Getting real about negative self-talk

Life May 12, 2014

Idiot.

Stupid.

Lazy.

Bad mom.

These are just a few of the things I have caught myself saying lately. TO MYSELF.

I started thinking about how these words would sound if I said them to a friend. And I realized I would NEVER say these things to a friend. That would be so mean!

“You didn’t spend enough time with your kids today. You’re such a bad mom.”

Ugh, can you imagine saying that to a friend?

“I can’t believe you didn’t work out yesterday. You are so lazy.”

Um, what kind of friend would say that?

“What were you even talking about at that party? You are so stupid.”

Nope, we’re not friends anymore.

So what makes it ok to say these things to myself, and not to a friend?

Nothing.

It’s not ok.

So I’ve started catching myself. As the negative self-talk starts to surface, I ask if I would say it to a friend. If the answer is no, then I am not allowed to say it to myself. I’m learning to be more gentle inside my own head. I’m learning to give myself the grace that I give others.

I’m not there yet, but I’m getting there.

 

How do you talk to yourself? 

 

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  • Sara May 12, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I have a rule when I’m racing that I can only talk “nice” to myself. A triathlon is a long. Ass. Day and it’s very easy when it gets hard to start getting in your own head about how it hurts, or you aren’t going fast enough etc. So I decided that I can only be nice to myself. I figure if there are thousands of strangers cheering for me that have no idea who I am or how hard I’ve worked, the least I can do is extend myself the same curiosity. And it works! I find the more I cheer myself instead of bashing, the better I do and more fun I have

  • Emily @ Glitz Glam Gluten-Free May 12, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    This is such an important post and you are so right. So often I chastise myself in a negative way for not being ‘enough’ and yet, I would never do the same to a friend. I think sometimes we hold ourselves to such high standards that we can never possibly meet them all the time. And it must hurt God to hear us talking about ourselves, His beautiful creations, that way! Thanks for the great reminder!

  • Megan Scott May 12, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Took me many years to learn this and I still have to remind myself sometimes!

  • Chantal May 13, 2014 at 1:01 am

    I’m very talented in telling myself I’m ugly and not worth to be loved. So now I wrote on my bathroom mirror things like: I love you and you=pretty. Silly? Well, maybe. But It’s easier to read it somewere and to start believing it, than just random telling it myself.

  • Rachael@AnAvocadoADay May 13, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Such a great post. Your method reminds me of a trick one of my psychologist friends taught me for dealing with negative self talk – put it through the “child, friend, court” or CFC test. As yourself if it’s something you would say to a child or something you would say to a friend. Then ask yourself if the thought would stand up in court, or if you have any evidence to support the statement. I use this all the time to differentiate between negative self talk and what might be (internal) constructive criticism. It is so incredibly helpful!

  • Zaankali May 13, 2014 at 11:12 am

    I have often reminded my kids “you don’t talk to your friends like that so don’t talk to each other like that”. I hadn’t thought about applying that to self talk. I’m going to try to be intentional about listening to my thoughts. Very thought provoking. 🙂

  • Weekend links | The Art of Simple May 16, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    […] Getting real about negative self-talk :: Inspired RD […]

  • Katie K June 6, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    I found this post through Tsh at the Art of Simple and I HAD to comment, because I wrote an amazingly similar post this week on my blog http://aroadofonesown.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/how-to-be-kind-to-yourself/. It’s crazy how cruel we can be to ourselves, and the negative spiral we can get trapped in.