I think we’ve all been told this a bunch of times since we were little: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Now I really just try to adopt an all-positive attitude. (I’m not perfect, but I do try!) I don’t feel good saying something negative or simply not nice about someone else. It feels wrong because it is wrong. And I think about that all the time. It’s just like the other popular school yard phrase: treat others the way you’d want to be treated.
But you know what I’ve realized recently?
I don’t apply this to myself.
Why do I say mean things about myself in my head!? I would never say that to someone else, EVER. And yet I have no problem running through a list of issues, faults, and flaws about myself. Sometimes I even say it out loud, putting myself down publicly.
One night I was standing in front of the mirror (where else) and heard myself rattling off critiques and rude remarks about my appearance. And then the next morning, I was mad at myself and thinking some not-nice things for dropping a ball. Kind of out of the blue, I thought I should give myself a break, to cut myself some slack. That’s when it really hit me how horrible I was being.
I immediately vowed I’d make an effort to stop those negative thoughts and to change the language. It hasn’t been the easiest transition. (I’m kind of horrified by how easy and often those negative thoughts flow.) But I am really more conscious of the whole issue; I’m also able to redirect those thoughts when they happen. It feels kind of cheesy, but (if I’m alone) I will literally pay myself a compliment out loud. I definitely less discouraged throughout the day! Hopefully I get better about it every day.