None of us is cut off from unpleasant situations in life. We often get hurt because we live with different people. Some things we forgive fast, and other and stronger grudges we hold tight over years. Those often unwanted situations affect our lives. They contribute to our decisions which we make, they have an impact on with whom we hang out, what we value, but also on how we see ourselves. And today’s post is about the last one.
Think of somebody who had (or has) a bad opinion of you, somebody who took (or still takes) you for someone worse, somebody who was (or is) treating you with contempt, somebody who thought (thinks) about you as a thing. Take a look at how they were (or still are) speaking to you. The mocking tone of their voice, the facial expression full of disdain, in their eyes you can notice sense of superiority. There’s no need to hear what they say (even though we often remember those words). The whole nonverbal scenery is telling enough. We can feel for example anger, pain, loneliness, sadness, willingness to revenge or/and disappointment.
I remember the voices about me from my schools and home. They were saying that I was:
Even if I didn’t hear them saying it all each times, it was clear that they were thinking of me so because I was seeing their attitudes towards me. I was feeling that in their behaviors: some boys were flinching when a teacher told them to take my hand, a few girls were borrowing my notebook and they were laughing perfidiously at my handwriting, somebody was throwing scraps of paper at me, someone else was calling me “this thing”… Such different situations took place during school years. They were really sad and humiliating for me then, even when I was pretending that I wasn’t feeling it all. If you came here, you probably have some similar experience…
And what did others tell about you?
Next, take advantage of your imagination, and on one side, imagine a few people who have treated you unfairly. Let yourself feel the whole humiliation.
On the right side, imagine all those who believe(d) in you, those who told about you flattering words, like “Wow, you’ve got an artistic soul!”, “You just did a big important step”, and behind your back you heard how they defended you from others “leave her/him alone”, “(s)he’s quiet and helpful”. Note WHO said that. WHAT did those people see that they claimed so? How much did they know you that they decided to say opinions about you? Answering such questions, you’ll see WHOSE those words are, the words you took.
They used to say perhaps:
- „Cool, nice girl”
- “Beautiful, wise and helpful girl”
- “You have just done a big step!”
- “Scared, but good and with potential”
- “With a very big heart”
- “Oh, she’s very sensitive“
You can write down those different voices on both sides of a sheet of paper to see it more clearly.
Next, see plainly the first ones and those second guys (see them in your head).
All those people have already judged your value. They have tried to impact on how you feel about yourself. And they made it, huh?
Those name-callings, insults and labels scream in your mind sometimes but those voices aren’t yours, they are theirs. Theirs = the people who have been calling you badly.
Those people of the left will look at you through the prism of their deficiencies. And those on your right will judge you on the basis of what they see on the outside.
You already know their opinions.
Now, imagine that you appear between both sides and you stand across from you from the past, across from the one who have experienced so much evil.
And I ask you: What do you see in that person who is curled up? What’s YOUR voice about yourself now? Don’t look through the prism of what the people on the sides said.
Notice what you see through your own eyes, knowing yourself, knowing your own motives, having insight into things which even people on your right have not noticed.
To help you a little, I can share that when I was doing this exercise I saw somebody who:
- sometimes feel weak, but she isn’t
- got hurt unjustly, and that she didn’t deserve it
- I notice an artistic soul
- cries often
- feels own boundaries
- knows own values
No one knows you as you can do.
To accept yourself, it’s worth to know yourself. If you want to be self-confident, you have to trust in what you see. Know who you are and try to love yourself. It can’t be the picture of you which is seen through the people who also have a low sense of self-worth, because that image is distorted. It can’t be based on views of people, who don’t see your depth.
I hope that your eyes have just opened up. Sometimes we realize how much we have looked at ourselves through the lens of what other people have said and thought about us. And it’s good for us 🙂 Never is too late. Remember that everybody evaluates by their own experience and beliefs, that’s why the ways other people think about us is slightly “askew” and frequently taken out of full context.
Remember also that offensive insults come from those people who haven’t good sense of self-worth, besides, they are not good at you, so you can throw their opinions about you in the trash, at least better do it your mind’s eye. Because what they expressed has nothing to do with you, indeed.
The truth is that everybody tells something else, at least a little different than somebody else. That’s why to keep you sane, you’ve got to trust yourself.
And the truth is that you care and make effort. It’s truth because you came here to get help and you’re reading it 🙂
Come back to this post when you’ll hear in your mind that you suck.
No one knows you as you can do.
Let me know if the exercise helped you.