How nice are you, to you?

I went to a different yoga class this afternoon and the woman on the mat next to mine said some really horrible things…to herself.

“I’m uncoordinated”

“I can’t get anything right”

“I’m pretty weak and pathetic”

It was really hard to listen to, especially because I used to speak about myself that way, too. I’m not really sure when I started to speak nicely to myself. I do know that I read all kinds of books back in my early 20s that spoke of the need for loving self-talk. Louise Hay called them Positive Affirmations of course, and I practiced them daily. For a while. And then the old voices that told me I wasn’t good enough kicked in and I was back to old habits.

I was lucky enough to have a boss for a few years who thought I was wonderful. I still talked down to myself, but she encouraged me to be more loving to myself. I struggled. It’s easier to be self-deprecating. It’s funny and it often endears you to others because it’s non-confrontational; you’re more likable if you’re not smug! Or so I told myself.

Some people accuse self-deprecatory people of ‘fishing for compliments’. In a way this is true. I can only speak for myself when I say that even if I heard a compliment, I still didn’t believe it, so fishing or not, any compliments were just sliding off like Teflon anyway!

I’ve turned a corner. I still indulge in the odd dig at myself for comedic purposes, even though I know I shouldn’t, but I’m working on it. At least I am aware of it.

I did say hi to the woman on the mat next to mine after the class and told her not to worry about whether she could hold a hand-stand or whatever, that legs-up-the-wall gives similar benefits. I told her our shoulders will get stronger each week, and I said we were doing great just to get to yoga, and I’d see her next Sunday.

I really hope it helped. It sure helped me!

Happy Sunday night! I wonder what the week has in store for us!