Monday, May 16, 2011

Tone of Voice Getting You Down?

One of the exercises for self-exploration was to write about the way we talk to ourselves when we are upset vs the way we talk to our friends when they are upset.  I discovered a bit of a difference.

When my BFF calls upset, it's always over the same issue.  This is a woman who gives 110% every single day of her life with no expectation of return.  Ever.  She loves unconditionally.  But there are people in her life who, well....let's just say that there are people in her life who take her for granted and have no appreciation for her giving nature.  Oh, they take just fine.  But they are not grateful.

We all have someone in our lives like this--or at least most of us do.  And, if we don't, we probably know someone who does.

What is upsetting for my BFF is not that she gets no appreciation it's that she gets negativity to the point of it being hurtful.  She is the first one they come to with needs but, once the needs are filled, they shut her out and use hurtful, hateful words to do so.

When these occasions arise, I am as positive as I can possibly be.  I remind her of all the good she does and of all the people who do love her and treat her with respect.  I talk about how generous her spirit is and that she simply has the misfortune to be surrounded by ingrates.  If I make suggestions, I do so gently but firmly and I am honest with her.  I remind her that she would still give someone the shirt off her back even as they stood right there and threw insults in her face because she does not want anyone to go without.  I tell her that I am sorry she is treated badly but that I am grateful that she is who she is. 

The question now becomes:  Do I do the same thing for myself when I am upset?  Um....No.  Not exactly.  I am way harder on myself than I am on others.  Though I have gotten much better over the years.  I think it had to do with the fact that if my girls were going to have positive self images, then I was going to have to have a positive self image myself.

For example, where I might once have told myself, "You're really stupid to think that."  I will now say something like, "That was not a smart thing to do" or "Come on now, you know better than that."

Oh course, I am struggling now with getting upset over the weight thing.  I try not to give it much thought because I am so good at sabotaging myself.  I figure that if I just eat healthy, I'll lose.  And I have lost some.  But it's SUCH A DARN SLOW PROCESS that I do get frustrated with myself.

I know the process well because, from May 25, 2009 through December 2009, I lost 83 pounds.  And then I let a homemade oatmeal raisin cookie (my dad can bake the hell out of some cookies!) get the best of me and followed that one by another dozen or so and the sugar was back in full appeal.  It took me over a year to put this weight back on.  At first I didn't think I had put that much back on but I had (pretty sure that's called denial).  And so, here I go again.  (Sorry, tangent there...)

Anyway, the point is that, when I get frustrated, I am not very nice to myself.  And when this happens you would think that it would cause me to avoid eating---especially eating the foods I should not.  But no.  It actually triggers my desire to eat.  And this becomes a battle that this time, so far, I have won.  But the battles are many.

The last exercise was to think of what my BFF would say to me while I was upset and try to internalize the kind tone in order to say those things to myself instead of ---well, instead of the things I do say when I'm frustrated about the weight.

My BFF would say, "Come on, let's go do something to take your mind off things" or "You can do this.  Don't let your thoughts control you; YOU control your thoughts."

And that sounds a whole lot better than something like "Look at you.  You're just a fatty." 

Today is a brand new day of a brand new week.  I'm going to look my weight frustrations in the eye and dare them to bother me!

Do you talk to yourself with the kindness of your BFF? 


  1. My guess is we're all a lot harder on ourselves than others! This was obviously a good exercise as it brought this point home and once you're aware of something, you can then set about making modifications to your behaviour. Good luck on the weight issue ;)

  2. Desiree- You're probably right about that. All these exercises have been interesting. Some have brought to light things long forgotten yet still bothersome. Maybe all my problems will soon be solved. LOL

  3. I'm always brutally straight with myself because a) I can take it and b) I know when I'm faking it. I don't need to gloss the bare facts no matter how unpleasant. When I've been a twat I tell myself I'm a twat. In fact I'm thinking of cross stitching 'I'm a twat' and hanging it over my bed :O))

  4. you sound so much like me but I am learning to be a kinder critic to myself and I am so with you on the weight issues :)

  5. I think everyone is much harder on themselves than their BF's. It's just the way of the world.

    And remember you're not alone in your struggle with the scale. I just had to buy a sidecar for my ass.:(

  6. You're a wonderful friend to your BFF I know you can be as good a friend to yourself.

  7. Jane- I don't mind being honest with myself as long as I'm not tearing myself down. Maybe a cross stitch is a good idea---as long as we put a smiley face around it? LOL

    lyndy- I'm all for constructive criticism. Mine used to be nothing but damaging.

    Michele- I think you're right about that. A sidecar for you ass? ROTFLMAO

    Kara- My BFF is a joy! I think we could all use a lesson in encouraging ourselves!

  8. I am harder on myself than others too. I think many of us are like that.
    Your friend is lucky to have to cheer her up. Can I call when I think I´m being taken for granted again too? :)

  9. Betty- I think we all are! YES! You certainly can call me when you feel you're being taken for granted! And any other time too!

  10. I do think that we are always much harder on ourselves, when we can be supportive and find kind and uplifting words to encourage others! I wish you well with the weight issue, and hope that you had a good weekend.

  11. If you spoke as kindly and gently to yourself as the comments you write to me, then you would feel as honored and highly valued as I do. Thank you friend!

  12. I'm not sure what to say. I know where you are coming from. I relate to your cookie. We did South Beach about 7 years ago, I did great. Then we started getting our Friday night pizza again and went downhill from there!!! I am trying hard again. I am doing this for myself now but my husband said something to me that was the truth but it hurt me hard.

  13. This- Agreed. Thank you! We did have a good weekend...just quiet. And then there was the part where we took Birdie to the airport for Texas...but she's back tomorrow!

    Brenda Susan-Thank you so much!

    Debby-Maybe I should look in to South Beach. I don't know maybe just sticking with what I'm doing is working albeit slow. Hubs has never said anything to me...sometimes I wish he had though. Then again....This is just HARD.

  14. Wow. This is a great thing to think about. We really don't treat ourselves as well as we would someone else sometimes.

  15. I hate this stupid blogger, I typed the comment two times, and two times blogger kicked me out, hopefully this time it will go through. I jut wanted to tell you I love your posts, they're always so interesting. Don't be too tough on your weight thing, you're doing great, even if it's a long process.

  16. You have such a good and healthy relationship with your BFF. You are lucky to have each other. I am totally like you I am my worst critic. I don't need a single person to tell me off about anything. I do it well myself! While I do laugh at a lot of silly things I do, somethings are a bit harder to laugh off. At the end of the day all that has happened is that we have made ourselves miserable. Like you say we wouldn't do this to our friends. So why to ourselves. Thanks for the post. You certainly have given food for thought! I don't know what I would do if I lost my weight. I would have to cross that bridge if it comes. After all my blog is titled 50Plus Single BBW. Silly me!

  17. Betty- True. I think we become accustomed to putting ourselves last when we have kids--then we just forget.

    Alessandra-Thank you so much! I feel your pain with blogger. They still haven't restored my Thursday post.

    Denise- Yes! And I guess the point is that, while being honest with ourselves is important, we don't have to tear ourselves down doing it. I thought about what would happen if I lost my weight and actually thought that maybe I'm so used to it that I am using it as an excuse for many things. What if I don't have that excuse anymore? Hm...

  18. I think your BFF has self-confidence issues. As commendable as it is to unconditionally love people, it can easily tip over into becoming a doormat for ingrates. Sometimes there is more merit in saying no, because there are people out there who will take, take, take.

    Blimey, I sound like a psychologist or something!

  19. Annie- I know and I have discussed this with her several times. But she can't help herself.

  20. When I was a teenager, you won't believe this....but, my priest when going to my catechism he told me once and the words stuck with me all these years. Maybe it will help you---"Everything in life is good, but use it all in moderation." That goes for food, makeup, loving, work, play,....anything!!

    You'll do it. That's a goal...just remember the word as you eat a cookie now and then....MODERATION.

    Beach...catcus blossom

    Have a grand day!


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