah, some of that is pretty harsh (and some of it ought to get you slapped in public).  Sure, you're probably not the kind of person who says stuff like that.  At least not in public.  But those are things that I've actually caught myself saying to... well.... to myself.

Maybe you're not quite that mean.  Maybe you only use the 'stupid' or the 'fat' references on occasion.  Hey, maybe you're one of the people who doesn't say mean things to themselves at all.  If you're one of the last, you're pretty damn healthy in the head and you can go now.

For the rest of us?  We're trapped in the world of negative self-talk.  Things we wouldn't dream of saying out loud to other people float around our heads like so much Charmin at the sewage lagoons.  Things we would slap someone else for saying to us are somehow acceptable for us to say to ourselves. 

Shouldn't be at least as nice to ourselves as we are to perfect strangers?  Shouldn't we expect at least as much civility from ourselves as we expect from others?

So, what I propose as the other - actually fun - fun thing in this post is that we all start creating a better habit for ourselves.  Instead of mentally berating ourselves, I propose that we give ourselves a few mental pats on the back. 

Just tripped over the ottoman for the millionth time since you moved it there two years ago?  Congratulate yourself on not breaking a toe or smashing your face into the floor or careening into the china cabinet. 

Just did something totally gauche - like misspelling a word in a query letter, or sending the query off without changing the 'Dear Mr. Doe' to 'Dear Ms. Jones' in the salutation?  Pat yourself on the back for having the courage to send that query letter out in the first place. 

Just dropped an entire pot of coffee in the middle of the kitchen floor?  Thank yourself for being wise enough to have all the supplies you need to clean it up, or maybe being smart enough to wear shoes in the house... Find something. Anything.  But make it positive!

Leave the negative talk for when you do something really horrible - like driving over the little old lady and her three Pomeranians... or wearing white after Labor Day.  ;o)

How about you?  What kinds of negative things do you say to yourself and how are you going to make it stop? 

And since it's the day before Valentine's Day, do something nice for the person you should love more than just about anyone else but the one you always forget about - Yourself.



  1. You're right, we'd never talk to others like we talk to ourselves.

    I'm constantly battling my own self-talk so this post resonated with me. One thing I catch myself saying (to myself) all the time is: Seriously? You really think you can do THAT?

    I've been trying to cultivate the habit of giving myself credit more often.

  2. Been there - done, er, doing that! We are so hard on ourselves - I read your post, got up to make tea and heard in my head "You're so lazy!" Seriously???

    Boy, between JB's post on Killer Chicks and now this, I may need therapy ;)

    Good points - I will try to be kinder to myself...treat myself as a stranger. We'll see how that works - thanks, B.E. for reminding us to be kind to ourselves!!

  3. Lots to think about here, B.E. If we aren't good to ourselves, who will be? That's not to say that we should let oursevles get away with stuff, but occasionally, we do need to give credit when credit is due and to cut ourselves some slack when needed.