Why are we so hard on ourselves? And by extension, others?
We are our own worst critic. I used to be harder on myself. I still am sometimes. Writing this post, for example, was difficult for me. I wondered if my inspiration to write this post was worth exploring. I worried what people would think about my opinions. But, I wrote anyway. What helped me? I gave myself some slack, some credit, and a lot of acceptance. I decided to follow my heart and instincts. I remembered to reach out to my support system. So, I put one foot in front of the other. Here are some tools that help me.
- Accept who you are.
- Know you deserve to be happy and have a fulfilling life.
- Remind yourself you are doing the best you can.
- You have the power to change your perspective.
- Create a support system of people who love you for who you are. (Thank you to mine.)
- Take baby steps and continue to move forward.
As I’m learning to not be hard on myself, I notice I am not as hard on others anymore. I try to remember that most of the time people are wrapped up in themselves, in their lives. They aren’t trying to be mean or judgmental. They might be depressed, having a bad day, or overly critical of themselves. Or, maybe they are just busy. No one chooses to be hard on each other. Take a moment to let your emotions subside. Try to see things from a different point of view. Practice the ideas I wrote in my last post It’s How You Look At It. Here are some of the ideas:
- Don’t take things personally or to heart.
- Replace your assumptions.
- Have empathy and compassion.
- Be reflective. There’s always room to improve.
The problem I struggle with now is I make excuses for people’s bad behavior. Yes, they might be wrapped up in their lives, but it’s no excuse to treat others poorly. To handle this, I’m trying to weigh my reaction with how often I need to interact with the person. If I never have to see the person again, I let them go. If I need to continue to interact with them, I need to clear the air and practice acceptance as they present themselves. People will always show you their true colors – eventually. It takes courage to stand up to people who continue to impact your life in a negative way.
Love yourself and have faith in the gifts God has given you.
~I’m here to help
Applied Social Psychology blog. 2014. Why Are We So Hard On Eachother. PennState. Retrieved from: http://sites.psu.edu/aspsy/2014/11/29/why-are-we-so-hard-on-eachother/
Dahl, Melissa. June 2016. It Seems Some Ambitious People Are Not Great at Being Kind to Themselves. NY Magazine. Retrieved from: http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2016/06/why-do-some-people-have-such-a-hard-time-being-kind-to-themselves.html
Deschene, Lori. 2001. Tiny Wisdom: On Being Hard On Yourself. Tiny Buddha. Retrieved from: https://tinybuddha.com/quotes/tiny-wisdom-on-being-hard-on-yourself/