This week we are going to be answering the question I posed in my last blog post: How do you talk to yourself? Are you gentle and kind? Or are you harsh and blunt?
What you say to yourself really does matter. When you talk to yourself (and most people do), and you’ve done something you feel embarrassed about, do you say something like, “I’m such a dummy” or “I can’t do anything right”?
You might consider this kind of self-talk mindless chatter, yet how you talk to yourself can make a big difference in how you handle your anxieties and fears – and even in the compassion you show yourself. How people talk to themselves has a significant impact on their ability to regulate their thoughts, feelings, and behavior, especially when it involves social situations or social demands.
But there is a good method you can use to help in situations like that.
If you address yourself by using your first name, you increase your chances of performing better. Instead of saying, “I’m afraid of messing up my dance audition,” you would say something like “Jill, you’ve got this; you’ve rehearsed for hours and know all the moves. Just chill.” Rather than “I’m afraid of giving this wedding toast,” you could say “Mike, your friends love you and you know it’s an honor that they asked you.”
A small shift in language from personal pronoun to first name can help minimize social anxiety. Overall, it leads to less rumination, a more flexible thinking style, and better performance. It allows you to think through your own problems more wisely, while helping you be more gentle and kind with yourself.
This weeks action step:
Whenever you talk with yourself this week, I would like you to start using your name, and see how it goes. From there, I want you to take notice on the kind of language you use, and make note on how it changes throughout the week.
I’d love for you to respond on my facebook group if you feel comfortable!!
Join my group on Facebook LOVE MY LIFE and let me know. Feel free to share my series with your friends or colleagues as well!
To A Life You Love,
Dr. Joan Rosenberg