Too outspoken. Too opinionated.
I care too much when I should care less.
People dislike me, so I dislike myself.
My negatives outweigh my positives.
I try to change myself, but the cooler version of me melts from the inside out.
Or maybe the outside in.
But either way I'm back to the beginning.
Firing off too hot.
Too outspoken, too opinionated.
Where's your self-esteem?
Self improvement. Self love.
They encourage it;
I o b s e s s over it.
Less of this, please.
More of that, please.
Can you dial that down too, please?
Can you change for her but not for him, please?
*But only after you change yourself.
Can I live with myself?
How long should I condemn myself? Question myself?
Maybe I hate myself.
I'm angry at them but I'm angry at me, too.
All I have is anger.
Maybe that's why I'm alone.
Maybe that's why I think about freedom as often as I do.
We are our own harshest critics. It is easy for a single event to trigger a spiral of negative self talk, damning ourselves for our perceived shortcomings. Punishing ourselves for things we did or did not do, said or did not say. Leeching on to someone else's negative view of us and making it our truth despite evidence that says we are likeable.
Our strength and resilience comes from being aware of our inner critic and taking control of it. Making the conscious effort to challenge damaging dialogue that impacts our self esteem. Talk back to our inner critic, with the love and care we would give to a friend going through a hard time. It is not an easy habit to break, but like anything, practice makes perfect.
I have learned to deal with my negative self talk by turning it into something productive. A poem. Words on a page I can examine for what they are - a script that I have made up in my mind. Then I let the words go as quickly as they came, and replace them with words of encouragement and love. Because that is what I deserve.
I hope sharing these candid thoughts with you brings you some comfort today. Go easy, friends. Treat yourself with patience and kindness. You owe it to yourself to.
If you are having a challenging time with negative self talk and need to talk to someone, check out the following resources: