How Do You Talk To Yourself?

by Michelle Acker on September 20, 2011

in Thought Provoking

How does your inner voice speak to you?

Do you speak to yourself as kindly as you do others?

Are you guilty of talking down to yourself? I know I am.  The voice in my head that talks to me and gives me feedback all day long is soooo negative.  I’ve known that for awhile.  To quote a friend of mine:

The more I think about it- I would NEVER criticize my friends and family the way I do myself.  The thought of saying out loud to my friends what I think to myself is horrifying-  I would never be so mean to them.

That voice in my head says nasty things. It’s a perfectionist, and nothing is ever good enough.  I should have done better.  I could have done more.  I should have been able to….x or y or z.  You get the idea right?  I decided to pay more attention to why I talk to myself that way, after I found a great article about going easy on  yourself.  It delivered some eye opening facts for me about self-compassion. We really do need to treat ourselves with compassion. As it turns out, if you are good at showing compassion to others, you probably score low on showing compassion to yourself.  Weird, right?  But so true for me, and I’m guessing maybe for you too, if you’re reading this post.

So, how do we change our inner voice into one that speaks compassionately to us?

  • The friend method~ When you catch that inner voice getting negative, act as if speaking to a dear friend instead of yourself. Listen to that inner voice instantly change to a compassionate, supportive voice.  Now, I’m not saying that I can always easily believe that nicer voice, but I’m working on it. And that’s another topic for another post,  I think.
  • The ‘God’ method~ Imagine what God would say to you about it.   This one works particularly well if I’m stressing about unrealistic expectations I’ve imposed on myself.  I imagine Him wrapping me in His arms with love, smiling and chuckling,

Oh you silly, silly girl.  I never asked you to  _______, or ________ or _________.  I never asked you to do all that, or to be perfect.  I asked you to love Me, to Trust Me, and to show My Love, My Light to the world.  Are you doing that?  Yes?  Then that’s good enough for today.  No? Then maybe you want to work on that before you worry about _______, or ________ or _________.”

 

{Forgive me for putting words into God’s mouth, but that’s how I imagine Him talking to me.  The point is to imagine Him talking to you with Love, imagine what He would be telling you, and how He would be saying it.)

  • The shut-the-heck-up method~ When you hear that negative voice start nagging, and it just won’t go away, try this one. Stop what you are doing, and mentally yell with everything you’ve got:  “NO!!  SHUT UP! I WON’T LET YOU TALK TO ME THAT WAY!”.  It kind of stuns you into breaking that cycle of negativity, and then you can move on to one of the other techniques for talking compassionately to yourself.  🙂

Here’s to treating ourselves as kindly as we treat others,

and to speaking with inner voices of compassion.

Something to think about.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

marygems September 23, 2011 at 3:10 AM

did you write this just for me??
It’s hard to over-ride early in life teaching to be always mindful of the needs of others- I never consider myself- love your neighbour as YOURSELF is a real challenge. Thanks for posting- I am going to meditate on this and ask God to give me some compassion for myself~!
Please keep posting- you are speaking God’s words to my heart.:}

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