You have done it at some point in time. I don’t think I have met anyone that has not done so in my lifetime. I see it all the time. I see it on Facebook, Google, Twitter, blog posts, in private message, and even in text messages. I hear people doing it when I talk to them on the phone. I hear it in public places coming from adults, and children’s mouths. I see people in my own family doing it, and I have even done so myself. What is it you ask? What is it that is so bad that I speak of? It’s negative self-talk. It’s saying things to that are negative. Some say it out loud. Some write it in letters, emails, text messages, and private messages. Some do so in everyday conversations. Others do it in private because a part of them know it’s wrong.
There are times I find myself saying negative things to myself. I sometimes find myself saying things like “you’re so fat” or “I am such a fat ass”. Many times I have said to myself “why am I so stupid/forgetful/dumb?” I find myself saying things like “your writing sucks people only say it’s good to be nice to you” or I sometimes have said “you don’t help people. You just think you help people”. There are times when my hair won’t do what I want it to, and I will say “My hair sucks! That is why it doesn’t look good. If I didn’t have such coarse hair it would do what I want it to do.” Then when my kids are struggling or maybe having trouble in school I have found myself saying “it’s because you’re a bad mom”. I have said to myself “no one loves me!” There are many other negative things I have also said to myself.
I am writing about self-talk. It’s those conversations you have with yourself when you are alone. It might be what you say about yourself to others. It’s the things you say to yourself usually when times are rough. It’s when you are upset, sad, angry, or in pain. It’s when things don’t go your way. When something doesn’t happen like it should many people blame themselves. Many times people say these negative things out of habit. Here is the thing. There is nothing more of a turn off then someone with low self-confidence. There is nothing sexy about someone saying “I am so fat and ugly”. There is nothing that makes a smart person look dumb faster as when they say “man I am so stupid, and can’t do anything right”. There is nothing that makes a confident person distance themselves more than a person whom thinks badly of themselves. Confident people get tired of lifting people up that have poor self-confidence. It gets old fast always having to reassure someone they aren’t dumb/ugly/fat/stupid/worthless, and their hair is fabulous. Who wants to tell someone over and over they are a great parent/friend/sibling/co-worker.
Have your ever met someone that is beautiful to you, and you don’t really know why? It is likely they are confident of themselves, and that confidence shows. It shows in the way they walk, talk, speak, and carry themselves. Ever notice how you can have two people side by side, and one is as beautiful as a model on the cover of a magazine, and the other might be short, overweight without the greatest fashion sense, and wear glasses. The “beautiful” one can have a bad attitude, and zero confidence in their self. The other person can have great self-confidence, and a great attitude. Notice how you are drawn to the happy, self-confident one? They seem to have a happiness that soaks from their pores, and you just want to be in their company. You care what they have to say, and how they feel about things. They are beautiful to you, and the people around them. Yet the one that is “beautiful” according to society standards just turns you off. You feel awkward talking to them, and you don’t know what to say. Conversations feel forced, and in your mind you are planning an escape route.
People are naturally drawn to happy, confident people. I think that is because deep inside we all want happiness, and we try to stick with those we believe will bring us happiness. We want to be near happy people because we know it’s contagious. Plus who doesn’t want to laugh, and smile every day? It has taken me time, and hard work to not talk bad about myself. To not say the cruel things I have mentioned above. I tell myself this negative self-talk is not okay. When you talk bad about yourself your self-confidence gets lower, and lower then you find yourself at a low point. Maybe you’re depressed, sad, and angry. Then pretty soon you find yourself on a mission to make others believe these negative things you think of yourself. You find yourself mad at people that pay you a positive compliment, and you feel the need to argue with them. There is a part of you that wants to make them unhappy like you are. If you aren’t happy, why should they be happy? They might tell you that you’re beautiful, and you feel the need to say “no I am not. I am fat, and ugly. You are only saying that to be nice.” Most times people don’t pay you a compliment if they don’t mean it. They TRULY mean it, and that’s why they say it. People say things like “no you don’t look fat in those pants” to be nice. They don’t want to really tell you that you look better in the ankle length skirt because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. Most times people care. They care about how you feel, and what you think. Most people say what they feel, and are honest about it. If your friends, and partners don’t say nice things, and compliment you often then you need new friends. If your partner doesn’t make you feel beautiful, and tell you often how much they love you then you should reevaluate the relationship.
You can start to take your life back by committing to NOT talking bad about yourself. You need to slowly build up your self-confidence one day at a time. Before you say anything to yourself or about yourself think about this. I know many of you have small children. If you don’t have a small child I am sure you have a niece, nephew, cousin, or neighbor that is a small child. Before you say anything ask yourself. Would I say this to a small child? Would you call a small child fat, ugly or stupid? Would you tell a small child they are worthless? That they can’t do anything right, and they just screw everything up? Would you tell them that if they had better hair it would style better? Would you tell them they are worthless, and lazy? Would you tell a child with a chronic illness that no one will ever want them because they are so sick? Would you say to them because they are so sick is why no one loves them, and they live such a pathetic lonely life? Would you tell them they don’t deserve to have any friends, and people don’t value their friendship? I think the answer is a big-giant-no! If you wouldn’t say these horrible demeaning things to a child why are you saying them to yourself?
The answer is simple really. If you said such a thing to a small child you would hurt their feelings. You might make them cry. It might make them angry. You might even do some permanent damage saying such cruel things to them. If you told a child such cruel things it would likely make them depressed, and want to give up. Why do you value yourself any less? Why do you think it’s okay to hurt yourself, and say such horrible things about yourself? The answer is it’s not okay! You have to stop this negative self-talk today! I know it might be hard if it’s something you have done for a long time. Start small by saying out loud one good thing about yourself a day. When you are looking in the mirror point out the good features you see in yourself. If you feel you don’t see anything good then keep looking! There are beautiful things about you I promise! Say them out loud. Also if people pay you compliments say those to yourself over, and over until you believe it! If someone tells you that you are good at something repeat it to yourself. Ask your trusted friends and family members what they like about you. Write those things down to read on your bad days. Leave yourself notes saying positive things like “you’re strong” “I am beautiful”. This is something you should do daily! Every day you should say something nice to yourself!
I think often you will find many different people are paying you the same compliments. If many different people tell you that you’re a good writer it’s because you’re a good writer! If many people compliment your art it’s because it’s because you’re a good artist! If many people tell you that you’re a good friend it means you’re a good friend! If they tell you they love you then it’s likely they mean it! There is nothing more beautiful than a person that believes in themselves. That has confidence in their abilities, and values the person they are. Confidence wins hands down every time. Beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, heights, cultures, and any health status. Flawless skin, a skinny ass, being tall, and wearing nice clothes doesn’t make you beautiful. Being kind, having a good attitude, being happy, and loving your self does! Try it! You will find when you do many people will seek your company. It comes naturally to those that truly are happy.
I think good self-confidence is a must when you have a chronic illness. Your body is changing, and your life has changed. Many times your life has changed permanently. You can’t be upset or down about your illness forever. Sadness and depression makes any illness worse. I am not saying happiness, and a good attitude will cure you but it sure makes your days on this earth more worth living. Blaming illness is the reason you are mad, sad, and depressed. It only goes so far. It’s okay to be mad, sad, and depressed about your illness sometimes for a short while. But not all the time! The thing is you must acknowledge when you feel like that, and do something! I have illnesses that are never going to go away. They are stuck with me, and I was born with some. To blame my illness would mean I would live the rest of my life placing blame. Where is the accountability in that? Sure my illness is the reason for something’s to have gone sour in my life. It has cost me to not be able to work anymore. Cost me a ton of money, and physical pain. Illness has caused me to lose friendships. It has caused me many arguments with family members, and some family members are yet to understand. Likely they never will understand!
That same illness has helped me make friends! It has allowed me to feel closer to some family members. It has given me more time to write, and more things to write about. It has given me a chance to help other ill people. It has made me realize I don’t need negativity in my life so I focus my time on those that love/like/care/cherish me. Those that don’t dig me can go be amongst themselves swimming in Lake Negativity. I would rather have just a few devoted friends and family, than a bunch of friends and family that are assholes to me. There will always be some friends, and family that choose to build their house on Denial River. You will never see eye to eye with everyone. At no point in life will everyone believe your life is what you say it is. Just leave those people be. Spend the majority of your time having a nice picnic on the beaches of Positivity Ocean where the water is warm year round. Everyone there gets along, and will accept you for what/who you are.