16 Things to Do When You Can’t Stop Beating Yourself Up

By Vicki Botnick, MA, MS, LMFT

Many people believe being one’s own private drill sergeant is the best way to be a good person. Countless advertisements and workout videos have taught us that if we berate ourselves enough, we’ll get up off the couch and be more productive. If we break down, overeat, or underperform, many of us believe it is helpful to call ourselves “maggot” and “lazy piece of @#$%.”

Most of the time when we’re being hard on ourselves, it’s in service of this misguided belief that self-criticism is the fastest road to self-improvement. We believe the meaner we are, the more we’ll want to obey. We suspect the opposite must also be true: if we’re kind and loving to ourselves, that will be an excuse to nap all day or spend countless hours playing video games.

It’s part of our national history to believe in the “spare the rod, spoil the child” method of motivation. Yet lately we have tempered our child-rearing techniques, teaching via rewards instead of punishments. For ourselves, however, we most often still choose the whip over the carrot. Client after client sits in my office and tells me how, in an attempt to lose weight, they tell themselves they look like a whale. While trying to be a better parent, they scare themselves with thoughts that they’re destroying their kids. Hoping to get ahead at work, they call themselves useless or pathetic.

Read more https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/16-things-to-do-when-you-cant-stop-beating-yourself-up-0816184

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