... a bit of that

Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.

I am choosing to turn this subject on it’s head and not choose somebody whom has been a shit.

Someone who has made my life hell, or who has treated me like shit… is me.  By interacting with my many selves (being Gemini and bi-polar, we must not leave anyone out) and engaging in negative self talk, I have set myself up beautifully for self-blame. My perception of self at times have been so screwed that I would take responsibility for world hunger, world peace and the war in Bosnia.  

In my head I know negative self talk is not rational, nor based on truth…! I am exceptionally critical about myself, unforgiving and harsh – I do not allow mistakes or feel I’ve lost the war, not just the battle.

Research suggests that for a relationship to be healthy and happilly sustainable long term you need at least five positive statements to one negative made. Research also suggests that the more negative statements, the higher the rate of stress inside will be. Be it real, or perceived stress. I certainly do not give myself five positive messages for every one negative one and clearly I am creating stress inside. 😦

In the end, I suspect there is nobody who needs to think more positively of ourselves, than ourselves… Reminding  yourself that you are a worthwhile person, no matter what. It is all a learning experience. We learn one thing, climb over a mountain and the next lesson or mountain is waiting for us… and so we go.  

When my children do something that is NOT okay, I have no problem pointing out it was the ACTION or BEHAVIOR that was not okay, it is not the child – the child remains in tact and is loved. I do not label my child from that moment on to be a good or a bad child. I always say “I love YOU but I do not like what you did or said or…. ” 

If only I can apply that to myself.

Here are 10 examples of negative, and how you can turn them around…. says I, the one who struggles big time with most of these listed below:

1. Seeing all or nothing. You place people or situations in black and white categories, with no shades of gray. If your performance falls short of perfect, you see yourself as a total failure.
Healthy response: You recognize an error but place it in the context of all the things you did right.

 2. Generalizing. You see a single, unpleasant event as a never-ending pattern of defeat.
Healthy response: You see a single, unpleasant event as a bump in the road.

3. Using mental filters. You pick out a single, unpleasant detail and dwell on it exclusively so your vision of reality becomes darkened, like the drop of ink that discolors an entire glass of water.
Healthy response: You pick out the most pleasing detail and dwell on it.

4. Disqualifying the healthy.
You reject healthy experiences, such as an acquaintance’s remark that you have a great sense of humor, by insisting it isn’t true. In this way you maintain an unhealthy belief such as, “People don’t like me,” even though it’s contradicted by your everyday experiences.

Healthy response: You embrace healthy experiences such as hearing a compliment about your sense of humor.

5. Jumping to conclusions. You make an unhealthy interpretation even though there are no facts that support your conclusion. Some examples:
           Mind reading: You conclude that someone is reacting negatively to you and don’t find out if you are correct.
           Fortune telling: You anticipate that things will turn out badly, and you feel convinced that your prediction     is an already established fact.
Healthy response: You assume things are going well (that people like you, that you’re doing a good job, etc.) until you learn differently.

6. Magnifying or minimizing. You exaggerate the importance of insignificant events (such as your mistake or someone else’s achievement), or you inappropriately shrink the magnitude of significant events until they appear tiny (your own desirable qualities or anther person’s imperfections). This is also called the “binocular trick.”
Healthy response: You celebrate your achievements and others’ small and large. If you feel jealous, you acknowledge that and then remind yourself of your own gifts and share others’ happiness.

7. Basing facts on your emotions.
You assume that your unhealthy emotions reflect he way things really are: “I feel it, therefore it must be true.”

Healthy response: You remind yourself that most days you feel better than you do today.

8. Using “you should” statements. You try to motivate yourself with shoulds and shouldn’ts, as if you have to be punished before you can do anything. (“I really should exercise. I shouldn’t be so lazy.”) Musts and ought’s are also offenders. The emotional consequence is guilt. When you direct should statements toward others, you feel anger, frustration and resentment.
Healthy response: You motivate yourself by remembering good feelings or events that come with an activity. (“Exercise s hard, but I feel good afterward.”)

9. Labeling and mislabeling.
These are extreme forms of generalizing. Instead of describing your error, you attach an unhealthy label to yourself. you say, “I’m a loser.” When someone else’s behavior rubs you the wrong way, you attach an unhealthy label to him, such as “He’s a real jerk.” Mislabeling involves describing an event with language that is highly colored and emotionally loaded. Example: Instead of saying someone drops her children off at daycare every day, you might say she “abandons her children to strangers.”

Healthy response: Acknowledge your error, put it in perspective and move on. (“I’m late to the meeting. That rarely happens. I’ll be on time next time.”)

10. Personalizing.
You see yourself as the cause of some unhealthy external event that you were not responsible for. (“WE were late to the dinner party and caused the hostess to overcook the meal. If I had only pushed my husband to leave on time, this wouldn’t have happened.”)

Healthy response: You don’t take on the blame that belongs to other people. (“My husband wouldn’t stop watching the football game on TV and this made us late to the party. My husband was rude, but this wasn’t my fault.”)

6 thoughts on “Day 08 → Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.”

  1. You write so beautifully. Thank you for providing food for thought. I must say that this post really made me think. And I am guilty of at least half of those examples of negative. I don’t know why we are so hard on ourselves. So much to work on. All a work in progress. But it will come. Of this I am sure.
    x

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  2. I do so love you so much and this personal sharing of your life and your inner most feeling must be hard.

    I really really love and respect you for recognizing that you are too hard on your self because the start of all change is the recognition of the need for change in the first place.

    There are some very useful pointers and even I who things “I am Mr. Positivity”….or at least strive to be all the time has realized that i have loads of work to do as well.

    I wish you enough………. no actually I don’t……

    YOU ARE ENOUGH!

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  3. Your list is very thought provoking. Well worth copying and reviewing on a regular basis! We are all a work in progress. Thank you for so vulnerably sharing your answers to these profound questions. You help all of us to realize we are not alone in ‘our stuff’. May you receive the support and encouragement you need each day to keep on keeping on…..

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  4. I printed your list to share with my 15 year old daughter… she is struggling with a lot of negativity right now and I think these thoughts could be a help to her.

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  5. I also struggle with turning the negative into positive. It is just so much easier to be negative than positive. I sometimes think it is in my genetic make-up

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