Times You Do Negative Self-Talk And Don’t Even Realize It
You notice it when someone else talks badly about you. You’ve even come to realize when you talk badly about yourself, because your friends and family pointed it out. But one very difficult form of negative self-talk to catch (and stop) is the type you do silently. I suppose you could call it negative thinking, but you have these thoughts with such conviction that it is as if you’re having a conversation with yourself. In fact, negative thinking can be more dangerous than negative talking because it’s not like your friends can hear the terrible things you’re thinking, and tell you why you’re wrong. Meanwhile negative talk could be keeping you from having the career you want, the romantic partner you want, the friends you want, the body you want, and even the general respect you want from others. Here are times you do negative self-talk and don’t even realize it.
When you want to ask a guy out
“Why would he choose me over everyone else in this bar?” “I’m delusional to think I’m the person he wants approaching him.” “Approaching him will turn him off, even if he were interested in me.” Guess what? If he had his eye on someone else, or just isn’t into you, he’s not going to state that. He’ll let it be known this isn’t a good match through subtle hints. Leave it up to him to show you if he’s happy that you approached him. You just worry about making the approach. It’s not going to kill you.
When you want to apply for something
For a position that’s opened up in your company, for a scholarship, for grad school…You start scrutinizing your application before you’ve even filled it out. You start thinking of all the holes the review committee might see in your application. You even tell yourself they’ll laugh at you for thinking you were qualified. Let me tell you something: truly unqualified people apply for things every day. The fact that you question if you’re qualified means you’re qualified. The review committee has far more laughable applicants to deal with, so just go for it.
When you want to ask for a promotion
“I did this one thing wrong that one time, so they won’t give me this promotion.” “My friend in the same position at another company is being paid even less than I am, so it’s really rude of me to ask for a promotion.” Hey—let the powers at be decide whether or not they should give you a promotion. Often, people think you’re worth what you tell them you’re worth. But they’ll never think it if you don’t point it out.
When you want to stand up for yourself
When a friend or family member is clearly rude to you and, honestly, is often rude to you, you consider standing up for yourself. But then you start with the, “What if she won’t be my friend anymore? What if she comes at me with even more criticism?” If any of that occurs, screw her! And be grateful you stood up for yourself; it showed what this friend’s true colors were. Any true friend would apologize if you told them they wronged you—they wouldn’t abandon you.
When you’re considering hitting the gym
“I’ll never look like this person.” “What’s the difference? Nobody notices when I lose a few pounds.” “I wont be attractive even if I’m in great shape.” Hey, confidence is arguably 80 percent of attractiveness, if not more. If you have the confidence to believe you deserve to take care of your body and look the best you can, then you’re automatically more attractive than someone who is physically perfect but lacks self-confidence. So go to the gym; simply doing so makes you more attractive.
When you’re considering having the healthy dessert
“I ate crappy all week so what does it matter at this point?” “I’m just going to give in and eat fast food tomorrow.” You need to take things one step at a time with your diet. Look at the decision in front of you; not the ones behind you or ahead of you. You’ll always have mistakes from the past, and the possibility of failure in the future. If you let those dictate your present decisions, you’ll fall into a spiral of making bad decisions.
When you want to try something new in bed
“What if he thinks I’m bad at it?” “What if he thinks I’m weird for wanting to try this?” “What if he’s been with somebody else who did this and was better at it?” News flash: guys are usually excited when you want to try something new in bed, even if it isn’t technically new to them. If your partner loves you, the act will always be better with you than with someone who is “good at it.”
When you feel wronged by your friends
“Maybe they were right to not invite me on the trip/not check up on me after my breakup/gossip about me.” No, they weren’t. And if they do have some explanation and didn’t mean to wrong you, they’ll be glad you spoke up and gave them the chance to explain themselves. If they have no explanation, that’s good to know too—those aren’t really your friends.
When a guy doesn’t call back
“It’s because I wore that top.” “It’s because I brought up that subject.” “It’s because I’m five pounds overweight.” Look: it’s not because of any of that. It’s because he just figured out that the two of you aren’t compatible. There is nothing wrong about you—you’re just wrong for that guy and if that’s true then he was wrong for you.
When a guy chooses another woman
“She is better than me.” “She is smarter than me.” “She is hotter than me.” All of those things—goodness, intelligence, and attractiveness—are subjective. Once again, you are not wrong or flawed or bad; the other woman was just right for him.
When your colleagues don’t notice your work
“I guess I didn’t do a good job” or “It’s silly of me to require recognition.” No, it isn’t silly. A lot of times in this world, you have to force people to appreciate you. Just because they don’t appreciate you doesn’t mean you aren’t worthy of appreciation; people can just be self-centered and wrapped up in their own accomplishments.
When your colleagues don’t ask for your help
Your colleagues work on something for which your skillset would have obviously been beneficial. You feel like they left you out on purpose—like they didn’t want to give you the chance to shine. Maybe you wronged them in some way you don’t know, and they’re being passive aggressive. Guess what? Even if that is true, they should be adults and say so. This isn’t on you.
When you want to post a photo
“People will think it’s vain of me to even post a photo” and “Why should I think people would care about my photos?” may be some of the thoughts that cross your mind. Who cares what people think! Millions of people around the world post selfies every day for the mere fact that it boosts their confidence to say, “I feel like doing this, I don’t care how others feel about it, so here I go.” Join the movement.
When you want to compete
In a poetry competition, in a standup competition, for that new client at work…You need to show your stuff, but many others are competing for the same opportunity. So you start telling yourself why the others are clearly better. Maybe you should leave that up to the person selecting the winner to decide. You never know what they’re looking for.
When you want to express yourself artistically
There is no such thing as art that is wrong or bad. Art is just the physical expression of emotions, whether you use your voice, a canvas, clay or other items as your physical medium. Anyone who claims to know when art is “right” or “good” is inherently wrong about the entire concept.