How to Talk to Yourself Like Someone You Love
What does it mean to talk to yourself like someone you love?
Have you heard the quote from Brene Brown about “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love”?
If so, you may wonder what the heck does that mean?
The first step towards talking to yourself like someone you love is pretty self explanatory. If you love someone, hopefully, you treat them with love and respect.
Love means using caring and kind words. Respecting another person means that you build that person up with your words, and you don’t belittle or judge the other person.
If you are not used to speaking to yourself in this way, you may wonder how you begin. If so, here are some examples of ways to speak to yourself like someone you love.
How would you talk to a young child?
Can you remember when you were young, innocent and trusting? You need to speak to yourself now as if you are still that age with kindness and concern for your feelings.
You need to pay attention to how you to speak to yourself in your own mind, which is called your inner dialogue. When you realize the thoughts you have create your ability to interact with the world in a positive or negative way, you understand you have powerful tools at your disposal.
You can harness your power from your internal dialogue. You can to talk to yourself for the purpose of good when you shift your thoughts from being negative to being positive.
It is possible to be your own best friend
We all have bad days. What makes a day go from so-so to rotten is our reaction to what happens and our internal dialogue about what happened. (Read more about internal dialogue in “The Power of Your Internal Dialogue” by Psychology Today.)
If you say “Man, I really screwed that up. I am so stupid.” That is probably going to send you into an inner spiral of negativity.
You are letting your own inner critic, the voice inside your head, tell you that you messed up big time and are stupid because of it. You aren’t showing yourself any compassion for making a mistake and the possiblity to learn from it.
Would you talk to your best friend in the same way? Surely not, or they won’t be your best friend for long.
Tellilng someone “You really screwed that up. You are so stupid,” would be a very bold and mean statement. Why would we talk to ourselves that way then?
When you make a mistake, do you punish yourself or do you shake it off mentally? Do you have a hard time just letting it go or do you tell yourself that the next time you will do things differently?
You Need to Show Yourself Compassion
Showing yourself kindness is an important part of self love. Can you be as nice to yourself as you would be to a friend in a similar situation?
In most cases, women would be very supportive if a friend goofed up or forgot something. The mystery is why can’t we give ourselves the same courtesy?
Next time try being kind to yourself instead of beating yourself up mentally. You don’t want to be your own worst enemy.
One of your most important relationship will always be with yourself. Your relationship to yourself (how you treat yourself – with kindness or not) can determine whether you have a happy life in some ways.
You want to know that when you have a difficult time in your life, as we all will, that YOU have your own back. That you will practice loving self-talk on a daily basis and that you won’t overly beat yourself up when you make a mistake.
Are you in touch with your inner critic?
We talked before about paying attention to your inner critic. Your whole life, that inner critic is going to be inside your head, so you might as well get to know them well.
What does your inner critic have to “say” to you? Is it mostly positive or negative up there?
The movie “Inside Out” is a great one to watch to understand this further. In the movie, there are “characters” which are really emotions and thoughts inside our head – and the movie focuses on which emotion/character is the dominant one at any given time.
Your inner thoughts need to be monitored and acknowledged
One exercise you can do to see how you are doing with talking to yourself like someone you love, is to check in at the present moment. Just take a second and either mentally ask yourself what you are thinking right now or take a minute to write in a journal your current thoughts.
Would you say you have a positive or negative narrative going on in that mind of yours?
Try to notice negative thoughts and challenge yourself as to whether or not they are accurate
Just being aware of your thoughts is a good thing, but if you can also ask yourself whether or not a negative thought is an actual fact or just an opinion. If you were to quiz your most loving family members about the same thing, what would they say?
Are you being hard on yourself or not?
Go Easy on Yourself and Talk to Yourself Like Someone You Love
One important thing to remember is that it takes time to learn how to show kindness to ourselves. Especially if you are not in the habit of doing so on a regular basis.
Like all things, you will need to work on it before you can really see results. One way to practice this loving kindness to yourself is to use a kindness meditation.
Don’t know what a kindness meditation is? Check out “How to Practice Loving Kindness Meditation”.
A kindness meditation is one where you repeat loving messages to yourself. To start, you begin by sitting somewhere comfortably with your eyes closed.
You can begin to imagine a peaceful setting you enjoy. Maybe imagine that you are in the sun and feel the light shining on you. You can then repeat a few simple phrases to yourself (in your mind) such as:
“May I be at peace.”
“May all beings be at peace.”
“May I be happy.”
“May I be kind to myself.”
Positive Self-Talk Examples
Some ideas of positive self-talk examples if you are new to this:
“I can do this”
“I am kind”
“I am worthy”
“I am a good Mom”
“I am a good friend”
“I am a good wife”
“I can do hard things”
Was it hard for you to even read these to yourself? It still is for me sometimes. It all depends on the day and my mood, but practice makes it easier.
Negative Self-Talk Examples
And some things you might want to try to weed out of your mind, these negative self-talk examples:
“I can’t do this”
“This is too hard for me”
“I am not good enough”
“I am not worthy”
“Why do I do this”
If it was easier for you to read the negative self-talk ones than the positive self-talk phrases, you probably are more in tune with negative self-talk and vice versa, if you were more inline with the positive ones. That is good information to have. Once you realize you have the rest of your life to perfect your “self-talk”, you can begin to practice being kind to yourself now and not be upset if you are less than excellent at first.
Question – “How do I treat myself with love, when I am feeling negative?”
Answer – Try to be objective. Try to speak neutrally at minimum, if you can’t speak kindly.
We all have those days when you feel down or have had a setback of some kind. It can be especially hard to talk positively to yourself on those days.
But, even if you talk “neutral” to yourself on those days, that is progress. If you can actively not beat yourself up in your head, that is a step in the right direction.
Also, try to question the validity of your negative thoughts. If you think “Everyone hates me”, ask yourself, “Is that actually true?”
Does everyone hate you? Or just one person?
And, do they really hate you? Maybe they dislike something you did, but that isn’t all of you. See what I mean?
Why it Matters to Talk to Yourself Like Someone You Love
If you suffer from anxiety or a low self-esteem and struggle with the concept of being kind to yourself, you may need to talk to a mental health professional (like clinical psychologists). They can be very helpful to help you sort out what is bothering you.
Psychologists are accustomed to helping others become aware of their thoughts and feelings. And especially, how people talk to themselves. They can walk you through in more detail how to achieve a healthier frame of mind.
In general though, you will benefit when you talk to yourself with compassion and kindness. We all need more of that in our lives and it becomes a loop where your kindness to yourself creates more kindness in the world.
Do you want more articles on this topic of learning how to talk to yourself like someone you love? Here are more articles that help you to be kinder to yourself on a daily basis.
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