Why the Difference?

One of the greatest things in life is the love and support of family and friends. Why do we treat our loved ones so much differently than we treat ourselves? We should make taking care of ourselves mentally and physically our utmost priority. We cannot give much of ourselves to this world if we are not whole.

Most of us are very hard on ourselves, I know that I am. I’m told this over and over again, yet I don’t see it myself.

Imagine that you made a mistake on a project that you are working on at your job. You might tell yourself “I can’t do anything right; I am such a failure.” Flip this situation around. A family member or friend is in the same situation, they just made a huge mistake on a project they were working on. What do you tell them? Would you tell them that they cannot do anything right and that they are a failure? Probably not. Instead, you might tell your friend that they did the best that they could do and that they are only human and it’s natural to make a mistake now and then.

You and your significant other just got into a fight and you start saying to yourself “I am never good at relationships,” you keep telling yourself “I am a terrible communicator.” What if a friend was going through this, what would you tell them? Maybe you would say that they should take some time for themselves to regroup and try to remedy the situation, maybe you would tell your friend that relationships aren’t easy, that constant effort is needed, and this doesn’t make them a bad person.

Do you see the differences in how people typically speak to themselves versus a loved one? One’s internal dialogue is so very important because we start to believe what we tell ourselves. Negative self-talk is very detrimental to us and those that we have a relationship with.

Why is it that we can so easily support the people that we love, but we cannot give that same grace and support to ourselves? Why is it that we can quickly build someone else up, while so easily tearing ourselves apart?

We are so hard on ourselves due to human nature; we know all of our faults and weaknesses and we tend to not have patience with ourselves. We also know about our pasts, and we carry parts of that with us. Whether we like to admit it or not, it does affect our confidence. We like to place other people on a pedestal, while we are the ones that are flawed as we strive to be perfect, something beyond human capability.

The next time that you are dealing with something in life, and you find that you are being hard on yourself remember to stop and ask yourself what you would tell a loved one that was in your exact situation. You give so much kindness, hope, and empathy to others, be kind to yourself…you deserve it.

Distortions

We see everything in life clearly, or do we?  There is so much to see in this world and some of it cannot be seen with the naked eye, but even what we do see is not always how it appears.  How many times in your life have you been so certain that a particular person was a certain way and they ended up being the exact opposite, or a situation that you thought took place one way, actually unfolded in a completely different way?  Looks are very deceiving, things are definitely not always how they appear.

If you really stop and think about it, this topic could drive you crazy.  We see someone, or see things one way, but they are actually another.  Much of what causes us to see life distorted are our past experiences.  We know that x,y, and z turned out a certain way in the past, therefore we think it will turn out the same way again.  We can sometimes get caught up in assumptions, I know I do this, I assume things are a certain way just based off of how they appear, definitely something that I continue to work on because this mindset is not very helpful!

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Another aspect that creates distortions in our lives are our own fears and anxieties.  We all have things in life that make us uncomfortable at some point or another.  I’m sure that we have all felt like someone didn’t like us, or that the world was against us.  Picture this, you met someone new, they are quiet and don’t really want to engage in conversation with you.  Different people will have a different response to this, some will figure that the individual is just shy or reserved and needs time to become comfortable, others might think that the individual doesn’t like them, or doesn’t enjoy their company, they may wonder what they have done wrong.  What about when your boss e-mails you and wants to set up a meeting, some may just take this gesture as a normal part of business, where other people may worry that they are in trouble, or about to be given bad news.  We can see how our mind can cause us to see people and situations in a distorted way.

We can easily create a lot of unneeded stress in our lives by not seeing a person for who they are, or a situation for what it is.  It’s hard not to do, I struggle with this myself, but it is helpful for us to remember that things are not always as they seem.  

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