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I would never speak to someone else like that

Spam Filter For Your Brain - Episode 82

How often have you heard someone say, I'd never say that to somebody else, or I'd never speak like that to somebody else? How often has it been something that you've heard yourself say? You make some slight self-deprecating joke or some self-deprecating comment or something that you can pass off as a little bit of humour, but actually, if you sort of take the tone out of it, the truth is that it was just something that was a bit mean about yourself. How often have you caught yourself fobbing at offers, "Well, I wouldn't accept that from somebody else"?

And I think that we can kind of just chuck this on as a little suffix to pretend like the thing that we've just said isn't really harsh or really brutal or just, frankly, quite unkind. We can pretend that that unkindness doesn't matter if we call it humour. And what I invite you just to have a little ponder on as a little reflective mirror is sure you could add on that little suffix of, well, I'd never accept that from I'd never speak like that to somebody else, but would you accept it from somebody else?

The way that you happen to cast disparaging remarks about maybe your belly or your thighs or your inability to keep time or do maths or remember something easily, would you accept someone else saying that to your face about you? Because if someone else said it to you, it would be hurtful. What you've just revealed there is that you're trying to get the first blow in so that it doesn't hurt so much if someone else were to catch you out on this stuff, I think quite often we can abscond from responsibility that being mean to ourself exponentially puts more meanness out there in the world. When we say these unkind things about ourselves, even if we just pass them off as trying to be a bit funny or trying to maybe occasionally, unconsciously or consciously elicit other people to be like, "No, No, it's not like that..."

When we put this stuff out in the world, we are creating more unkindness. We are explaining to other people that this is the way that we speak to ourselves. It's showing other people how we talk to ourselves in our heads. And in a way, it sets a sort of guideline for what we'd be willing to accept. And if we know that we wouldn't accept these words from somebody else, or if you know that you wouldn't accept someone that you love being spoken to in that manner secretly, you do know that this stuff is not funny. It's just unkind. And the more unkindness that we put out there in the world, the more unkindness that there is. And honestly, I think if there's anything that we can all agree on, it's that the world doesn't need any more unkindness.

So, I wonder if there is anywhere where you could just begin to notice where these sorts of phrases might come up for you and where you could rein them in a little bit. It's not telling yourself off or reprimanding yourself for having said them. Sometimes, it might be just a case of noticing that is something that you're doing and doing. Is this something that I want to continue? Because there's always a choice, right? It's not about telling ourselves that we shouldn't have done the thing that we've just done. It's about going. "I think I'm going to put more effort into noticing how often I do that and whether I want to continue to do it in the future". The more we remember that we have choices, the more we are able to make conscious kinds of choices in the future. I hope that you are forever building more kindness into the way that you speak to yourselves. And I'll speak to you next week.


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