“Yeah you. The one who is being unkind and intolerant to someone.”
“I’m nice to other people, what are you talking about?”
“Well, I certainly try.”
“And what do you say to yourself when you look in the mirror?”
“And what do you say to yourself when you make a mistake or slip up on a plan or intention?”
“Well that doesn’t count!…… Does it?”
What do you think? Does it count?
When my students would pronounce themselves stupid or a jerk after making an academic or behavioral mistake I used to ask them what they would say to their best friend in the same circumstance. They always had lovely encouraging things to say to their best friend. But we don’t treat ourselves like a best friend. And although the deep seated human condition from which our self-directed harshness and nastiness arises is beyond my expertise in terms of explanation (or understanding, as I do it too), I do have some suggestions for overcoming it. I believe that a lot of our problems related to diet and food choices stem from the same kind of negative self-directed language as well as the language that advertisers have drummed into our heads. Continue reading