We all do it. Every day our mind is thinking about current, past, and future things related to ourselves. One of the worst thoughts though is self-criticism.
I’ve been talking and thinking about this for years. So have others but with an exception to the rest of people curious about it and that is that people DO say these things to and about others as well as themselves.
For example, “if” your auto-response to a female making you very upset is similar to this “OMG she is such a friggen b*tch’. <– That is your self-talk coming out which by the way, you learned responses like these from others in your growing years, as children and young adults we are very observant.
You didn’t wake up one morning, walk to your kitchen, see a mess and HONESTLY think, what a pigsty. Most of you have never actually seen a pigsty to compare it to. All these words, especially that most hurtful ones were learned.
It would be great if we focus on not teaching these verbal and emotional reactions and that starts with your self-talk.
A while ago, I had one of my good friends use her childhood photo to put some things into perspective. You wouldn’t be able to talk horribly to her or him if that was your younger self and knowing all that you know about that little child. Her feedback was that it was helpful.
When I look at some photos of my younger self, I can sometimes see the insecurities and discomfort. I always wonder if that is why I am so protective and compassionate. I tend to think that a difficult childhood created empathy, compassion, and even a protective nature. Even while it also creates hostility, anger, depression, and resentment. It’s fascinating to me to see what is shown to the world, with all that has been brewing within ourselves. The most repressed of those emotions will always find its way out because it is always at the surface. Thus when you are very emotional it comes out.
I wouldn’t suggest that anyone try to ignore their deep emotions, but it would be a new and better way if we acknowledged them, analyze them, and understood them for what they are – reactions to things that we aren’t sure how to react to, all we know is how it makes us feel and we use these auto-responses to them. Imagine if we thought clearly about what we wanted to express instead?
It can be hard, I know I feel the instant resentful feeling when I think of certain adults in my life as a child, either poking fun of the way I stood, walked or spoke, even name-calling. Adults behaved this way! Not my family but other people who were around my family. I don’t care if they had it done to them, or if that is just how it was <–the most ignorant line of thinking. You notice I do use the word ignorant there because it is. I am not calling them ignorant, but I am calling that way of thinking and justifying damaging behavior, ignorant.
I am thinking that kinder people in our world are more fitting. We wouldn’t say to a family violation situation, “Oh, they need a kinder house” because what they need is kinder people in that house.
What do you think this says to all of us? That it’s the fault of the world that things (people) go bad, that things (people) go very wrong, that people are violent and can be very unacceptable in society. It’s the people, not the “things” or the “world”.
We all know that it is the people in this world who need to be kinder, every single one of us. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for the common good? But increasingly, especially with social media, I see more of the hurtful, spiteful, angry, and fiercely competitive nature within others. It is all adding to an injury that causes further harm to another soul, their path, and self-confidence. And, yes, some people celebrate doing this. Some people are so proud and feel so accomplished during and after their attack on another that is laced with malice.
What About The People Who Actually Deserve It?
The tough question really because there are people who we deem as “deserving of revenge” but that reality is that they don’t. Here is my thinking — and I will be 100% honest, it is my thinking NOW, however, I have always enjoyed bullying a bully.
I think it is important to some degree to ask ourselves some questions about the bully.
1.) How did this person become a bully? Was it taught? Or is it a reaction to being bullied themselves?
2.) Is it from a personality disorder? I am not going to suggest narcissism because everyone attributes anything they don’t like about someone else as that person being narcissistic, or gaslighting, etc. Which for the most part is ridiculous and a very lazy way of coming to the conclusion that you did nothing and that is generally not the case.
3.) Is it because of a coping mechanism? an example being they feel so low, and so depleted of self-worth that they developed this behavior as a way to feel like they have some power.
In my head, I am thinking who cares why? what does it matter if they are abusing people verbally, emotionally and many times physically too? They don’t deserve to be understood, nor to be considered for a moment, especially when adults because they damn well know right from wrong and more so if it is learned behavior.
Train Your Brain
Of course, I’d agree with my thoughts if I allowed my brain to tell me how to think and how to react to every situation, especially when that reaction is the words I spoke about earlier where I discussed injuring another soul. Re-train your brain (it’s hard). The only thing I can suggest for myself is to protect the victim as best as I can – stand up for them with dignity, and to be their voice of reason when they can’t find the words. Help to understand the real concept of “I’m Rubber and You’re Glue”.
I’m Rubber and You’re Glue
This old saying is so much truer then the cheeky way it’s been recited “I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say to me bounces off me and sticks to you”. We are all rubber and we are all glue. It’s a hamster wheel and I hope that we can all see that it is time to all jump off and walk a different path. The hurtful and soul-crushing things we have said to one another is from being glue and then being rubber. We have to see that we were glue first because I doubt our first words and experiences of memory were insulting and hurting others without having learned how to first. Then when we get older and back up those words with actions we have left a lasting footprint, they never wanted, onto another. Wouldn’t it be a world with kinder people if we made sure that all of our encounters with others left them a feeling of being loved, appreciated, respected, and knowing that their happiness matters? I think so.
So back to dealing with a bully. The best course of action I can think of is to report them as often as you see it. Report them on social media, to police if necessary and to any other organization that you find that will address it. If a person is in danger, especially imminent danger always call the local police. In situations where this is face to face, do not put yourself in harm’s way, call the local police, file the complaint and do not back down. Listen to the advice of authorities. There are groups that are specific to bullying and they can and will offer you more then I can, as I am offering opinions, where they are offering services.
Improving Self Talk
When you do something that makes you automatically say something mean to yourself, don’t. Instead, train your brain to say instead “accidents happen” or “I will be sure to sincerely apologize for that” or “oops, I’ve got the dropsies today” – anything you think of that isn’t hurtful to your soul because the truth is that every time you call yourself lazy, stupid, a dumb whatever, or ask yourself if you can do anything right…you have that bar so low that you feel defeated and “give up trying”. How many times have you said that or heard someone say that?
I’m rubber and you’re glue whatever you say, bounces off me and stick to you.Atlantic Monthly, Circa 1948
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