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Be Your Own Best Friend: Why You Should Stop Being Hard On Yourself

Be Your Own Best Friend: Why You Should Stop Being Hard On Yourself

Lots of people are hard on themselves. They often feel like they should be doing more and achieving more, and they worry that they are not good enough.

This can cause people to feel constantly dissatisfied with themselves. For example, they might not want to contribute to a conversation because they feel like they are not interesting enough to join in, or they feel self-doubt when they are praised by others.

There are lots of positive reasons why people are hard on themselves; some people have a strong desire for self-improvement, and they think that being hard on themselves is the best way to improve.

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However, dissatisfaction with yourself won’t necessarily encourage you to push forward and be better. In reality it makes life much harder for many people by creating unnecessary and difficult hurdles. This is because if you are constantly hard on yourself, you won’t feel happy when you do succeed as you are used to being dissatisfied. Self-doubt can also get in the way of connecting with others, as you might think that you are not good enough to go out and meet new people. This can cause anxiety and depression.

Living life with self-doubt can cause a lot of stress, and it rarely benefits anyone. If you’re tired of feeling unhappy with certain aspects of yourself, here are 4 steps that will help you to stop being hard on yourself.

1. Be Aware Of Your Negative Thoughts

The first thing that you must do is being aware that you have negative thoughts. Maybe you have negative thoughts every day, or perhaps even every hour. Realize that the negative thoughts are part of your life, and if you want to get rid of them you must be aware of them when you have then.

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It can be useful to record your negative thoughts so that you can see if there are patterns to your thoughts. Start a thought diary and write down every negative thought that you have, from “I am certain that I have failed my English test even though I revised” to “I feel awkward and weird today.” This will help you to realize that negative thoughts are a big part of your life currently, but it doesn’t need to stay that way.

After a few weeks sit down with your diary and analyze the negative thoughts. You might notice that you have an unhelpful thinking style about school or your career, or you may notice that you often think in black and white, or that you always jump to conclusions. This will help you to understand where your negative thoughts are coming from.

2. Challenge Your Negative Thoughts

Make the effort to challenge your negative thoughts instead of automatically believing them.

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This doesn’t mean that you should dismiss the thought; instead open yourself up to the pain behind the thought, and get in touch with your negative feelings by questioning why you think this way. This will help you to have a greater understanding about your negative thoughts.

3. Realize That You Are A Good Person

The reason why you are hard on yourself is because you want to be a good person. If you didn’t care about being a good person, you wouldn’t have these thoughts.

Remind yourself that you have these thoughts because you have a good heart. Write down the things that you love about yourself and carry it with you for a few months. Check the list whenever you are feeling low to remind yourself that you are a wonderful person.

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4. Be Positive And Focus On The Present

Be positive as often as you can; smile at yourself whenever you see your reflection, and make the effort to make other people smile.

Live in the present and focus on the little things, such as wonderful smells and sounds around you. This will help to ease your negative thoughts over time, especially as you no longer ruminate on the past and the future.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on January 18, 2019

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

1. Limit the time you spend with them.

First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

2. Speak up for yourself.

Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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5. Change the subject.

When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

7. Leave them behind.

Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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