You’re toxic I’m slippin’ under

The world is is full of toxins – pollution in the air, chemicals in clothing – yet the one that probably effects us more directly is other people. To define what toxic people are is rather difficult, the characteristics are as diverse as the people that come carrying it. Generally I would summarize toxic people in two simple symptoms:

  1. They make you feel bad about yourself. Something they said or how they said it leaves you feeling bad about yourself, perhaps doubting yourself or thinking negative thoughts.
  2. You leave them feeling drained. Rather than feeling it was a good encounter, you feel used and low on energy.

Sounds familiar? I would say each one of us has this in our lives, or perhaps had it in our lives at one point. If it was a hobby and it made you feel that way- you would give it up. So why do we keep toxic people in our lives and secondly, why is it so hard to get rid of them? Here are some theories I have gathered:

The Social Factor

These days the sheer amount of friends you have seems to be a driving motivation in keeping people around that might not be of service to you. How many likes you have, how many experiences, how many followers or friends on facebook, this all determines your value in society. Quantity seems to play a higher value than quality. People you did stuff with, people you have made experiences with, that’s all that matters. Not the discussions and talks you have had or how you lifted each other up. Its more important to show that you are a functional, popular participant of society, since this is what determines your place in it. Or so it’s believed. “That’s why I believe we keep toxic people in our lives. They usually bring some other value, so you focus on that. For example they are your active friend who’s always doing stuff, or the friend who joins you for concerts” says my friend Jimmy. I guess we weigh out the pros and cons, and decide the toxicity is worth it.

The – They bring out the worst in me and I like it – Factor

In psychology they speak about three types of friendships – you are either friends with people who you deem as better than you, to constantly work on yourself to become better, people who are your equals or you have people around you who are not doing as well as you so you feel better about yourself on a continuous basis. I found this a little hard to understand, so I asked my friend Jacky to elaborate: “I think people keep toxic friends around cause they make toxic behaviors acceptable, like comparison, recklessness, disregarding relationships etc”. “Its hard to recognize them because toxic people usually comfort those bad behaviors you have yourself”. In other words, its like that girl or ex you stay friends with on social media just to see how they are doing and feel better about yourself because you are convinced you are doing better. A sort of feeling good about something negative. We all do that. We meet people and after we think: Wow am I better off than they are. A sort of very unhealthy pep talk.

The Not Notice Factor

Often when I talk to people, I don’t realize in the moment that they are toxic. But after I find myself pondering over why they said certain things or I ask myself why I am feeling down after I saw them. It only hits me later that perhaps their intentions were not coming from a good place. I tend to think people don’t mean no harm, that their negative behaviors come from insecurities that were brought upon them because life is hard, so I don’t go around assuming people mean ill. But it still has the same effect on me, toxic is toxic no matter if the person notices they are being toxic. Generally you should surround yourself with people that motivate you to be better, not make you feel drained and immobile.

The – They are Family or Coworkers – Factor

After asking around and causing a lot of bewilderment in the people around me, my friend Jay simply pointed out that a lot of people are toxic and we can’t avoid them. Simple as that. Family might even be easier to avoid than co-workers you have to see every single day. Like pollution – there’s just not much you can do about it.

So what can you do about it?

For one, avoid avoid avoid. I know negative comparison (They bring out the worst in me and I like it – Factor) might feel like its making you feel better – but its really not. Anything that comes from a negative space will not make you feel better in the long run – and won’t help bring out the best in you. Rather learn to accept that sometimes you have behaviors that are perhaps not explanatory – but that you are human and comparison, jealousy and other less ideal behaviors are just a part of you (hmm might make my next blog post about that). If you can, avoid the toxic people. You cannot change them and they will do you no good.

If you can’t avoid the people, because perhaps they are your co-workers, try to focus on how you are when you are around them. Whatever your protection strategy is – either being mindful and focusing on the emotions that arise inside, making jokes to deflect the situation, or put up a wall – do what you need to do to protect yourself. Just because someone else has issues with themselves does not give them the right to make you feel less worthy or used. You are not here to carry their luggage.

Adjusting Ice Cube’s lyrics to this situation: Protect yourself before you wreck yourself.

Perhaps- You do say it best, when you say nothing at all

Ever said something wrong and have it bug you longer than a Stranger Things Episode? Happens to me all the time. It’s not always due to social anxiety – of which I believe I have as much as the other rational human being. Sometimes we say things, mean it in the best way and it comes out so wrong. Either we hear it ourselves or we notice how people react to it – and that can be not in a positive way. It happens to all of us all the time, and can be driven by the situation – we could be stressed out, sad or just simply overwhelmed. Considering the amount of words we speak each day, saying something perceived as “wrong” is highly likely. Throw a bunch of social norms and I’m surprised we don’t go around saying awful things to each other all the time.

So what do you do once you realize you let something slip? You made a joke at a party when you’ve had too much to drink and you can see your friend get upset about it. Or you were in a meeting and you mentioned a project isn’t going well when the project manager is sitting across from you looking distraught?

Best thing to do is take a step back. Take a moment and check in with yourself – how are you feeling? Are you stressed, under pressure, feeling overwhelmed or just really relaxed? Gather yourself, take a breath. Social norms require a lot of self-control, so take a moment to take control of yourself.

Once you have gathered yourself, recover. Either apologize on the spot if you can, or take a second and clarify what you had actually wanted to say. There is nothing wrong with saying: “That came out wrong, I apologize, what I was meaning to say was…”. It shows you are level headed, in control and that you have the strength to admit you were wrong. If you leave the statement you made hanging in the air, people will assume it’s what you wanted to say. Take the chance to clear the air. I usually deal with things with humor and admit “wow that sounded harsh” or “gosh that was a bad joke” – honesty can be a good policy at times. It certainly helps people forget what I had said.

Confronting yourself gives you a chance to set the record straight. But that’s not the last step – the last step is forgiving yourself. People say stupid stuff all the time. Most of the time, they aren’t fully listening anyway. You can’t go back in the past and change it anyway. What’s done is done – what’s been said been said. Let it go, move on, be brave and forgive yourself. Once you do that, you just might find you are forgiving others for their mishaps as well.

YES to Life, YES to Boredom

Remember the last time you were bored? Could be that you don’t remember it, because I often can’t remember the feeling. Boredom seems to be a distant memory of a feeling I often felt as a child. These days we have our phones to bridge any moment I find myself waiting and I don’t really know what to do with myself. There are always plenty of apps that I find I can scroll through and get lost in – Instagram, Reddit, 9Gag – you literally have to stop yourself because the content will not stop for you. It is an unless feed with constant updates. And then there are games, quizzes, everything to keep you entertained. If you are looking to fill your time, it is literally in your hands. Boredom is a feeling we want to avoid. It leaves us feeling empty, and rather lost what do with ourselves. If we knew, we probably wouldn’t be bored. And in a day and age where you could always be working, learning, growing, studying, interacting with friends, gaming, working out, living your best life – it just seems like we did something wrong if we are bored. That we are not living our lives right.

 

Yet a while back, I stumbled on a theory that boredom is vital for various things in life. It shocked me a little, is it really boredom that we need? The unenjoyable feeling of restlessness? The presence of boredom has led to room and time for many of humanities creative gems (readSusan Sontag) – novels, movies, paintings – many of them stem from people being bored and having the time and openness to try out things they never have before. It makes you look for something new, something to pass the time and often it is a basis for many beautiful things we have created in our time on earth. Many discoveries in science, or books on philosophy have their roots in many hours spent wondering what to do in one’s life. When you think about it, it’s actually really logical. How will you have time to experiment, to think outside of the box if you are constantly thinking about something else and your mind is preoccupied with another stimulus? Would you pick up a pen and start to try writing poetry if you are looking at youtube videos? The first thing I do is consider what I haven’t done yet on my phone, before I get so bored I actually consider doing something completely random.

 

Not only does boredom build a fruitful ground for creativity, many scholars go to the extent to argue that boredom in fact, is essential for our everyday happiness. Being bored helps create a kind of openness to new things, like for example new ideas or new thoughts. It makes you present in your surroundings – aware of your feelings and thoughts, as well as what is going on around you. If you are constantly distracted, it is hard to touch base with your inner self and actually check in with what you want to achieve and where you think you stand. Kierkegaard argued that escaping the present by keeping ourselves busy is the greatest source of unhappiness for people. Boredom enforces mindfulness – a free meditation lesson so to say.

 

So what can you do with all this information? Next time you find yourself waiting – say at the doctor’s office or at the bus stop. Just let yourself wait. I’ve don’t it a couple of times now, and to be honest, I don’t even get bored. It’s so refreshing just to check in with myself and think – it feels like a novelty. Give it a go. After hearing all these benefits – don’t you want to get bored?

The Good Side of Jealousy

Just like anything, too much of something is never good. That doesn’t just count for sugar, shopping and alcohol but also for human emotions. Too much anger, or jealousy can be a negative influence in your life to the point it hinders you from living a fulfilled life. Yet a little bit of jealousy, could be a driver for you to take action and enforce a change you need. It can help you reflect about things you may have not before – a mirror that is forced upon you. For example if you do want to finally quit a job that may not be paying you well, or you do want to go to Paris on vacation or even that you want to start dealing with your family issues. It can force a reflection in your life that you may have not been driven to otherwise.

At the same time, a complete lack of jealousy doesn’t sound too good either (just like a lack of sugar, shopping or alcohol in my case). It might perhaps highlight that you are not surrounding yourself with things or people that challenge you and inspire you to do better. We could all use a little nudge to help us live an easier life as life continuously brings challenges, doubts and issues with it. Learning from other people and being driven to improve or change could be a massive aid in figuring life out.

It’s easier to do something when you are forced to do it externally. Hence why people have personal trainers or the tax authority. Jealousy of another person can act as that driver. The general definition I found most interesting online was that jealousy is the feeling evoked when someone seems better off than you. You see something better than what you have – you look for ways to get it. I guess a kind of comparison comes into play, which can be a dangerous field. Often it can lead into a helpless cycle. Try shifting your thoughts, don’t go about it as “Why don’t I have what they have” but rather “Why do I want what they have and why haven’t I worked on getting it?”.

As of now, all I have listed are good things about jealousy – improvement, growth, things turning out for the better. If it’s such a good driver – then why does jealousy have such negative connotations? Why is it so frowned upon? Because a) it’s a negative/ painful feeling and b) it doesn’t often lead to action. That is because we are told it is a negative thing. We are not taught “Oh you feel this way? Do something about it!”. Instead we are told not to feel it. Often even worse, we do not address it, with others or even ourselves. I’ve even heard it being called an ugly emotion. Jealousy makes you ugly. Yet I would argue that there is no good kind or bad kind of jealousy.  Just like there is no good kind of happy or bad kind of happy. It’s just another emotion and does not need to get judged. Perhaps if we learned to navigate or manage this emotion in a sense that it helps us do better and be better, it would indeed be quiet helpful. It could be an asset to get to know yourself from another angle and lead to action about it. Listen to it as if it was someone else’s voice and ask yourself what you are actually trying to tell yourself. Therefore I ask you, just like any emotions that arise, accept jealousy without judging yourself.

Why is it so hard to listen?

Various management or coaching books I come by mention the importance of listening. It is a power when you can understand what people are saying and give them the feeling they are being heard. Yet listening is not too easy to do. I’m sure most of us feel like we are listening, but all in all, wouldn’t be able to repeat back exactly what another person said. In a conversation, we listen out for what we are going to reply, rather than listening to what the people are exactly saying. On average a person spends 17seconds before interrupting or commenting on what another person has said. Just count next time you are talking to someone how long it takes before they or you say something. Often when I observe conversations, or am in one myself I notice people seem to be focusing on conversations just to find a word or a topic where they can jump in. The listening is more focused on “Where can I bring in what I want to say” rather than what is actually being said. The active practice of listening seems to be a skill that many need to actively learn.

 

Why is that? We spend most of our time listening to our own thoughts, are we so egocentric we only want to listen to ourselves? Perhaps, but perhaps there are some logical reasons why listening can be hard that may help us understand the root cause of why we don’t spend time listening to other people:

 

1)      We are too preoccupied – With the increased flow of information (heard of this thing called the internet and a smart phone?) and the speed of it alone tends to take overwhelm us in a way that making room for more information seems to trigger an overload. Ever just felt drained at the end of the day and you weren’t able to focus even on a simple TV show? Or watched the news and then not being able to repeat back what you just read? It’s called information fatigue– and psychologists have been trying to tackle it for a while.

 

2)      Not being in the moment  – Heard of Mindfulness? Having a hard time being in the present can extend to also being aware of what someone else is saying, says my friend Pietro. He has a hard time quieting his mind, his mind wonders to chores he must do for the day or things that are worrying him. First he has to quiet his own mind, before he can hear what others are saying. “I need to get out of my head” he adds. We all have an inner voice that at times can be much louder than any other sound. Which brings me also to the next point:

 

3)      We listen with Bias – We bring our own voice or experiences to the table that we often change the message of what is being said. We interpret the message to what we want to hear rather than what is actually being said. It’s fairly normal, everyone sees the world differently and had different perceptions of the world. For example if someone says its cold, we might think they are wrong because we do not feel ourselves that it is cold. We judge them and instead of considering how they feel, think they are crazy and just spend the rest of the time focusing on how we perceive the temperature. And the reason for that is:

 

4)      Evolutionary – Yes you heard right. Cave men stuff. My friend Julie explains: “The brain is trained to make assumptions as quick as possible and decisions based on what’s being communicated and what’s not. This is known as heuristics – mental shortcuts that allow people to solve problems and make judgements quickly – which also lead to bias. (..) The Brain is optimized for 1. Quick judgement 2. Complete Self-belief (…) Combo of these two means there is no immediate need for “I should listen” and rather “I already know and I already know I’m right”.” Life is easier if you never have to question what you hear or think. I think we can all agree to that

 

5)      We never learn to listen. We learn to talk, we learn to hear sounds – but we are not taught how to listen. I’ve never seen a parent teach a child how to listen to another person. Humans have such an urge to be heard, to be validated – we focus on our needs and not other peoples. Your own needs drive your wellbeing. Listening to other people is not a human need, and it will most likely not affect your wellbeing. Yet listening has so many positives, you can learn from people, you build trust, you can find out things about them they perhaps don’t know how to share, you make them feel important and this makes them invest in the relationship. Being blunt what’s the point of even being around another person if you are not going to listen to them?

 

 

You might be in a situation where one of these things apply. But you also might be in one were multiple of them apply at the same time. Listing them out really seems like it’s such a hassle to listen to people – is it worth just building a better relationship? I guess you can decide that for yourself – I on the other hand will probably write my next blog entry on it. But for now, Here is a simple strategy that you could employ:

 

Just try. Actively decide you want to focus on listening.

 

You are a human – you can hold your pee, walk-breathe-talk-text at the same time,  watch star wars for 3 hours, you can for sure decide to focus on listening to someone. You can do this. I believe in you. And feel free to share your tips.

Could Holding a Grudge be Healthy for you?

A grudge is rarely associated with anything positive. On the contrary, as my friend Anna (her name is not Anna) put it – we are conditioned to believe by society that it is something bad for you. Sayings like “Let it go” and “Forgiveness is key to happiness” are modern day mantras to living a healthy and peaceful life. Each religion preaches about forgiveness, to my knowledge there is no teaching that says “Hold thy grudge”. Yet – could it be that we have it all wrong? Is there a way that a grudge could be beneficial for you?

I came across this when I was trying to let go of a grudge on my end. Someone close to me had said I wasn’t much of a cook and I was insulted. Please note that I am well aware of the fact of how petty it sounds. Yet, aren’t most grudges of the petty kind? I got hooked on the fact that anytime I met this person at dinners, I kept remembering that person mentioning my culinary skills. Why did they say that, it wasn’t even true and that person hadn’t even tried most of my cooking – why did they have to be so blunt about somehting that wasn’t even true? Yet the real question hit me – why did it bother me so much? I could not enjoy this person’s presence, especially at dinner parties.

So I did some research. Turns out, grudges have quite a survival component to them. For one, they teach you something about a person you should look out for. They give you an introduction to a trait of a person and you tag it so you can remember it for the future. For example, in my case it taught me that in the future this person is more likely to say blunt comments and I might not want to have this person too involved in my life if I do not want to hear opinions served striaght up on the rocks (I will for one, never ask this person about my weight). In other cases, it teaches you for example not to trust someone with a secret, or not to lend them money. Grudges have a learning component to them, they are a sort of alarm system that is ready to protect you from a negative experience again.

Another thing I learned about grudges, is that often it also tells us a lot about ourselves. It is a trigger that highlights something about a situation was not agreeable, our own feelings were hurt or upset and not adressed. That is why they linger around. Its so to say an unresolved issue that is waiting there to be adressed or fixed. It is not only an early warning system to how others might treat you, but also a warning system to tell you something is not ideal inside.

If grudges have such a large learning component to it, why are there so many teachings that refer to staying away from them? Back to my friend not called Anna, she notes that often, you spend a lot of mental energy on a grudge, which can manifest itself phsycially too. Holding in negative emotions such as anger or hurt does you more harm than good. Anna adds, if having grudges have a survival component to them, then shouldn’t letting go of them too?

Perhaps we should not dismiss grudges so suddenly. Perhaps we should awkwnoledge them and wonder why they are lingering, what are they teaching us before we decide that the anger shouldn’t follow us around. Funny enough, I went to my cooking grudge and asked him what he thought of grudges. And he left me with a very wise statement: “I guess its best to forgive, but not forget. Keep it in the back of your mind but don’t carry it around with you more than that”. I guess I’ll listen to him on that. In the meantime, I stepped up my cooking game and he has since retracted his statement. I’ve learned, the best way to get rid of a grudge is to have it awkwnoledged by the person that caused it. We don’t all get that satisfaction though. If you find a way to forgive but not forget, you get the most out of your grudge.

The Forbidden Word: No

Amy Winehouse was probably the last person I ever heard say “No, No, No” when they asked her to go to rehab. Think about it for a while – how often do you hear the word “No”? And ask yourself – how often do you consider saying “no”?

We usually use vague statements, such as “I’m sorry I’m busy” or “I’m not sure I can make it” or “Another time”. We feel its being polite to other people, the harshness of the word “no” is like a door being slammed into someone’s face. It leads to the other person feeling hurt or disappointed, even angry at times. Not only do we often avoid saying no, but in a lot of situations we also fear to say it in the most vague way. We don’t want to let people down and we want to fulfill their expectations towards us. We avoid discomfort with other people and often agree to do things we don’t even want to do. There is such a pressure from society to agree. A disagreeable person is not someone who is liked or included, rather avoided by others. Would you ask someone to hang out knowing they will always say “no”? It’s a form of rejection. No one like being rejected.

So we either are as polite as possible, try to say no without saying no and feel guilty. Or we end up agreeing just to be agreeable and not enjoying ourselves. In both cases, it doesn’t seem to be the ideal situation. Why do we value our own feelings and time less than others people’s feelings and society expectations? Is saying no really that bad compared to us being unhappy? Could it be, we don’t know how to stick up for ourselves in order just to be polite?

This is something I have been exploring lately. Often I get asked after work if I want to grab a drink. I usually say yes just because I know its not only expected of me, but I worry that the team will not feel like I am a part of it. I will be excluding myself and I fear negative consequences – that I won’t be asked to join anymore. Yet lately I wonder – is that really that bad? Can spending time doing something I don’t want to do way outweigh perhaps not being invited to drinks anymore? Thinking about my life as a whole, it doesn’t make sense to me why I would put the possibility of being excluded before me doing something that could fulfill me. It seems rather stupid to be honest.

So, in my latest experiment every time someone asks me to do something,  I have asked myself “Would I rather be reading a good book than doing this”. I enjoy to read so that sentence works well for me, if you have other passions such as your family, a TV show or perhaps running, its best you adjust that sentence to yourself. I have found that with people I feel close to or interested in, I always would rather spend time with them. Otherwise, I am more interested in my book. It has helped me actually understand how  feel about people, something I didn’t spend much time thinking about before. Its funny how when you try to fix one thing about your life other areas get fixed too.

We tend not to prioritize ourselves and our needs out of fear of hurting or disappointing others. Yet we also tend to forget how short life is and how easily it can be difficult and beautiful at the  same time. If you consider that you have lets say 70 years on this earth, wouldn’t you like to look back and think you spent that time wisely, doing what makes you happy.

When you chose to simply be.

Do you ever find it hard just to sit, and do nothing? If you don’t – you are a rare breed of human that barley exists today. Because most people struggle with doing nothing. Just sitting. No phones, no books, no screens. I sure do. Especially in the last few years with iphones – those hours I remember being bored when I was younger – I don’t have those anymore. The feeling of boredom is a distant memory, its even become an emotion I would have a hard time describing.

I do not blame technology though. I chose to scroll my phone through apps I’ve even already read through, to the point that I try to refresh them and nothing new shows up. It’s my tendency to want to be distracted.

Why is that? So many of us have a hard time to just be. Ask yourself the question – what are you when you are not doing?

I read this quote the other day that I found very insightful. It went: “You are worthy even when you are not productive”. I wonder how many people need to hear that. Because I don’t feel that way and I am certain there are a lot of people in my life that have the same issue. I see them always filling their lives with things to do. On the one hand, I think it’s important to fill your life with things that give you energy and make you feel like you are living the best life.

On the other hand, I believe its important to fill your life with moments that give you time to breathe and check in with yourself. If you are always doing, you don’t have the time to step back and reflect on your life – you might not be able adjust your life to be better.

I believe it’s all about balance. Everything in life is about balancing. When you are home too much you want to work, when you work too much you want to be home. When you have a balance, you are happy in both places. Unbalance is what makes us unhappy.

Then there is the fact that many people don’t like to spend time alone with themselves. Silence makes you aware of your thoughts and feelings that want to be heard while you are trying to silence them with distraction. This is not ideal. There are a lot of things in life we don’t want to be confronted with. Life in all its beauty, can be hard to navigate. There is nothing easy about living. Our tendency to want to make it easier, be it through any means of distraction, is justified. Yet if you want to live your best life you will have to be confronted with all aspects of living. You may find in those moments of peace that you are happy. And if you are not, don’t you think you should know? Would you want to spend time with someone who wasn’t really enjoying your company? I think not. Don’t spend your life with yourself not being your own best friend.

Does Anyone Belong Here?

I was at a show the other day where a member of the audience asked the author Neil Gaiman “How do you deal with not belonging here?”. To which he answered (much more eloquently and elaborately): None of us do.

 

I did wonder for a bit what he meant and how I felt about it. I have often felt like I didn’t below somewhere and it was isolating. It was either I didn’t understand the sense of humor or I didn’t feel I could keep up with the topics. To be honest – I often felt I was not even interested in the topics. Other times I felt like an imposter. I was at events or in meetings with people more successful than me and I would wonder what I was doing there feeling out of space due to my lack of experience, gender and age. There are many situations we can feel out of place, if you start thinking about it, I am sure you can think of one or two in a matter of minutes.

 

That is the thing. We all tend to feel out of place. We all are pretending to know what is going on and that we belong. No one actually belongs to any one or any thing. We just tell ourselves that. And some people are better and convincing themselves than others. That is the core of it – we all feel weird at one point or another. And its ok. If we all don’t feel like we belong, then that is perhaps what makes us all belong in the first place. Does that make sense? If we are all misfits, then we all fit together, no?

 

I remember learning during my meditation training that the biggest misconception in human kind is that we all feel like we are alone. We all feel isolated and that we are going through something no one else is going through. And if you think about it, its crazy. Could it really be that you are experiencing something 7 billion people living with you on earth never have? Why are we all so scared of sharing how we really feel? Why is it so hard to be vulnerable? Its like people don’t want to admit to you or anyone else that they don’t feel like they belong. Somehow society is built to believe that admitting you unconfort makes you weak. Yet instead what it does, is it awakens the same feeling in others. And a lot of people try to avoid their feelings. If you talk about your feelings, then you are confronting someone else with them too. Perhaps they are not ready to be confronted with uncomforted and hence, they let this out on you.

 

People have a way of harming one another. If intentional or not. Just know though, that we are all just trying to get by. Whatever you are feeling, someone else is feeling that too and is perhaps looking at you to see how you deal with it.

 

The only way to deal with feelings is to address them. To embrace them as if they were their own human (ever seen the movie “Inside Out”?) and to live life knowing you are never truly the alone.

Oh To Love Thyself

Elton John may have said “Sorry seems to be the hardest word” but to be honest I think there are harder words. To say and to mean “I truly love myself” is much, much harder.

And for a lot of people that say it, I don’t think they really mean it (same as Elton John’s Sorry). Because – it’s really, really hard. And the reason I know its hard for everyone is because I know few people who actually love themselves. I actually know the contrary, people that cry when you mention that they should love themselves. Or people that shake it off and just laugh. Just think about it, reading this, can you sit there and say you love yourself, dispute all your flaws – or better said, because of all your flaws? And in a way that you don’t have to prove your worth and your self-acceptance to anyone else.

Why is that? Why aren’t we born with the feeling that we are worthy of loving ourselves?

When we are young we have a hard time understanding that the things we do wrong has nothing to do with us specifically. We tend to internalize what we did wrong. For example when we are told off for misbehaving, we feel we are bad. And we lock that in and keep that there for a long time. And in life, people leave us, people hurt is, people let their insecurities out on you and treat you unfairly and it all seems to feed into that fact that it has something to do with you. I don’t know if there is anyway out of it – I do not specialize on growing up. All I can say is for years, when you are older you have the maturity to be reflective and to understand that most things that happen to you – had nothing to do with you. People treat you based on their lives history and their issues – not based on yours. And that’s really hard to understand. But just think about how often you do that too.

Reflection is something that comes with age and time (that’s the best thing about aging!). Once you do get to that point to recognize that you are not bad inside and there is nothing wrong with you, you can start working on why you should be loved. That’s pretty simple – because everyone does. Literally everyone deserves to be loved. Take a moment and let that sink in.

My Journey

Learning to be my Authentic Self

Dr. Eric Perry, PhD

Psychology to Motivate | Inspire | Uplift

The Yoga Path • Omaha, NE

{ Practicing Physical, Mental & Spiritual Health }