How Do You Talk About Yourself?

Each one of us has several opportunities to talk about ourselves every day. What you say and how you say it can determine how others see you, and even how you see yourself.

One opportunity to talk about yourself comes at work. As an extreme example, you might explain to your boss about something you accomplished, or alternately you could refer to mistakes you made or challenges you face. Your boss, or your co-workers, might see you differently in each case.

The same holds true with friends, or even your spouse or partner. If you constantly make jokes at your own expense, for instance, the repetition may lead people around you to view you negatively. At best, they might decide you have a self-esteem problem. At worst, they may come to believe the bad things you say.

And, of course, the most important person you may talk to yourself about you is you. If you make a mistake, you might mutter to yourself ‘That was dumb!’ or you might say, ‘At least I tried!’

How you think of yourself can’t help but be influenced by the things you tell yourself about yourself. If you constantly think about how klutzy you are, for instance, you will start to think about yourself as klutzy. It might even lead to behavior that causes the belief to come true.

There is a reason that self-affirmation is recommended as a way to start your day. Your thoughts have a way of coming true, and positive thoughts can lead to positive outcomes. Similarly, negative thoughts can lead to the reverse.

How do you think about yourself?

Related questions: Do you talk to yourself? Would you be friends with yourself? How do you cheer yourself up? How do you judge yourself? Are there beliefs about yourself you’ve had to let go?


2 thoughts on “How Do You Talk About Yourself?”

  1. Over the years, I have noticed that people are often harder on themselves, or at least more blatantly so, than they would ever be to friends or loved ones. I am no exception.

    So I started to make reaffirming comments whenever I noticed my wife doing it. For example, if she said something like, ‘I’m so stupid!’ I’d reply with a gentle, ‘Hey! Don’t talk about my wife that way!’

    That gets the point across to her that a) I love her, and that b) she was being unnecessarily negative toward herself. I’ve taken to doing something similar with friends when appropriate.

    As for me, my wife now does this to me too, when she spots me doing it (which is more often than I would have thought). My hope is this practice will slowly reset how I think about myself, and get others around me to do the same.

  2. I often talk about myself through the roles I fill in life: husband, home economist, public policy director, and friend/colleague. I often share that Rebecca and I live a very patterned life together (which we love), that one of my primary missions is to play a significant role in ending homelessness in Minnesota, and that I (with considerable passion) grow heirloom vegetables. When I get to know people just a little bit, I also share that I live with Anxiety and Depression and that another one of my goals in life is to end discrimination and the stigma attached to mental illnesses.

    Admittedly, I frequently engage in negative self-talk. I currently devote a lot of effort to try and change this. But it’s pretty challenging.

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