How do you speak to yourself?

Have you ever spent time paying attention to the way you talk to yourself? The way you think or feel about yourself? When you’ve done something right? What about when you’ve done something wrong? We all know that when someone else does something right, we are (normally) quick to congratulate them and inform them to give themselves a pat on the back. And if they’ve done something wrong, to go easy on themselves … that everyone makes mistakes.

So you say those types of things to yourself too right? You let yourself feel that exuberance of doing something right … or sooth yourself with calming and gentle words for something you’ve done wrong (or could have done better)? Yeah … I’m guessing that’s a work in progress.

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Unfortunately, many of us don’t learn by default to be kind to ourselves. We hear those words at times, but our actions don’t necessarily reflect them.

One of the most important things to learn in life is to be kind to yourself.

Self-Talk

Begin to listen to yourself. Spend some time writing down some of the thoughts and feelings you have on a day to day basis. Literally do it. When you wake up in the morning, what are you saying or feeling? “I hate my job … here we go again … sigh … ”

When you catch yourself being negative, stop and try to think what you would say to a friend in the same position. Say those same words to yourself.

A rule I have begun to live by in my life is:

If you wouldn’t say it to a friend, you can’t think or say it about yourself.

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That one idea will change your world, if you really begin to live by it. Examples: you try on a pair of pants and they make you feel fat. Would you say to your friend “You fat thing… disgusting … “. No, you’d never say that. So you’re not allowed to say it to yourself.

What would you say to a friend then? “It’s the cut / shape / sizing. Try something else. Ignore the sizes. We can find something that works better.” Then that’s how you speak to yourself … it’s that simple. But it does take practice.

Negative self-talk is a just a bad habit. And habits can be changed! It just takes a bit of work and effort.

There are lots of places/sites/videos/books on the internet to work on self-talk, here are a few links to some good pages:

Positive Self-Talk: How Talking to Yourself Is a Good Thing

What is Positive Self-Talk? (Incl. Examples)

And in case you are interested in a great program:

Attacking Anxiety & Depression Program, a Drug-Free, Self-Help Guide To Curing Anxiety, Depression and Stress

Social Media Posts

Facebook:

Self-talk: one of the keys to a happy life! (and it’s free!) Learn more at: https://algonquincollegesocialmedia.wordpress.com/2020/09/28/how-do-you-speak-to-yourself/

Twitter:

Do you know one of the keys to a happy life? Discover it at: https://bit.ly/2HEr1bT

What Facebook does to your self-esteem (COM0011, Post #5)

I was afraid of this:

“Research into how social media websites define us socially and the influence that social media has on our personal welfare suggests that a lack of social participation on Facebook leads to people feeling less meaningful.” (www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140508095456.htm)

The article on Science Daily’s website last spring highlights research suggesting that we’re happier if we’re posting away on Facebook and getting lots of feedback from our friends. The first study examined frequent Facebook posters. Half the participants actively posted and the other half passively observed. The second group experienced “a negative impact on personal well-being”.

In a second study, researchers asked a group of participants using anonymous Facebook accounts to post and comment. It was set up so that half the group would not see any feedback. They were then “interviewed on their feelings of belonging, meaningful existence, self-esteem and control after the exercise”.

“Both passive and shunned users experienced feelings of exclusion and felt ‘invisible’ and less important as individuals. Shunned users also experienced lower self-esteem and control.”

stockimages-smilestockimages, http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

I guess these findings show that Facebook can have a positive affect on how we feel about ourselves, but I started wondering about the different experiences and expectations of various groups – particularly in terms of age and how regularly they use social media like Facebook. For example, the first study looked at frequent Facebook users – perhaps the results would have been less striking if they had included a number of non-frequent Facebook users, like me.

Unfortunately I can’t access the original study published in the Journal of Social Influence. But I would love to know the age range and previous Facebook exposure of the participants in the second study. I can examine my own feelings when I receive a comment or like after a rare post I’ve made – I guess it does feel good. But I still rarely post. Is it because I’m older, just don’t have time, couldn’t care less about what half of my connections are posting…?

What about you? I know in our class we have quite a range of ages and experiences. Are these effects more striking among younger people who have been growing up with social media? I’d love to know from teenagers especially if they feel don’t feel cool unless they’re posting regularly, and not just the popular kids. What if you’re unpopular, and nobody ever comments, are you feeling worse? I guess I’ll start asking my nieces as they approach this delicate age.