How you are talking
“Be careful how you are talking to yourself, because you are listening.”
– Lisa M. Hayes
One year ago, I wrote about hearing stupid remarks. Today, I’m writing about saying them myself. I have a double standard when it comes to what I say; I will talk to myself in ways I would never talk to another person. I might chide myself for a careless error, or remark about how old I am getting, or how much weight I’ve gained, or what a dummy I was to forget something.
I don’t know why I think it’s okay to talk to myself that way, but I have seen many others do the same thing to themselves, so I know I’m not alone in this habit. Perhaps it’s a way of trying to seem humble, though that would not explain why I mostly do it when nobody is around. But I’m still hearing everything I say. And we don’t need continual put-downs, even when they come from ourselves.
Another way I sometimes talk to myself is when I think something inside my head but don’t say it aloud. Often, these are negative remarks about other people, or upsetting circumstances. This can be just as damaging, maybe more.
If I send myself silent but critical remarks about other people, or gloomy prognostications about disasters that may be waiting in the wings, I’m ruining my own day. It’s easy to be critical and reactive, but I’m never happy when I fill my head with such thoughts. On the other hand, when I replace the fearful and cynical self-talk with affirmations of faith and hope, I feel pretty happy just to be alive. When I decide that I like everybody until they give me a good reason not to like them, I’m find I’m surrounded by mostly nice people.
Today, I invite you to join me in paying close attention to how we talk to ourselves. After all, we are listening — and we will respond accordingly.
One year ago today: