It could be as simple as a comment about what you’re wearing or a blatant statement about your taste in partners. It could be publicly done on Facebook or Twitter or Google Plus. It might be much more insidious and performed over time, barbs and jabs that individually might not seem like much, but taken as a body of work amount to a lot of disrespect.
Sometimes we even assist them in their efforts by saying things like, “Oh, that’s just Kim being Kim. She doesn’t mean anything by it.”
What happens when it’s ourselves doing it to ourselves?
All of us possess an inner voice that we listen to like a 24-hour a day radio station that’s been on the air since the day you were born. Do you monitor the things you say to yourself? Should you?
When we allow our inner DJ to broadcast negative and unhealthy things – about us and to us – we also open a door and invite others in to do the same. We don’t notice that we’re being bombarded from within and without because it all sounds exactly the same as it always has.
You’re never going to be good enough.
You really suck at that.
Wow, when did you get so fat?
You couldn’t write your way out of a wet paper bag.
When you sing it sounds like someone running over a bag of cats.
For many of us, it’s a habit that’s been ingrained into our psyches since we were old enough to begin thinking for ourselves. Where did it come from? How do we change it?
It originated with everyone who ever came into contact with us as a child. Parents, teachers, neighbors, friends… This is not an attempt to blame someone else for our troubles, but it does help to know the origins of a practice such as negative self-talk. Why? So we can begin to change it.
When we learn to recognize the negative self-talk that fills our heads and our lives, and we make an executive decision to no longer tolerate it, we begin to hear it more and more. And it makes us realize how pervasive it truly is…and how destructive it has been in our lives.
Changing ourselves is not an easy process. It’s not like you can decide, Hey, I think I’ll start being nice to myself today, and *poof!* it happens. We must become vigilant, tenacious, and strong in our desire to better ourselves. It is imperative that we surround ourselves with positive support and gradually eliminate the negative.
Eventually – days, months, years…each of us progresses at our own speed and in our own ways – we find that we have indeed changed, grown, emerged, untethered. When we encounter “haters” – those who tear us down in small and big ways – we become more motivated to leave those ways, and people, behind. When we’ve become practiced in positivity, we’ll recognize old patterns and know we can laugh at them, wondering how we could have ever been so naïve as to listen to them.
Then, after the hard work and job well done, we’ll have turned our haters into motivators, because we know we don’t want to live that way ever again.