Stop the Hate Talk – About Yourself

courtesy of don’t know if I’m more in tune to this happening around me because I very consciously try not to do this to myself anymore, or if women are just becoming more vocal, but women are being mean…to themselves. If we can’t respect ourselves or treat ourselves kindly, how can we expect anyone else to?

I hear it all the time “I’m so fat/ I’m so ugly” (take your pick), “I’m such a pig”, “If only I looked like so and so.” And, how else can we explain the rise in cosmetic surgery and why a “normal” looking, cute 23-year old woman like Heidi Montag would choose to undergo 10 cosmetic procedures in one day? I even know a woman who, in the months leading up to her WEDDING, couldn’t stop talking about how fat she’d look in her dress and how she needed to make sure she covered up X,Y and Z. Really?! (I wanted to shout!) YOU’RE GETTING MARRIED TO SOMEONE WHO ADORES EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU!! Some of us should be so lucky…

Recently I attended a workshop at the unemployment office and a woman sat down opposite me in the waiting room. Before I could even say hello, she immediately pointed out how horrible her hair looked and that all she’d done in her six months of unemployment was get fat and let herself go. If anyone understands how stressful unemployment is, I do, but my jaw hit the floor – her hair was beautifully styled and she was not fat.

So how can we break this cycle and silence our inner mean girl? Outside forces – fashion magazines, pornography, society in general – are not to blame. Ladies, WE have to pave the way for how others treat us by first treating ourselves with kindness and respect. Author Louise Hay, The Power is Within You, says we must first listen to what we say and “not let negative things come out of our mouths.” What we say or think is what shapes our opinion (and others’) of ourselves.

  1. Leave behind the negatives stories of your past. Repeat the positive ones over and over.
  2. Don’t define your life in “shoulds.” This is a tough one that I still struggle with, but “shoulding” all over the place (as a friend of mine says) implies that you or your life is “less than” in some way. You are either making yourself wrong, or making someone else wrong. “Have to” and “but” act just the same way.
  3. Bite your tongue and learn to stop rejecting yourself. It is common for many of us to feel “not good enough” or “unlovable/unworthy” when a relationship falls apart or a job opportunity is lost. How can you turn that into a positive affirmation? Ask yourself if – and what – did you learn about yourself from that experience? Were there good things you’d like to take into the next situation? Bad things you hope to recognize and avoid early the next time?
  4. Be gentle and patient with yourself. If you find yourself thinking or saying something negative, take that moment to reframe the thought rather than beat yourself up. We all have times when we don’t feel so great or confident, but let it be about that moment and not a permanent part of your character.
  5. Accentuate the positive. Find and/or focus on the things you love about yourself, the things that make you feel strong, sexy and powerful, the things over which you have control.
  6. And finally, a new twist on an old adage: Do unto YOURSELF as you would have others do to you.

And don’t forget Stuart Smalley:

“I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me!”

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One Response to “Stop the Hate Talk – About Yourself”

  1. Katy P says:

    This is a great post Reema. Beautifully written and oh, so true! Such a difficult cycle to break. I shall be printing out the 6 tips and reading them daily!

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