Some of us have a tendency to set high expectations for ourselves. While there is nothing wrong with aiming high, we may go overboard, and accept nothing but perfection. When we inevitably fall short of this perfection – we are human, after all – we may explode in rage, and treat ourselves like our own worst enemy.
For some individuals, they are so used to bullying themselves that they don’t even notice that they do it until someone else points it out. The pattern of self-deprecation and self-intimidation can get to the point that it can become unconscious, and the longer it goes on, the more difficult it may be to break.
If this is you, fear not. While it may take some time, you can change your bullying ways, and start treating yourself not as an enemy, but as a friend.
Change the way you talk to yourself
Next time you find yourself telling yourself something – either out loud or in your thoughts – pay attention to the kinds of words you use. Are they encouraging and understanding, or are they judgemental and abusive?
If they’re the latter, try noticing the times you say a negative word or phrase about yourself, and countering each with a positive message – something good about you. In time, you’ll learn to replace the negative messages with positives.
List things you love about you
Speaking of good things about you, it may help to list them! On days where you are feeling particularly sore with yourself, make a list of all that you’ve accomplished, all your positive personality traits, and all the things you like about yourself in general.
When you feel the self-hate coming on, take out the list and read it. You may find that you have resistance to this at first, but don’t give up. Eventually your mind will allow you to accept the positives without fighting them.
Take yourself out on a date
When a couple’s relationship is feeling strained, a date night is often just the remedy. The same can be true for your relationship with yourself. Pick a day or evening, clear it entirely of responsibilities, and take yourself out somewhere nice – out for an iced tea and a stroll, to a concert, whatever makes you feel happy in your own skin.
Make small goals, and focus on completing them
When we start feeling disappointed with ourselves, it may be because we have one ultimate goal that we feel we are not reaching fast enough. Try breaking your main objective into smaller goals. When you accomplish each, take time to celebrate your success.
Become your own best friend
One key to ending the cycle of bullying yourself is to treat yourself as you would treat your best friend – with humor, love and patience. This takes time, but building any healthy relationship does.
If you do find yourself struggling with this on your own, it may be helpful to find a counselor that you trust, to get to the root of your anger with yourself, and begin to let go.
-The Alternative Daily