There is a saying by Brene Brown that goes “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.”
Low self-esteem, low confidence, negative self-talk is something we all deal with at some point in our lives. However, this type of “distorted” thinking is something people with mental health issues deal with all the time (and a lot of times, every minute of everyday).
One of my good friends has anxiety and used to struggle with self-esteem issues and would engage in negative self talk. Then there was me who thought she was amazing. She was smart, funny, gorgeous and an amazing best friend. If only she could see herself the way I saw her, as her own best friend.
I would challenge her to act as if she was talking to a best friend when she wanted to say negative things to herself.
“Would you say that to me, or any of your other best friends?”
“No, probably not,” she replied.
I would then reply with a version of, “Well what would you say to me in this situation? Try and say that to yourself.”
Or I would ask her to put herself in my shoes. “What would I say to you?”
She said it helped a bit, and I believe her.
If you wouldn’t say something to someone else, why is it okay to say it to yourself? It’s not.
We should always be kind and caring to everyone but sometimes we forget that includes us.
For some reason, we think it’s okay to talk down on ourselves. It’s not.
Sure, there are things we don’t like about ourselves.
But there are probably things we don’t like about other people that they have no control over. Yet, we don’t go around saying mean things about them. So why is it okay to do that to ourselves?
I came across a blog post titled Would You Say THAT to Your Best Friend? written by Margaret Meloni. Her and I have the same idea. In it, she writes, “You know the importance of thinking before you speak. This is just as important when you talk to yourself, as it is when you talk to others. If you would not say something to your best friend, why would you say it to yourself? If you catch yourself having negative self-talk, stop and imagine repeating it out loud to someone you really care about. And remember YOU should be someone you really care about.”