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Too Criticizing of Myself

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This topic contains 868 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of anita anita 1 week, 1 day ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 841 through 855 (of 869 total)
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  • #125128
    Profile photo of Shirley
    Shirley
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    These days I feel like my inner bully has taken 55% of me and the other 45% left is someone I don’t know anymore. I feel I have lost myself. The only things I know I am are scientific and spiritual(includes poetry, buddhist wiccan). Everything else doesn’t seem to fit anymore. I have such social anxiety around people and I think they are seeing me as weak, fat or dumb. I tend to be reclusive and when I’m not around people I am okay. There are some guys in my lunch that aren’t the very nicest and they make fun of me for being smart and for being a girl. I feel like i don’t want to be a girl if they see it as weak and only guys work out and play competitive sports, but I don’t want to be a guy either. I’ve lost my sense of gender. AP Calc makes sense to me, but I’m still working on the logic of the problems and AP Biology is fun. But underneath all of the perfection that is on the outside, there is an inner turmoil that keeps me thinking people are going to be mean and it makes me hide myself more.

    #125138
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    I am glad you addressed me above. Now all I need is a question or questions for me- is there a question you want me to attempt answering?

    anita

    #125168
    Profile photo of Shirley
    Shirley
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    There are many questions that I’m thinking about:

    How do I work on being more confident and stop being at the whims of others judgments and the inner bully?

    How do I find myself again since I feel lost in a gender void?

    How do I stand up for myself when people aren’t the nicest without evoking retaliation?

    How do I find reality of who I am when I feel I’ve lost myself and I have realized that I’m not the labels they put on me?

    Also I like this guy in my AP Biology class, How do I act around him? We are good friends and share a lot of interests and his name is Andrew.

    #125178
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    1. How do I work on being more confident and stop being at the whims of others judgments and the inner bully?

    Pay attention and notice what you “heard” the inner bully telling you (directly or projected through others). Notice how you reacted (changes in breathing, heart beat, body temperature…), then employ one of your visuals (you have elaborate visual imagination) to crush the inner bully or to invite the inner-friend or inner-angel I suggested before; that is- talk to yourself very differently from the way the inner bully talks to you- gentle, not harsh; patiently and kindly. Do this every time.

    2. How do I find myself again since I feel lost in a gender void?

    Correct your gender thinking. In the post above and many times before you expressed “facts” that are simply untrue in reality. Again and again you expressed that there are no/ few women scientists- not true; that “only guys work out and play competitive sports” (post before last)- not true- many, many… many boys and men are out of shape and obese. On the other hand many girls and women work out and are in good physical shape. Also there are plenty female competitive sports, including basketball and body building. Do the research and align your thinking with what is true. Do that and let me know what you learn.

    3. How do I stand up for myself when people aren’t the nicest without evoking retaliation?

    Stand up for yourself in small ways, before you attempt bigger ways. If someone makes an unkind comment about you, tell that person: I don’t like your unkind comment. I can make unkind comments about you too, but I wouldn’t want to hurt your feelings. Why do you want to hurt mine? – something like that. You can make it shorter- but do respond, do assert yourself somewhat. The offender is not likely to retaliate to a small (but firm) assertion. Plus people respect assertive people and disrespect (and therefore continue to bully) those who do not stand up for themselves. Through practice you will build the courage to do so.

    4. How do I find reality of who I am when I feel I’ve lost myself and I have realized that I’m not the labels they put on me?

    You find out who you are by standing up for yourself, by siding with yourself, being your own best friend (your own earth angel)- no longer siding with those who criticize you. Assert, assert and then assert some more, every opportunity you can. Show yourself and others that you will not tolerate disrespect of you (not as expressed by you/ inner bully, and not as expressed by others). Start with this, it will be a good beginning.

    5. Also I like this guy in my AP Biology class, How do I act around him? We are good friends and share a lot of interests and his name is Andrew.

    Is it the Andrew I heard about so long…I think so. However you acted before with him and had good results, favorable behavior on his part, continue the same. Relax best you can around him. Listen to what he says and if you want to know more about something he said, or you are not clear about what he said, ask him. If he feels understood, he is likely to feel closer to you. Once in a while share a bit more about yourself to him.

    anita

    #125599
    Profile photo of Shirley
    Shirley
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks, Anita for your advice. So I heard the inner bully rattling and I noticed it and told it to stop. The inner bully has faded in some portions, but still sneaks back every now and then. Currently I just want to isolate myself from people to find myself. There are two sides of me warring with each other, one side that wants to follow the labels and another side that wants to break free and live as my soul. The side that wants to live with the labels is still afraid of people’s criticisms and also wants to stay in the lines. The other side that wants to be my soul is about living life being who I am. I want to merge both of them, but I’m not sure how. I like your advice for dealing with bullies, I followed it and the bully left me alone and I felt stronger. So here is the question, How do I find myself amongst people when it seems like my inner bully tries to sneak in? How do I isolate myself at times when I need to be alone without appearing aloof and cynical? My special friend has been a bit worried about me lately because I have become more withdrawn, but I’m trying to find myself.

    #125604
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    1. How do I find myself amongst people when it seems like my inner bully tries to sneak in?-

    Hear what the inner bully is saying and think: this is what the inner bully said, now what are THIS person in front of me saying? Listen to him/ her without the inner bully interpretation. If you are not clear about what a person is saying (being unsure if the person is a real-life bully or your inner bully is projecting itself into that person), ask respectfully for clarification.

    Try to associate one-to-one with people or be in very small groups, that may be easier than big groups.

    2. How do I isolate myself at times when I need to be alone without appearing aloof and cynical?-

    If you are in a group and being ignored (I know how that feels!)- just leave. If you are with one other person or in a group where you are engaged, excuse yourself with a smile, in a friendly manner: “got to go, see you later!”

    * maybe you are withdrawn lately because you are under more pressure than usual, the java class and such?

    anita

    #126086
    Profile photo of Shirley
    Shirley
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for your advice Anita. I have been meditating and my inner bully is starting to fade away a bit. I have started to focus on the talents that I have and focusing my talents on the goals I have in life. The java class has gotten pretty fun lately and I am friends with some of the classmates, many of whom are laid-back. I think I am able to exempt the final for java and u.s. history ii because my grades are 94 and higher. For java, the final project and review brought my grade up. So I only have to study for ap calc midterms. Here are some questions:

    How do I be more of myself and stop seeking approval from others?

    How do I let people know that the characteristics they associate with me make the whole me, not just separate parts?
    For example, some people see me as one way or another: either as a scientist or a spiritual person
    Also, some others associate me with academics, others with athletics and tomboyishness

    How do I react when someone says something about my flaws that I’m working on?
    For example, I am getting better at math and enjoy it, but someone may say “You are a lazy person and you are terrible at math.”
    I have a 91 average in math.

    How do I comfort someone without being dragged down in their sorrow?

    Also about the guy I like, Andrew is a great person. On Monday, my inner bully was raging a bit and he made me laugh, he even waited for me after class and cracked a few fun jokes to make me smile. Today, he sat next to me during ap biology and we helped each other on our math and science. During class, when we were put into separate groups, we happened to look up and smile at each other. Also Andrew was wearing my two favorite colors: green and blue. After ap biology, i wished him good luck on he midterms for ap calc. After school, I saw him and he invited me to go to an art club party with him and it was fun. While we were walking to the party, I was a bit nervous and I made a bit of small talk mostly about school work and life in general. When we both got to the party and stood together, I jumped a bit, but I smiled and he smiled back. There is a part of me that thinks I overreacted because he did see me jump and my voice get a bit higher when I’m nervous. Do you think I overreacted?

    The question is How do I stay calm around him because there are times when I think he likes me and it makes me happy, but it also makes me a bit jumpy?

    #126099
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    Good you are have a better experience in the java class and that the inner bully has faded some.

    1.” How do I be more of myself and stop seeking approval from others?”

    Notice when you seek approval and what behavior that triggers in you, then don’t do that behavior and instead behave as true to yourself as you can. With practice this will get easier and you will find yourself more authentic.

    2. “How do I let people know that the characteristics they associate with me make the whole me, not just separate parts?”

    Make sure they do associate those specific characteristics with you (ask to make sure), then tell them what you are this AND that, not this OR that.

    3. “How do I react when someone says something about my flaws that I’m working on?… ex., ‘You are a lazy person and you are terrible at math.’…I have a 91 average in math”

    Say to that person: I have 91 average in math, that’s a B. But you have an F in kindness, that’s a Fail. When you get a C in kindness, you and I can talk about my math.

    4. How do I comfort someone without being dragged down in their sorrow?

    Comfort them for a few minutes, a short time, then go about your life.

    5. “Do you think I overreacted? (with Andrew)”
    No.

    6. “The question is How do I stay calm around him because there are times when I think he likes me and it makes me happy, but it also makes me a bit jumpy?”

    Take a few deep breaths when you can, when you notice you are starting to get jumpy. Also, tell him that when you get nervous you get jumpy and your voice changes the way it does. Tell him that in a matter of fact way, no big deal. Notice how he behaves when he is nervous.

    * I personally think it is cute, you feeling jumpy and your voice changes. He may think it is cute too. I know you feel uncomfortable when it happens, but the person observing, if they notice, may find it adorable.

    anita

    #126147
    Profile photo of Shirley
    Shirley
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thanks for your advice. So I told Andrew how I act when I’m nervous and we had a fun and interesting conversation of how to read people’s emotions. Also I have become more assertive and optimistic. Being around Andrew is great because he is like a happy Buddha and he always seeing the best in life. I remember when I said something to him that made his face light up and I would love to see that smile again because it also makes me smile like the sun.

    Here are some other questions:

    How do I politely decline from partaking or getting involved in any negative conflicts?
    I have been practicing shielding and cleansing meditation that gets rid and protects against negativity. I found that I am more balanced lately. But there are some people who have sorrows when I’m trying to focus on my goals and they want me to listen. How do I tell them to be more mindful?

    Currently AP Biology is a bit confusing for me with evolutionary trees and also radiometric/carbon dating, but I’m getting there with understanding them. I have to get over my nerves for AP Calc tests because I’m taking the midterm tomorrow and I think I know most of things, it’s nerves that usually get me. I will constantly check a problem or sometimes a problem seems complex and I will become nervous and think the whole test will be like that. I have a friend who is really shy around people and when the teacher asked him why he doesn’t ask questions in class, but does alone, I realize that’s a lot like me. I heard his response and it was this “I don’t ask questions because I’m afraid others will see me as dumb because they get it.” I also do that at times when I refrain from asking questions until there are little classmates left because I am afraid of being judged. I’m mostly quiet in my classes.

    How do I get a shy guy to come out of his shell?

    #126152
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    You are welcome. Hope you do well on the midterm tomorrow.

    1. “How do I politely decline from partaking or getting involved in any negative conflict…But there are some people who have sorrows when I’m trying to focus on my goals and they want me to listen. How do I tell them to be more mindful??

    Look in his or her eyes, and at the first moment he or she takes a breath, a small break from the sharing, with a little, empathetic smile, say: It sounds tough. Being mindful helps me in such tough situations. Maybe you can google Mindfulness online- there is a lot of information on it. Have to go now. I hope you will let me know later how Mindfulness works for you. Bye for now”- and leave.

    2. “How do I get a shy guy to come out of his shell?” Because you are similar to this guy in class and can relate to him, you can show him by example how to ask a question from the teacher without appearing dumb (appearing so to people who mistaken asking questions to being dumb)- ask the teacher a question in a confident tone, not in a shaky, insecure voice. Make your voice strong and ask. Then find a moment to share with the shy guy that you too are afraid to ask questions and that you practice asking anyway and intend to continue to do.

    anita

    #126262
    Profile photo of Shirley
    Shirley
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    The shy guy is Steven, my former lunch buddy and current ap calc friend. My friend Francine has gotten him to open up a bit and even though he was nervous for midterms on thursday, we both tried our best to make him feel better. So after many months of battling the inner bully, this week has been the best week of my life, no inner bully, great supportive friends, grades are good (the school valedictorian even said that I was smart and off to a good future:D), healthy and in love with who I am and a guy. I had an idea that things would change for the better at the end of January, but I wasn’t sure why. I had it in my mind that it might be because after January was over, I would be done with midterms. Since my AP Biology midterms was finished before this week, it was pretty nice to relax and enjoy the moderate pace we are going. I don’t feel as rushed as I usually feel or maybe I’m just starting to find peace. AP Calc is also fun and I find myself understanding parts of the logic. The one thing I know is that I’ve definitely become stronger and more aware of my thoughts and understand who I am more.

    I’m not sure how I ended up making my life turn around because for the past few weeks, i had been so self-conscious and almost falling apart. There is a part of me that wants to leave all that behind and work on building my new firm ground. There is another part of me that wants to still look at it and see if there is anything that is broken that will cut me. But I realize I cannot keep looking for the broken pieces, hoping to fix them every time because I will lose sight of who I truly am. I can only become stronger from the cuts as I let the light filter through the broken pieces making them whole again. My special friend and I haven’t talked much in the last few weeks because we were both busy, but he knew that I was lost and on wednesday when I seemed tired, he asked if I was okay. When I answered that I had found a part of myself, he smiled and we have started talking again. He told me he had been worried that he was losing me, but I now know a part of myself. It’s time to build the real me.

    Thanks Anita for all of your help in making it happen:D

    So here is a question: Do you think it would be a good idea to invite Steve to Garden Club with Andrew, me and Francine? Francine wants him to join more clubs. Also Andrew used to be a bit reserved until I got to know him and now he is so much fun to be around. I think Andrew might also help break Steve out of his shell a bit. Andrew has helped me be more optimistic and open in life. We often make our stresses into dramas, acting them out and laughing.

    Also I have become a little more reserved within myself and some people think I’ve become shy and others think I’m being cynical, but I’m not. I’m just working on recreating myself to show the world and it’s like I don’t want people to know me yet until I find all the parts of me. How do I make it so it doesn’t seem I’m being aloof and cynical? My special friend knows I care about him even though I don’t talk much with him, but we always smile and wink.

    #126264
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    I am glad you are doing better! I like you and Andrew making your stresses into dramas- excellent. Seems like you are as good for Andrew as he is good for you. I remember you mentioning Steve your lunch buddy many times. You also mentioned before Francine (and you) trying to help Steve overcome his shyness.

    1. ” Do you think it would be a good idea to invite Steve to Garden Club with Andrew, me and Francine?”

    – sure. It will be up to Steve to accept or reject the offer. No one should pressure him to accept and the offer.

    2. “… some people think I’ve become shy and others think I’m being cynical, but I’m not. I’m just working on recreating myself to show the world and it’s like I don’t want people to know me yet until I find all the parts of me. How do I make it so it doesn’t seem I’m being aloof and cynical?”

    – be assertive and friendly at the same time. Ultimately though, what people think about you is not under your control, and really, what goes on in between their ears is their business. If they want to think this or that about you, they will. No matter what- not everyone will like you, not everyone will think of you what you would like them to think. It is impossible.

    anita

    #126339
    Profile photo of Shirley
    Shirley
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    So I have made myself more comfortable at school and I have been able to catch the inner bully at times and disengage from its chatter and look at myself and see what is true. I’m starting a thought journal to keep track of my thoughts. It has gotten easier and I realize that I have more clarity in my mind. I am still a bit withdrawn from people, but it’s because I’m going to find the person I am on the inside. I want to figure out who I am beneath the labels of what other people placed on me.

    The question is How do I let people know that I’m in the process of finding myself?

    People keep talking about different problems, but the only one I have now is to find myself. How do I disentangle myself from others and be in my own personal space?

    #126342
    Profile photo of Shirley
    Shirley
    Participant

    Hi Anita,
    On added note:
    Also I found that I am done with people dumping their emotional problems on me. I am searching for peace within myself and don’t really care or want to deal with other people’s troubles now. Does this make me cynical? I want emotional freedom and emotional love and disvalue shallow relationships. I feel as if my parents only see the physical surface of who I am, they don’t see the emotional side of me, they don’t see who I truly am. I want to be loved emotionally and not be a reservoir for their feelings, I don’t want them to keep dumping their negative feelings on me. It’s time they solve their own problems, I’m done. Does this make me selfish? If I withdraw from them and practice mindfulness and let them have their anger out, is that a good idea? I’m sorry, but there is a part of me that won’t forgive them because I’m not sure I want to forgive them. Does this make me a bad person? When I move out, I will find my own space and work on finding myself and going for my dreams. I want to focus on myself, making myself better and currently I’m going to take control of me and my life. I can’t be there for them until how I can be here for myself and I won’t make the same mistakes they did. Does the irritation I feel at them make me feel like an ungrateful person?

    #126346
    Profile photo of anita
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    1. “How do I let people know that I’m in the process of finding myself?”-

    If you want to share this with a particular person, tell him/ her: “I am in the process of finding myself.” If he/ she asks a question, you can answer if you want and if you have the answer right then and there, or you can say: I want to think about your question and get back with you later. The person may share with you how he/ she is in such a process themselves.

    If you don’t want to share it with a particular person/ a group of people- don’t.

    2. “People keep talking about different problems, but the only one I have now is to find myself. How do I disentangle myself from others and be in my own personal space?”- leave their space. Say: I have to go. If these “others” are your parents, it is more difficult because you live with them. But if you have your own room, excuse yourself and go to your room, close the door behind you.

    3. “Does this make me selfish? If I withdraw from them and practice mindfulness and let them have their anger out, is that a good idea?”

    You are referring to your parents: no, you are not selfish for not wanting to be the target for their venting. It is not your job to be a venting-target. It is selfish of THEM to misuse you that way. They are doing you wrong by venting to you, misusing you so to relieve their distress at your expense. And so, it is the right thing for you to do to protect yourself from such misuse.

    4. “there is a part of me that won’t forgive them because I’m not sure I want to forgive them. Does this make me a bad person?”

    No, it does not make you a bad person. You can not forgive people who are still hurting you, who didn’t stop hurting you. When they ask for your forgiveness and stop their offensive behavior, then consider forgiving them.

    5. “Does the irritation I feel at them make me feel like an ungrateful person?”

    Well, you are understandably ungrateful for being misused to relieve their distress by transferring it to you (via venting).

    anita

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