Why Don't We Speak To Ourselves Like We Speak To Children?
The screenshot above is a conversation I had with a friend not too long ago about the ways we choose to speak to and of ourselves. How many of us have accepted the phrase "I'm my worst critic" as something we can relate to? How many times a day do you get angry or frustrated with yourself? What types of things do you say subconsciously?
Now let me ask you this: if I asked you to say those things to a child, would you feel good about it?
I saw a post on Instagram from my friend (ryapie) that described how she's working on talking to herself in the same way she'd speak to her daughter Coco. She's doing this by using gentle, understanding language "even over the smallest things." Her post made me realize just how harsh my language can be when I say or think things to myself. For example, the other day I posted a picture of my family at my sister's wedding. Someone messaged me privately and said "OMG your sisters are SO pretty!"
The moment I read the comment I thought "you're definitely the least attractive sister."
Why the hell would I think that?
Now how differently could I have felt if I had instantly checked myself on that thought? What if I had countered that with "Don't think like that. You look just like them. You're beautiful just like they are." I think my morning would have gone a lot differently. Instead, I got sad and sulked for a bit. I became insecure and self-conscious. A bunch of old feelings I'd harbored from being compared to my sister when I was younger came back. I didn't deserve to feel that way at 7:00am...or ever. And it definitely wasn't that person's fault. It was mine for thinking that of myself.
We are so quick to insult ourselves when it comes to how we look physically, what we're working on career wise, or some other aspect of our lives. We never look good enough. There is always some body part to improve. Our project isn't receiving accolades fast enough. We're not Bill Gates 24 hours after launching something so we MUST be failures. For most of us it seems like we have a giant tank of "patience and understanding" in our stores when it comes to everyone else, but not even a second of it for ourselves.
We live in a world that constantly makes us want to draw a comparison to the next person, and even if we never say those bad things out loud we sure as hell do think them. If someone said the things we think about ourselves out loud to a child...OUR child...we'd be livid! I would probably punch the sh** out of anyone who would ever dare tell my niece or nephew that they're "the least attractive" of their siblings, or that they aren't good enough, or smart enough. I want my nieces and nephews to always believe that they're the most amazing kids because that's how I feel about them. I would be appalled by someone being that harsh to them.
So why am I completely okay with being that hard on myself?
Today's post aims to encourage you (and me) to work on speaking to ourselves in kinder ways and treating your subconscious the way you would a child. When you make mistakes I want you to work on saying things like "it's okay Jeaiza, just try to do better next time." When you do something wrong I want you to say "you know what you did was wrong, you know how to be better" instead of "you're a horrible person. Stop f****** up!"
I want to be able to do things like look in a mirror and say "hey beautiful girl!" instead of nitpicking at every little thing I see wrong, because when I see kids I don't SEE anything that might be "wrong" with them. I see little people who need to be loved and protected from the world so that they're internally okay.
Maybe we should all be loving and protecting the "child" within ourselves, so that we're okay too.