Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career
CBT Jealousy Depression Relationships Conflict Self-efficacy Happiness Goal-setting Motivation Wellness Sport Psych

Popular Articles

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem--page 6
by Monica A. Frank, Ph.D.

Step 6. Be Courteous in Your Self-talk.

print

Many times when I catch people engaging in negative self-talk they will say, “But it's the truth!” However, truth can be cloaked in many ways depending upon what we want to accomplish. How often when confronting others do you describe them or their behavior as negatively as your own? You may change the wording when talking to someone else. Where you might call your idea “stupid” you may tell your co-worker “That idea has merit but we need something that will make an impact more quickly.” You don't say "That dress makes you look fat" to a friend but "That color flatters you." This step does not mean that you should ignore flaws but that you don't need to be so negative in your focus and self-talk.

This step is choosing to talk to yourself with the same courtesy you give to others. To begin to do so, write down a negative self-statement and see if you can look at it in a more positive (or, at least, neutral) way. Change the wording so it is not so pejorative. “I'm stupid because I didn't know what they were talking about” can become “I can't know everything. That doesn't mean I am stupid. In fact, I could ask questions because people like talking about what they are interested in. They don't expect me to know everything.” Or, “I'm ugly because I'm fat” can be “I may be overweight but that doesn't mean I'm unattractive. There's plenty of people who are overweight who attract others. I just need to focus on my attractive features.” Notice how this statement doesn't even use the more negative label of “ugly” when refuting it.

I find this step can be difficult for people because they have repeated these beliefs for so long they can't see another way to rephrase the statement. If this is true for you, imagine that you are describing someone else. How would you say it to another person without necessarily changing the content but changing the wording? Another way to think about changing wording is how people describe themselves on a resume. For instance, “perfectionistic” can become “detail oriented” and “controlling” can become “leadership ability.”

Sometimes people are overwhelmed by the sheer number of negative self-statements but you don't need to change everything at once. Try to change one self-statement a day. You can use the life script you wrote and examine it for negative self-statements. When you find one, re-write it so that it is more courteous to you. Then cross out the previous statement and insert the new one into your life script. In this way, you can re-write your life script to be a more positively focused reflection of you.

Index

Previous        Next



print

Questions and Comments

All comments and questions require approval so you may not see your submission immediately.

Kindle Books by
Dr. Monica Frank



Recent Articles

Analyzing Your Moods, Symptoms, and Events with Excel At Life's Mood Log

Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

“Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

When Your Loved One Refuses Help

Newest Audios

Building Blocks Emotion Training

Hot Springs Relaxation

5 Methods to Managing Anger

Panic Assistance While Driving

Autogenic Relaxation Training

Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

Mindfulness Training