Negative Self Talk Getting You Down?
Three ways to repair your communication with yourself
By Louise Amuir. Join Louise August 11–14 for Befriending Your Inner Critic.
We’ve all got those inner dialogues. The actual words might differ from one person to the next, but the content is pretty much the same whatever the words.
- You’re crap! (and everybody knows it).
- You’re worthless! Who do you think you are? You’re a failure, a fraud, a fool.
- Don’t even try, it won’t be successful.
- Loser! What a jerk!
- I don’t deserve to be happy or loved.
- I don’t matter.
- Nobody loves me.
- Don’t humiliate yourself.
Well, that’s just MY list – you probably have some other things you say to yourself that you wouldn’t say (out loud, anyway) to anyone else.
How to repair that kind of communication?
- Say, “hmmmm…” It’s actually a great response to almost anything, like if someone else is saying negative stuff to you, too. “Hmmmm…” gives you a moment to breathe, to evaluate, to engage your thinking. And it has a nice restful sound. Try it out! “Hmmmm…”
- Ask yourself if it’s sometimes true, always true, never true. If it’s never true, stop! If it’s always true, maybe go back to “hmmmm…” a few more times! If it’s sometimes true, maybe your negative dialogue is actually trying to serve a purpose – I’m thinking here about some of the self-abuse I have subjected myself to about having a temper or being too fat. Calling myself disgusting or a bitch isn’t that inspiring to change, so it doesn’t work particularly well. Some things I say to myself might need a bit of tweaking to have the effect I want. Noticing the times when I’ve NOT eaten a donut or I’ve breathed and said “hmmmm…” instead of letting my temper go…. now that’s using critical thinking to notice and positively reinforce desired behaviour.
- Change the tone of voice of your inner dialogue. “Loser!” said with venom has a completely different effect than “Loser!” said with a self-loving chuckle.
Join me August 11–14 at The Haven for Befriending Your Inner Critic. You can practice your “Hmmmm…” – and lots more ways to work with your inner dialogue – in the hot-tub, in the pool, on the beach, and breathe in a little more room for yourself. We’ll have some fun with art supplies and movement, and the fabulous Haven staff will cook and do the dishes while you treat yourself a little better than usual. With a little practice, it might even become a habit! Hey, you might even book a massage!
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