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Day 9 Self criticism

Discussion in 'Structured Educational Program' started by Shakermaker, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Shakermaker

    Shakermaker Peer Supporter

    I criticise myself quite often I think. So often that I probably don't know I'm doing it most of the time. One thing I do know is that sometimes when I look back at social interactions during in which I wish I acted differently, I tend to call myself horrible names - quite mean swearword insults that guys say to each other. Why do I do this? I have never really thought about it. Maybe it's from my belief that my social skills are inadequate. I have no idea. Something from my childhood I guess.

    I also criticise my performance at work a lot even on occasions where I get praised by colleagues etc. Maybe that's my trait of perfectionism.
  2. HattieNC

    HattieNC Well known member


    If you polled the folks on this forum, you'd find that all of us are extremely self critical, and yes, that trait is bundled with our perfectionism, goodism, and people pleasing personalities. In the past, I tried to unearth why I have this tendency. My parents were loving and I had a good childhood. They were not critical and didn't set insanely high expectations for their children. I finally had to accept that I will probably never know the "why"...it's just the way I am.

    However, through this forum I've learned techniques and strategies that have helped me "cut myself some slack" as we say in the south.
    • One, is to practice self-compassion through meditation. There's a great free app called Insight Timer. Kate James has a meditation called "Loving Kindness." There are other similar meditations to choose from. I know this type of meditation might initially be awkward for a man, but I highly recommend it. Meditation cuts through the negative chatter.
    • Another strategy is self-care. When I'm consistently being good to myself: eating chocolate, taking baths, listening to music- I find that I'm much less likely to berate myself when I've messed up.
    • Catch yourself as soon as you start with the self-criticism. Analyze the situation rationally and understand you are still a great person even if you aren't an expert at social banter or whatever is attacking your self-esteem. By the way, I find that a lot of men are socially awkward. Men don't get an opportunity to build their verbal skills as young boys. Probably, because they are more likely to be engaged in activity with their peers rather than talk constantly like girls do. It's just one of the many differences between men and women. Certainly nothing to feel bad about!
    I'll leave you with an example. A few weeks ago, I forgot to close the hatch on my beautiful new car before shutting the garage door. I was horrified when I saw the scratches on the door handle. I knew that my husband would be livid. Immediately, I began to say awful things to myself "you are losing your mind, how could you be so dumb? what kind of lie can I tell so he won't know what I've done? etc." Quickly, I realized what I was doing and stopped it. I replaced this with "the scratches aren't that bad, you didn't do this on purpose, you take great care of your cars." In the past, I would have berated myself for days or weeks over this mishap. Instead, I gave myself a pep talk and moved on. The world didn't come to an end because I made a tiny mistake, and I still think my car is beautiful.
    suky and Shakermaker like this.
  3. Shakermaker

    Shakermaker Peer Supporter

    Thanks Hattie! Some very useful advice there. I've started to do more self-care recently and I have a book on mindfulness based stress reduction with a section on loving kindness. I'll check it out :)

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