If You Had A Friend Speak To You The Way You Speak To Yourself
It’s a hard reality to face: the fact that we often treat our friends and spouses better than we do ourselves. After all, this might be because it’s a little bit easier. When we see our friends, we don’t necessarily always see the flaws. In fact, it’s easier to see how beautiful their flaws are and we shower them with compliments and praise about their appearances.
But what if our friends spoke to us the way we speak to ourselves.
See someone of the sweet replies to the question, below.
“Not long at all. In fact, I routinely remind myself to talk to myself like I would to a friend. We are our own worst critics.” –Irritabl
“That bit of advice really changed how I talk to myself when I’m alone. Like, if my best friend were telling me “well you probably aren’t good enough anyway. You should put more effort in to being prettier/being funnier/acting like [insert other person]” I’d be so, so hurt.
That kind of talk is nasty and not constructive! So don’t put up with it from anyone—including yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is constantly tearing you down, right?
And yes, it’s easier said than done. But the tricks that helped me curb the negative self-talk are:
- Recognize when it’s happening. Learn the difference between self-criticism and self-hatred. There’s a difference between saying “Ugh, I really should have done better on that work assignment. Those careless mistakes add up.” and “Everyone thinks you’re stupid now, why didn’t you do a better job on something so simple?”
- Get to the bottom of those thoughts by asking questions. I still fall victim to the “people think you’re…” thoughts, and every single time I have to ask myself “Who actually said that? Do you know that for sure? What’s making you feel defeated/nervous/inferior without any evidence? And even if someone DID say it—do you care what they think?!”
Those answers usually help me reframe whatever I’m feeling. Bc 9 times out of 10 it boils down to me fearing the worst and creating a situation where my insecurity gets the best of me.
Sorry for the Ted Talk, just feel rly passionately about this.” –NOTORIOUS_BLT
“Exactly. I always try to put myself in “best friend shoes” when I catch myself criticizing inwards.” –bradynelise
“I would be like ‘damn sister you do NOT shut up and you contradict yourself a LOT.’” – throwra_sillyinquiry
“Love this! Me too, but a few years ago, that couldn’t have been further from the truth. I have been changing the way I speak to myself and I feel so much better… and now I am so glad I stuck with it/me!” –formidableegg
“They would be out the door, kinda sucks being a self aware mentally ill person cause you know it’s not true yet convincing yourself otherwise feels impossible.” – annonforareasonduh
“Haha, this is exactly what I do with my kids. If they say something mean about themselves, I say, ‘I’m sorry, NOBODY is allowed to talk to ____ like that!’ If they say, ‘But I’m saying it to MYSELF,’ I say, ‘I would never let anyone say something like that to you. Why should I let YOU say it to you?’
Hoping to raise my kids to be a little nicer to themselves than I am to myself.” –JoNightshade
“Well… not very long. For the most part I’m pretty nice to myself but on hard days I often think things like “you’re not good enough. You’re such a failure.” And if someone said that to me even once I’d cut them off. I try to be nice to me though.” –owthrayaway3
“Ideally? Not long at all. In reality? Probably a very long time – years, or maybe even decades. Part of struggling with crippling depression is letting people treat you really horribly.” –clekas
“Yeah, me too tbh Or well, I’d end up not talking to them Because I’d isolate myself in my room for a couple of months and even they’d grow tired of me, but ya know I’ve had some really shitty friends in my short, short life and honestly seek out ppl who will criticise me more than they compliment me bc it makes me less uncomfortable.” –HelloThisIsFrode
“I agree with this. I just realised this and lament to myself that I wasted 20 years on such a ‘friend’. The pandemic isolation helped in bringing these thoughts to clarity and limited my availability. Thankfully I have a friend who’s really supportive and understanding so I’ve been redirecting my energy towards her.” –CheesecakeGobbler
“Along with the depression, throw in being raised by a parent with narcissistic personality disorder and you’ve got me too. I’d love so say I would kick my toxic ass to the curb, but I know I’d just take the abuse. I’ve got a recording of my mother’s greatest hits playing all the time in my head.” –LesNessmanNightcap
“Yeah, I was going to say “where do you think that voice in my head came from?” I’m no longer the person who would stay friends with someone who was mean to me, but it took awhile to get to that place. But I am still my mother’s daughter and I learned negative self-talk at her knee, listening to her guilt trip and shame herself. I think I’m much better, but I do wonder what my son will hear that I don’t even realize I’m doing.” –ElizaDooo
“The way I used to self-talk? Not for a second. It was pointed out to me by a therapist in one session–she told me one time to stop it. I stopped. I didn’t realize how much I was driving myself insane. I have an inner monologue that drones on anyway, but add in insults and barbs and it was quite brutal.
I’m glad I kicked that negativity out. Now, to address the earworms….make it stop.” –Roscoe_cracks_corn
“Not long at all. Now realizing this doesn’t magically make all my self-hate go away or build a desire to treat myself better.” –Neravariine
“I have such a friend. Over a decade so far, hopefully forever. I love her to the moon and back. She knows me truly, I can rely on her, I can trust in her honesty, I don’t have to filter sugarcoating to get down to her true opinion. She’s like a mirror, showing me all my flaws but also all my best sides. She made me a better person without ever trying to change me. She taught me better awareness towards myself, my actions and surrounding, and with this also better self-reflection and self-love. She kept me down on earth but also pulled me out of the darkest places. Everyone should have a friend like this.” –Fitzgeraldine
“Great timing for this question! I’ve been working on self compassion and trying to soften my inner critic. One thing that often I’ve been trying to remind myself is to treat me the way I treat my friends – so after a few months working on this with total awareness, I can proudly say I would be a longtime friend of mine.” –Lila007
“I kept her around for almost 2 years before I realise the way she talks to others is actually how she sees herself, which is saying a lot more than she would admit. Since she’s too stubborn to get therapy but very willing to act as a therapist (she sucks, all she ever did was doling out “tough love” cuz thats how she wants herself to be but she failed, so she expects everyone else to be tough), I cut ties w her. For good. Went to therapy myself to rid of internalized hatred I developed from being around her. She reached out once, I wasnt very keen to reconnect especially now she’s even worse after joining a church and trying to get every part of it into her life. 2 years of my life wasted on someone like that. Dont repeat my mistake.” –
“I am and always will be my own biggest hype person. If I can’t believe in myself, how can anyone? How can I achieve my goals? Internal me is also very dubious of the intentions of others. Which preserves myself, even if it does keep me distanced from others until I can truly trust them. My parents were shit. I was, by far, the most resilient of my siblings and maybe my self hype is the reason why.” –cuddlymammoth
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