I HATE BULLIES! I hate that children think they need to be cruel to other children. I really hate when adults are cruel to other adults. But what I REALLY hate is the worst bully I know–ME!
I am harder on myself than any bully would ever be. When I screw something up (which does happen and with a fair amount of frequency), I tend to beat myself up hard . . . and for a very long time. I think I’m pretty good at “forgive and forget” except when it comes to myself. I “relive and dwell” which certainly helps no one–ESPECIALLY me. You would think that after all this time I would learn. The problem is that I know I need to get over it, but I haven’t developed that skill yet. I do eventually get over it, but it is always there in the back of my mind taking up very valuable brain space (that gets even more valuable every day!).
I also tend to bully myself when I’m trying to decide what to wear (“That doesn’t fit because you’re too fat!”), whether to read a particular article (“You won’t understand it anyway, so why bother?”), whether to accept a social invitation (“You don’t have time for that. Look at your overfilled calendar! Don’t you ever say ‘NO’?”), or whether to play Monopoly with my grandkids or mop my floor (“The house is disgusting. Don’t you ever clean?”) My inner voice is a real bully sometimes. Other times, that same voice must be having a good day because all I hear is “You should go out with your friends. The housework can wait! You won’t get this chance again!” It is obviously a psycho inner voice!
So what do I do to tame that bully? Sometimes I go through my Pinterest quotations board or immediately stop my brain bully and change the voice to something like “Think how much you learned from that error today and now you know you won’t do it again.”
I think I bully myself because I am more worried about disappointing other people than about disappointing myself. I really dislike when people are depending on me and I blow it. I feel like my reputation is at stake. It doesn’t matter that the last gazillion things I did were OK, it’s that one thing . . .
But when my rational mind thinks about it, it probably is not the end of the world, it can probably be fixed, and hopefully they will eventually forget about it (or perhaps the next big screw up will take its place!).
So what do you do when your brain bully wants to beat the crap out of you? Please share your tips below so I can beat my bully back into submission . . . at least for a while.