Sometimes I hear the shit my clients say about or to themselves, and I want to just scream. STOP BEING A BULLY!! DON’T TALK THAT WAY TO SOMEONE I CARE ABOUT!!
Bullying pretty much means to use strength or influence to intimidate someone to do something. It’s considered abusive when we see it in children, right? I’m serious. We can be so mean to ourselves.
Instead of screaming, I ask my client why she is being a bully. The answer is usually one of these three things 1) I don’t know 2) I hadn’t noticed it or 3) I’m trying to motivate myself to be better.
These answers are bullshit. That doesn’t mean they aren’t true, they’re just nonsense. You do know why you do it and you do notice. You aren’t trying to be mean, you’re just trying to be better. Your intentions are good, but it’s still a bullshit habit that doesn’t even work. If it did, you’d be skinny/have your PhD/be perfect already, right?
We could spend some time trying to figure out where you learned this habit. Is that your mother’s voice you hear? Or a teacher? Or a swimming coach? Somewhere, you went from helpful critique to constant criticism.
But let’s cut to the chase: if you know it doesn’t work, why do you choose to keep doing it? Because you don’t know what else to do? Aha! What if I told you that you will get better results if you’re nicer to yourself? Really!! You don’t need to be afraid that you’ll fall apart if you slack off on the yelling.
Think about it. Now that you’re a grownup, how do you like to motivate people? Is it by yelling at them and telling them what a failure they are? No, of course not. Is it by love and support and challenge and gentle correction? Giving feedback in a supportive and non-judgmental way? I thought so.
Why not try it on yourself? Pay attention to what you say to yourself. If the words aren’t what you would say to someone you love, don’t say them to yourself. Find new things to say to someone I care about – YOU!