Friday, May 11, 2012

Me, Myself & I


ME, MYSELF & I
 
Do any of the following sentences sound familiar?

“The whole time I was eating those cookies, I was telling myself, ‘You’re disgusting, you’ve got no willpower, and you make me sick.’”

“I made myself run five extra miles.  I was like, ‘We can do it, we can make it.’”

“Sometimes I just can’t stand myself.”

Who is “I”?  Which part of you is “myself”?  What about  “me” or “we?”

How you speak to yourself reveals a lot about your relationship to different aspects of yourself.    Although each person’s internal dynamics are slightly different, there are usually three basic parts: the Self, the Critic, and the Soother/Supporter.

The “Self” refers to the part of you that has needs, wants, wishes, emotions and conflicts.  When you say, “I was feeling mad/sad/glad/afraid” that’s your “Self” talking.   

The “Critic” informs you of all your perceived transgressions.  It is relentlessly critical and able to find fault.  When you refer to yourself in the second person, it’s usually the critic talking.  

Does your internal critic remind you of anyone you know?  Who spoke to you in that way?

The “Soother/Supporter” is the part that can be calm, understanding, and supportive.   Often, that’s the part that can show up for other people, but not for you. 

How do you express support for others?   What if you spoke that way to yourself?

Ideally, when you have a need, wish, emotion or conflict, you respond with comforting or soothing words.  For many people who struggle with disordered eating, when the “I” expresses a need, wish, or emotion, the “critic” attacks. In the absence of a nurturing response to pain, you are more likely to turn to food for comfort, or distraction.  That in turn leads the critic to judge you (“How could you have eaten that?” or “You failed!”), and the cycle continues. 

When you respond to yourself in a soothing way, instead of criticizing or attacking yourself, you will be less likely to turn to (or from) food to deal with difficult emotions.



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16 comments:

Alyssa said...

I don't know if I thought it that far through. I would just think "F-it" life s*cks so I might as just eat and do what I want. I don't know. I feel too hopeless sometimes.

Brenda said...

I don't know how to respond to this, really. I think this opens up doors to issues I have not explored yet. I can identify with hating myself for not being able to stop what I'm doing. I feel ashamed quite a bit.

Karen said...

It seems that most people are harder on themselves than they are on other people. I always wondering why we think we can get away with loving others more than ourselves.

Julie Anne said...

I'm a person who is definitely way to hard on myself. I have become my own critical parent-and right now I'm being down on myself for being too hard on myself. LOL

Trevor said...

I've even criticized myself in the first person. LOL I know I have to stop it and here I am doing it again. :)

Brad said...

I often would feel ashamed. I would say to myself 'I shouldn't have done that' when referring to eating too much in one meal.

Stephanie said...

I know how that feels. I've been there. Try not to be too hard on yourself, Brad.

Rachel said...

The self-judging cycle is hard to break. It's even worse than judging others or having others judge you. We have to learn to say positive things to ourselves and to cut ourselves some slack.

Sweatpea said...

I have days like that too. I get tired of trying so hard to change my eating habits, then afterwards I am so down on myself for failing.

Theresa said...

I am also too harsh of a self-critic. I know I shouldn't do it but it's hard to stop. That internal parent mimicks those who were hard on me as a child.

Melinda said...

I would sometimes hate myself so much that I would "stuff my face" as a way to cope with those feelings of anger against myself. It's an endless cycle I hope to break before it damages my health.

Nora said...

I know how you feel. I'm just beginning to (very reluctantly) explore parts of myself I have not for awhile.

Nora said...

I know the feeling. I'm also very harsh with myself-probably because I don't want to face the fact I'm angry at other people.

Julie Anne said...

I've been there too-down on myself when I fail. However, it's time for us to just take one day at a time. Now, I have another challenge-to stay positive even when others are really the ones putting me down.

Sarah said...

I've been learning lately how self-hatred tied into my eating habits. Do you think maybe if I wasn't so hard on myself I'd make more progress?

Harold said...

I have no idea why we can be harsher with ourselves than others. We think we are "better people" perhaps if the only one we hurt is us. However, we are often in denial as we may be hurting others in this way more than we think.