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Does Anyone Else Feel Like a Hypocrite?

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  • #190015
    Lucas
    Participant

    I have a confession to make: I feel like a complete and total hypocrite.  A good majority of the time, I can help out almost anyone with any sort of problem, but when it comes to helping myself, I don’t even bother.

    For instance, I told a friend of mine that is struggling with depression to try to do his best not to beat himself up and degrade his self-worth. Yet this is what I do on a daily basis!

    When someone else in my life was looking to start something new, I told him not to take too many things on at once, so that he didn’t overwhelm himself, but this is exactly what I do! I wanted to learn how to play piano this year, so I tried practicing for 3 hours a day straight, got burnt out, and quit completely.

    I don’t know what’s wrong with me that I can’t follow my own advice, even though I know in the back of my head that it is correct.

     

    #190075
    Mark
    Participant

    Lucas,

    Here’s some advice: don’t give advice.  This way you don’t have to worry about being a hypocrite.

    Making changes in our life is difficult.  Changing lifelong patterns that are etched in our subconscious takes conscious and consistent effort.  So I would not beat yourself up on not doing the things you know is good for you.  You are like the rest of us.

    Mark

    #190021
    Hayley
    Participant

    Hey Lucas,

    I think you’d be surprised at how many people do the same thing, I know I do and the amount of times people have given me advice but I can see that they don’t follow through with it themselves. I think the problem is we are much harder on ourselves than everyone else, we don’t treat ourselves as well as we should and we expect so much more from ourselves. There could a number of reasons for why we do this but I think the bottom line is self care and self love, we need to be able to love and respect ourselves in order to do the best for ourselves. It’s not easy but I think the more you practice this the more you’ll find that you end up following your own advice because you’ll want to do the best for you.

    I hope this makes sense!

     

    #190185
    Peter
    Participant

    I don’t think you’re a hypocrite… unless your pretending that your above such struggles.

    You have learned that beating yourself up and taking on too much gets in your way of archiving your goals and so its reasonable to suggest not doing that.

    The follow up to that bit of advice is how to stop berating yourself or taking on too much.  What you need to do and how you might do it is not the same type of advice at all. You didn’t give a how as you’re not sure how yourself = not a hypocrite.

    At this point in the conversation you could acknowledge having the same problems and together brainstorm possible methods you might try. You could even agree to check in with each other every once and encourage each other as you work the how.

    Note it is a different issue that needs to be addressed if you know what you need to do but then don’t start the work required to change it. Labeling the inaction hypocrisy is just beating your self up about it and you already know that doesn’t help 🙂  In this case beating yourself up may be a symptom of a deeper issue. The question to ask is what benefit do you get by beating yourself up. Identify the “benefit” and you identify the area that you can work to change.

    If your being honest with your self (without judging yourself) what is holding you back from actively working on learning how to stop beating yourself up? The reason I tend to beat myself up is that a part of me feels good about feeling bad about myself, (how messed up is that) it “excuses” me from doing better when I know better.  I’ve had/have a lot to work on 🙂

    Anyway its possible you give advice because your hoping to find a solution yourself – nothing wrong with that. In fact life might keep putting people in your path with the same problem just to remind you to keep working on it

    This site is a good resource for how methodology.

    Stop Beating Yourself Up: 40 Ways to Silence Your Inner Critic

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by Peter.
    #190217
    Lucas
    Participant

    Hello, Peter. Thanks again for responding to my post.  I understand that through my time in therapy that I have persistently low self-esteem, and likely have a genetic case of depression. That isn’t to say that I can’t get better (I believe that it is possible), but my default mode of thinking is mostly negative.

    The funny thing is that most people would not describe me as negative at all, but that’s only because I’ve gotten very good at hiding my emotions at a young age. If they could understand what it was like to be me, I think they would be shocked at all the dark and pessimistic things that invade my thoughts.

    I realize that this type of thinking is likely to lead to worse outcomes for myself in the future, but it’s somewhat of an odd addiction for me.  I rationalize it as I can. “The evidence thus far has shown that I am absolutely pathetic and broken, and so that’s what the truth is–” and then a really odd thing happens: I recognize this faulty thinking and try to correct it, but my brain fires back with a counterpoint, essentially ending up refuting my argument. It keeps telling me that these things I say are lies to make me feel better, and it consistently repeats the message that I will be alone, cold, and unsuccessful for the rest of my life because I am a failure, and that’s all I ever will be.

    This might be as a result of having genetic depression, I really am not sure.

     

    #190219
    Lucas
    Participant

    One problem I have is that even when I say positive things about myself, I don’t believe them. The mindset goes back to: “well, now you’re just acting like how you usually do around people.” The words don’t feel or seem real.

    So maybe it will coming down to faking it until you make it, even if you feel like everything is scattered into pieces.

     

    #190449
    Jim
    Participant

    I know I’m a hypocrite.  I have very low self esteem which makes me very critical and resentful of others.  Its like I try to tear people down so I don’t feel inferior.  Now I don’t say these things to a person out loud.  Its just what I think in my mind.   Most of the negative things I feel toward others are the same faults I have.  I don’t like being this way but I’ve never been able to break this bad habit.

    #190497
    Lucas
    Participant

    Hey, Jim. I’m sorry that you feel that way. I don’t think anyone should ever have to feel awful about themselves. I know exactly how it feels. Let me try to support you the best I can.

    #190499
    Lucas
    Participant

    Even if I suffer from low self-esteem, I can make someone’s day better, and I’ve realized now that this is enough for me.

    #190503
    Lucas
    Participant

    I’ve been going back to the Charles Dicken’s quote: “no one is worthless in this world that can lighten the load of another.”

    #190517
    Peter
    Participant

    Sorry you still don’t meet the definition of hypocrite.

    You are labeling yourself a hypocrite based on your thoughts, thoughts that likely change every second, while giving no weight to your actions. Its actually a interesting question. What is the self? Are we our thoughts, are we our actions, both? Neither?

    A man who has low self esteem and terrified of fire and dying rushes into a house ablaze in flames and rescues a child. The media labels the man courageous and a hero. The man does not like being called a hero, he remains afraid and “knows’ he is no hero and so continues to judge himself negatively. Is the man a coward,  is the man courageous?

    A person is not a label and is more then the some of his actions and thoughts. It is the ego that likes to focus on labels to keep it simple but this simplicity creates anxiety, we ‘know’ we are not that.  I have this thought I am this thought, I did this action, I am this action. Such identification to a moment of time and space is unskillful. The moment has past… which thought which action are we now?

    I suspect that as you grow you will discover that high or low self-esteem does not define you. As you have already discovered you act in either case. You are capable of helping others. Capable of creating positive experience for others even when internally you battle negativity. That meets the definition of courage.

     

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 1 month ago by Peter.
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