Of course you don’t feel better, beating yourself up as you have been doing. How can a person feel better when beaten up, be it by someone else or by our own self?
After you accommodated the rude guy at the gym, practicing empathy or yourself would be to not beat yourself up. Instead, you could say to yourself: this is okay. I understand. It is okay. Next time I will assert myself.
You heal not by being aggressive toward yourself, beating yourself when you are down (you were mistreated by the guy at the gym, felt down over it, and in addition, beat yourself further). You heal by being on your side, by acting for you, not against you. And by acting, it starts with what you say to yourself.
i can’ t thank you enough for understanding my situation. How do I keep telling myself that it isn’t okay? Unconsciously I keep beating myself up. It’s like I have two voices in my head. Having a bit of an anxiety problem now. I’m so afraid of the rock in my heart to be back again haunting me.
You are welcome. Beating oneself up is very, very common. I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t. Many take breaks from beating themselves up and beat others. Maybe that is what the guy at the gym did the other day.
And we fear aggression, others’ aggression and our own. We can’t help it, fearing aggression. Other animals fear aggression as well. It is as natural as can be.
So, you protect yourself best you can from others’ aggression and you engage, if you so choose, in the long, long process of muting that self aggressive voice. It takes a lot of time, a growing understanding, practice of skills, lots of practice, lots of patience with the process. The good news is that it is doable.