Negative Self Talk Got You Asking, "Why Am I So Mean To Me?"

Aug 06, 2022

Negative self talk got you asking, "Why am I so mean to me?"

(Photo by Liza Summer)

When you begin to focus on self care, it can help to be aware of your inner voice and the way that you speak to yourself. In times of stress, anxiety, or depression, you will likely deal with negative self-talk. This is when your internal monologue tells you things that cause you to doubt yourself. Things that make you feel like you aren't any good at the things you try. 

If you struggle with this, don't worry. It’s not a permanent situation that you "just have to deal with." To change it though, you must learn to be aware of your feelings in certain situations. 

Where are these thoughts coming from?

What are you doing when your negative inner voice shows up? What are you not doing? Who are you with? Are you missing someone you care about? All these questions, and more, can be helpful to get to the bottom of why this voice is showing up when it does.

Negative self-talk has unique reasons, just like we're unique. You’ll have to do some work to get to the bottom of where yours comes from. Keep in mind there may be multiple sources.

Sometimes it stems from how one or both of your parents, or those that raised you, treated you. It could be a family member's voice or a bully from your school days. Anyone that instilled negative thoughts, that made you doubt yourself or your abilities, could be a "suspect." 

How to make it go away

Fight back

Whoever it is, even if it's just you being harsh to yourself, you can fight the voice. Argue back. Tell your inner critic exactly why it's wrong. Stand up for yourself, to yourself. This will likely be difficult at first, but you just have to build your strength like with any skill. Keep reminding yourself that you have the power and you're in charge of your mind. 

Another way to fight back is to realize that they are what they are, thoughts. Just because we think something, doesn't mean that it's true.[218] [219] They can't hurt you, and you have the power to acknowledge them, then move forward. You also don't always have to "fight," it’s good sometimes to just notice when it's happening and what’s triggering it.

Write it out

Write down anytime that you experience negative self-talk for a week. What situation brought it up and what were the thoughts? This is just a way to practice being aware of your feelings in the moment. Keep the notes brief, just enough information to explain the situation and how you felt at the time. If you argued or ignored them, note that too.

Keep going after that initial week, if you can. If you find that you don't have the time when it comes up, try developing some shorthand to put in a note-keeping app. You can write them down on your list later when you have time. 

Make the "person" better

If your negative self-talk stems from a specific person, one who was mean to you in the past, think of it this way: If they're "taking up space" in your head, why not make them into the perfect version of themselves? 

Make them say the things you always wish they would've said. Make them be encouraging and helpful, if they weren't. Make them into the person you always wanted, whether that's the mom, dad, aunt, uncle, or whoever affected you deeply.

Say things to yourself like, "I'm proud of how you got through that situation even though I know you were uncomfortable." And, "You did a really great job on that project. Everyone seemed really impressed, you're doing so great!" Even if it feels lame or forced sometimes, be your own cheerleader and pump yourself up. 

You’re in control

Most of us don't get enough positive encouragement in our lives. And when we do, we brush it off like it's no big deal. But it is a big deal. Soak up that compliment, let people be proud of you, acknowledge when you did a good job. You deserve to feel good about yourself.

After a while of paying attention to negative self-talk, you will start to be able to swat them away easily. Then you have more room in your brain for positive thoughts.

Don't forget, it's your mind, you have control over what goes on in it. It may not always feel that way, but for the most part, you have the reins. Take back control and replace negativity with positivity. You more than deserve it. We all do.

Continue Your Journey