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Too Criticizing of Myself

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This topic contains 873 replies, has 20 voices, and was last updated by  anita 4 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #126984

    Shirley
    Participant

    Hi Anita

    So I did really well without an inner bully this week until today. The inner bully tried to take a chance during the fire drill today, it said “you are so slow in thinking, you will never have time to finish the test.” I was taking a test in ap calc before the fire drill and after the fire drill, the teacher said we could have extra time. My inner bully also didn’t have the chance to take root during the fire drill because Steve and I were having fun talking school and also my special friend and I happened to meet up and he made me laugh. During gym (2nd block), my inner bully made a pass at me again, but my special friend spotted it and said “That inner bully again? No I don’t like that inner bully. Let’s show that inner bully your worth.” So we had a race and we were both laughing. I have self-defense for my gym class and since I’m not a violent person, it is hard for me to learn the moves. My inner bully has started to rag on me saying I’ll never be strong enough to defend myself and it can be quite draining at times. Lately, I’ve been refuting the inner bully’s claims with real evidence and it has helped. Here is a question: How do I let my gym classmates know that I’m still learning self-defense without looking like a fool? It seems like my other classmates get the techniques after doing them for a day, but for me it takes time. I realize I’m much better at academic subjects. How do I let them know that I have talents, just not this yet? Sometimes I feel like my classmates think I’m a slow learner, but I’ve never really engaged myself in a fight, so it’s all new to me. Also during ap biology, Andrew and I were helping each other with our biology notes and he seemed more at ease than I was because I had an inner bully saying “If you mess up, he will think you less than him.” Because of my inner bully I was constantly afraid of making a mistake. I still asked questions about things I didn’t understand, but it was a bit hard. Yet Andrew didn’t seem to notice and after a while my inner bully faded away.

    #126992

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    “Too criticizing of myself”- the title of the longest-running thread in tiny buddha’s history is about the Inner Bully attacking you with negative criticism. The inner bully is not for you, it is against you. Don’t negotiate with it, don’t engage it in conversation but dismiss it, again and again and again, every time you hear its voice.

    anita

    #127251

    Shirley
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    So Friday, I was playing badminton during gym on Friday and I had lots of fun. My special friend and I were both cheering each other on, he was on the court next to me on a different team, but we were both having fun. I know I’m going to miss him when college comes around, but I have a feeling he is also going to community college so we might see each other. During gym when I accidentally crashed into the net and my special friend fell a while later, we both looked at each other with concern and there was fifteen minutes when we were both missing the shuttlecock and our other team mates were yelling at us to get back in the game, but we both stared at each other with a look of concern and happiness to see the other enjoy themselves that it was hard for both of us to pull away. When I pulled away to get back into the game, he was still smiling at me and I had a few glances at me. It was during that time when I realized it didn’t matter whether I was athletic, smart or whatever he would always love me for who I was and I would do the same. There is a stanza in Christina Aguilera in the song “What A Girl Wants” and it goes like this:

    “There was a time I was blind, I was so confused
    Run away just to hide it all from you.
    But baby, you knew me better than I knew myself
    They say if you love something let it go
    If it comes back it’s yours
    That’s how you know
    It’s for keeps, yeah, it’s for sure ”

    It reminds me of what happened after gym when my special asked me about how my inner bully was. I replied that the inner bully sometimes made me confused and there were times when I wanted to run and hide it from him. But he said something so sweet, it almost made me cry “I don’t see a perfect person. I see a flawed person still worth loving. The inner bully only sees the side of you that is broken because it can’t see anything else. What I see in you is a person that is whole and full of potential. I see the flaws in you, but they make you special. No inner bully can control the person you are.”

    Also I’m glad we’re not in a physical relationship, we let each other go in junior year of high school, but he keeps coming back and I keep coming back to him and it’s the most spiritual relationship I’ve ever had. I realize he makes me whole spiritually and makes me truly believe in myself. I know we’ll be off to college in a while, but I wonder if I’ll still see him. In the meantime, I want to tell and show him how much he means to me. I want to give him something special, but I’m not sure what. I keep hoping that I will do well in school, get a great job and find some money to buy him something he truly wants. He really saved my life. Do you have any ideas? Thanks!

    #127252

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    You wrote that your special friend told you: ““I don’t see a perfect person. I see a flawed person still worth loving. The inner bully only sees the side of you that is broken because it can’t see anything else. What I see in you is a person that is whole and full of potential. I see the flaws in you, but they make you special. No inner bully can control the person you are.”

    Your special friend verbal expressions are like yours, like your expressions in your poems. It is as if your special friend and you share the same … brain, the part that picks words and puts them together.

    Regarding buying him a gift with money that you will make in the future- no, I don’t have any ideas. His love for you transcends the material world, and so, a non material gift will be appropriate, such as a photo of you with the words you used above: “You saved my life.”

    anita

    #128085

    Shirley
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thanks for your advice. There are so many things I’ve realized about myself and how I view perfection because it’s ideals don’t exist. In ap biology, i learned how natural selection cannot fashion perfect organism because then there would be no competition is the environment. Also if everyone was perfect and didn’t experience any flaws, if an environmental stress caused something to happen

    I’m debating about writing a college essay about track (how it makes me feel great running out in nature), spirit of myself and science or the ideal of perfection. I have so many ideas and they all share the scientific and spiritual aspect. I could also tie tinybuddha into the mix as well. I have long thought I wasn’t good enough for Andrew because he had so many accomplishments that I didn’t seem to have. But when I”m writing and also going through the stories of my life, I realize I am enough. Andrew has material accomplishments, but it’s not what is on the outside that counts, it’s the person on the inside. I may not have been as many places as Andrew has, but through my writing shines a spirit, a personality that is good enough for both of us. Every one has perfection in their own ways with their talents. I remember when my english iv honors teacher gave us a quote by albert Einstein “Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by it’s ability to climb a tree, it will live it’s entire life thinking it is stupid.” I had to put my thoughts into this quote and at first I wasn’t sure how, but now I think I know. It’s about how everyone has abilities to do different things and we can’t be limited to stereotypes about people.

    There is one thing I feel strongly about and it is that society doesn’t treat the causes, they just treat the symptoms. We are educated about drugs and reckless driving constantly, but they are symptoms of something else. Most people take drugs or drive recklessly to feel good in life because there is an underlying cause of sadness in their life.
    We don’t talk with people about the prevention of things that lead to risky behaviors as much as we talk about the risky behaviors themselves.

    Also society is so concerned with stereotypes of things. I often carry index cards with me to rehearse my vocab cards for ap biology and I apply various modes of studying including rehearsal out loud. People will stare at me, but it’s just one of the ways I study. Sometimes I’ll even draw figures in the air or be in my own world trying to figure out a problem. My English IV Honors teacher says “You have to let your subconscious mind work for you at times.” Sometimes I’ll let myself daydream and act until I stumble on clues to figure out a problem.

    It’s like there are two sides of me fighting for control. One side of me doesn’t care about what others think and the other side is very defensive and tries to be perfect in every way. Lately, it’s like those two sides have tried to merge together and I have become this person who wants to isolate myself from everyone except my ap biology classmates. The two sides together has lead to a defensive, competitive nature in me to strive for the best in everything. When I make friendships with people, I don’t want any of them to be shallow ones. So I tend to be aloof when meeting new people. When people ask about things that I feel they will judge me on, I automatically shut down the conversation. Some topics that make me jump out of the conversation are when people ask me about my life’s path and my religion. While, it is true that I am a Buddhist and will go into a science career. There are no labels that I accept to pertain to me except for scientific and spiritual. When people try to impose labels on me or ideals of the way I should pursue my life’s career, I feel restrained by their ideals and it makes me irritated. It makes me think that this life isn’t my own, when I’m trying to make this life my own and forge my heart’s path. I want to find the totality of who I am and there is a part of me that is afraid of letting anyone in as they might try to shape my values to something I don’t agree with. While, I’m thinking about trying to be perfect in everyone’s eyes; there is another part of me that seeks to find my imperfection, that seeks to find myself and appreciate who I am. When I’m seeking perfection in others eyes, I rag myself for all my flaws; but when I’m seeking within myself and caring about the imperfect person I am, then I feel whole again.

    The question is how do I assert myself without being cynical when other people push their values on me? How do I rebel against the stereotypes that I feel I’ve put against myself? It’s like what Einstein said about judging myself/people based on a flaw they have when they just don’t have a talent in that field. Also how do I tell Andrew that I like him even though I’m afraid?

    #128087

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    Regarding your questions in the last paragraph: since the beginning of 2017 I already answered your first and second questions (you can review those). Regarding telling Andrew you like him even though you are afraid:

    What if you asked Andrew for this very advice that you are asking me: “What do you do when you like someone in a special way, do you tell them?” Ask in a casual tone of voice and volume (you can practice it before asking him), and see what he says, if he does. Then let me know his response.

    anita

    #138305

    Shirley
    Participant

    Dear Anita.

    So I think Andrew knows that I like him because he has become quite shy around me and sometimes looks down and blushes when I look at him. We both are busy with our classes and sometimes get a few scattered conversations here and there. I have some great friends in my classes this year and I find that they appreciate me for who I truly am. The inner bully has faded when I’m out in public lately and I feel more confident, but it likes to sneak in every now and then when I’m alone. In my AP Biology and AP Calc class, we are reviewing for the AP test in May and my inner bully often tries to sabotage me when I’m alone saying that I need to have better study skills and workout plans and sometimes it can be a bit distracting. However out in public lately, my friends constantly remind me of how talented I am and I’m glad for it.  I have the feeling that I can become the life of the party if I let myself go, but there is a part of me that wants to stay in the shadows.  I am still quite self-conscious of myself every now and then. The question is how do I know that the people I am with now aren’t just shallow relationships? How do I know they truly appreciate me and will embrace me even for my flaws? How do I get the courage to show my flaws instead of hiding them?  My special friend always asks me “Do you realize that you could change the world? Do you realize how beautiful you are even with flaws?” And yet I find myself trying to push for more, more in athleticism, more in academics trying to cover every flaw. Yet, I can’t run or keep hiding my flaws because they are currently distracting me when I’m alone.

     

    #138549

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    I hope Andrew and you will develop a closer relationship, so it benefits the two of you.

    As to your questions:

    1) How do you know that the people you are with are (capable of) just shallow relationships? Have conversations with them about what is important to them, their values, what motivates them. This will give you information about compatibility or lack of regarding values, motivations, passions.

    2) How do you know people truly appreciate you and will embrace you with your flaws? Have conversations, listen to them as they talk to you, or to others: are they in the habit of negatively criticizing other people (who are not present) ? If so, they are likely to criticize you for you too (and you don’t need that!) If they talk kindly about others who are not present, they are likely to think and talk kindly about you too.

    3) How do you get the courage to show your flaws instead of hiding them? There is no such thing as FLAWS, other than disrespectful/ abusive behavior. Neither you, Shirley, nor anyone else has bodily flaws, like a nose that is too big, or legs that are too thick or whatnot. If you are kind to other people, you are flawless, says I.

    * You wrote that you are trying to “cover every flaw” and you “keep hiding” your flaws. Again, as long as you are not disrespectful/ abusive to others, you have no flaws. So this whole flaws issue is realistically, non-existent.

    anita

     

    #138897

    Shirley
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    Thanks for the response:D As we get closer and closer to the AP tests, Andrew and I have become more competitive with each other, but I have lots of support from friends. I have been trying to search for the answers in life and have lost sight of the journey and I want to get back on track. There is that part of me that sees something more in life and wants to attain it. I appreciate the idea that I don’t have flaws because I am kind to people. There are people who aren’t the nicest people and I tend to isolate myself or sometimes just treat them with respect as well, in this way I also have some acquaintances who aren’t the best of character, but at least I have them under my wing. There is a saying “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” I have a feeling I am that type of person who doesn’t want any enemies so that is why I try to get along with everyone. Some people think this makes me gullible and shows weakness of character. They think that I’m keeping those people close because I’m afraid to be hurt by them. And in a way, I am afraid of being hurt by them, but by keeping them close; I feel like I have control on who they see me as. The question in life that I have pondered and am still pondering is “Who am I really?”  I have often felt like this world seems ephemeral and I’m an entity walking around it looking out of myself at the world. The questions I have are:

    Am I a gullible person for trying to be kind to everyone?

    When I see the world through different perceptions, does that make me strange and different from others?

    I feel as if I view the world from my soul rather than my physical being and my perception is different, yet being at my soul I feel like I am really here in the world. When looking through the doors of my soul, there is a detachment that I have and I make my best decisions then. There are times when I feel alone even with friends around and I also feel like there’s something more to life.

    People have often asked me what I want in life and I find it hard to express what I truly want. So when they ask me, I tend to avoid their questions. How do I tell them that I’m also a philosopher, not just the scientist and that I’m trying to find myself?

     

     

     

    #138929

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    You asked if you are a gullible person for trying to be kind to everyone- depends on the context and who is the person you are interacting with. And it depends on what you mean by “kind” . If a person disrespects you or mistreats you, it is time to be assertive, not passive and kind. If by “kind” you mean submissive, untrue to yourself, then never, says I.

    You asked, when you see the world through different perceptions, “from your soul”, with detachment, does it make you strange and different from others-

    I will answer your question with a question: do you think you are strange and different from your special friend? Or are the two of you very much alike; are the two of you strange compared to all the other students in school?

    You asked how do you tell people that you are a philosopher, not just a scientist, and that you are trying to find yourself-  tell them just that.

    anita

     

     

     

     

    #140569

    Shirley
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thanks for your advice. Lately there is a fear that keeps surfacing about my weight and appearance and I am struggling on overcoming it.  Every time I think of facing it somehow, there is a voice that keeps me back and tells me people will judge me harshly. I feel as if I’m constantly on guard to avoid being hurt so I hide myself. The question is how do I confront my fears? How do I be assertive even though I feel as if I’m losing myself? How do I know who I truly am and not what the world wants me to be?  How do I know I’m not becoming a bitter person?

    #140573

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    I’ll start with your question: “How do I know who I truly am and not what the world wants me to be?” and continue, in my answer, to address the topics in your other questions:

    The “world”, from what your parents want you to be, to what social conventions and media messages want you to be, has a mental representative in your brain. Freud termed it the “Superego”. In your case, as in so many people’s, it is not a friendly Superego: it repeatedly sends you messages that you are not acceptable. It suggests that if you become this or that, then the “world” will be pleased.

    Problem is a Superego that is habitually displeased, will remain displeased no matter what you do and how hard you try to please it.

    The solution is not to continue to try to please it- you will fail to please it, again and again- and you will become bitter.

    The solution is to replace that unfriendly Superego (aka “inner bully”) with a friendly Superego. This friendly Superego will have expectations of you that are realistic and sensible and when you reach these expectations, it will be pleased. In the process of you achieving its expectations, it will be kind, gentle and patient with you.

    You will determine what you want to be, and not let “the world” represented by the unfriendly Superego, or inner bully, determine for you what you are to be.

    When you wrote that you are losing yourself, I think you mean that you are losing yourself to “the world”- to the Inner Bully. Save yourself by defining for yourself what it is that you want to be: evaluate the world’s expectations, keep what you think is sensible and realistic and reject the rest.

    Best for you is to attend competent psychotherapy so to take on this process and manage your fears (emotional regulation skills)  as you move forward. In therapy you should learn the skill of being assertive as well.

    I don’t think you can do this work alone, without competent professional help. I strongly recommend that you seek such help at this time.

    anita

     

     

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #146245

    Shirley
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    This week has opened my eyes to a lot of things and has made me believe in myself more than I thought I could. I have two friends whom are new to the school, but they have great confidence and are teaching me to be assertive. I have found myself opening up more around people because of them. Also they shattered a piece of my superego when they told me that it was okay that I’m working on finding myself and I’m a strong person. The superego had been telling me how I had to be perfect and understand myself for the world to like me, but when they told me that they liked me for me, I felt happy and it shattered a piece of the superego and I feel lighter now. I feel like an eagle who is in flight getting closer to the sun. Furthermore, on Wednesday my special friend was role-playing the superego and the worldly critics and teaching me to defend myself. Andrew has been helping me do well in my classes and Steve, my lunch buddy has been as well. I have friends and teachers who look out for me. Lately, Andrew and I have become closer since we share a lot of the same personality. Also I’m starting to understand and be more observative of people lately and I realize that everyone has flaws. There is a quote “If you’re broken, don’t take the broken pieces and use them to cut someone else. Bring them to the light.” It reminds me of people who hurt others for their own gain, but inside they are hurting themselves. I know I will miss Andrew when he leaves for the military in July. I’ve always wondered if a friendship could still continue while he is still in the military. Also I’ve noticed lately that Andrew seems a bit distant from other people lately and I think it is because he is leaving for the military.

    I’ve always thought he was open and confident, but he also seems to have a shy side that reminds me of me at times when I become withdrawn from people.

    I’ve been thinking to ask him out as in a relationship, but I’m afraid that the military might drive a rift between us. Also I have some doubts that I’m not good enough for Andrew, but they aren’t getting in the way. When they surface, I think of all the qualities I have and I find that I am good enough.  I admire Andrew and the way he can make anyone laugh and smile. Do you have any ideas?

     

     

    #146249

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Shirley:

    Good to read from you again. I like your work regarding your superego (aka the inner bully, the inner critic). Glad you made two new friends who like you for you. Unlike the message of the superego, not only you don’t have to be perfect, but you cannot be perfect. And not only you can not be perfect, NO PERSON in the whole world can be perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect person.

    Regarding Andrew going to the military soon, that is a problem when you consider a relationship with him. It is a big change for him, from high school to the military. A relationship with you may create a complication for him in making this change, and then not being able to see or date you for long periods of time.

    If he wasn’t going to the military, I would encourage you to explore the possibility of Andrew becoming your first boyfriend.

    I recommend you gently ask Andrew for his reasons choosing the military and what his feelings about it are, any worries he might have, apprehensions?

    anita

    #147615

    Shirley
    Participant

    Dear Anita

    So I asked Andrew what it would be like going into the military and he seems to enjoy it. He is the type of person who sees the pretty ribbon on every package and his sense of humor is great. As the days to graduation and his departure for the Navy grow closer, Andrew and I  have been cracking jokes helping us both get ready for the AP Biology exam next Monday. I am a bit nervous about the exam’s 8 short essays and 4 long ones, but I’m fairly confident I will do well. During gym today, my special friend saw I was a bit stressed over school so he asked if I was okay. We also had a race in gym (non-competitive)  and we were both laughing at the end of it.  We were also in the weight room lifting weights and it was nice how we were cheering each other on and dancing to some music. It was a hard workout that we both did today and my hair got messy, but we were both smiling. I was a bit self-conscious b/c my hair was starting to frizz and blow in my face and I was thinking that my special friend would think it was unkempt. But he didn’t care, he just brushed the hair out of my face, smiled and said “You’re perfect the way you are. I care about you because of your strong soul and spirit, not by your appearance.” Also I showed one of my poems about Divine Love to my special friend and he really enjoyed it.

    So I have some questions:

    If some of your friends are doing the wrong thing, how do you talk them out of it? And if you can’t, how do you refuse while still maintaining friendships?

    How do you talk to a friend who doesn’t seem to be hearing you out? Lately, two of my friends I made haven’t been listening much when I talk about my feelings to them.

    How do you tell your friends that you want to be yourself when they pressure you to change? I have friends who think I need to change my appearance more, but I don’t think I need to, but they keep thinking of ways I could be better and when I argue with them, they don’t really hear my opinions.

    How do you isolate yourself from a situation that your friends are involved in, but you don’t want to get involved in without becoming the scapegoat or ‘turning you back’ on your friends?

     

     

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