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    justkeepswimming
    Participant

    I find that for me it is very easy to compliment other people, or to find the good in their accomplishments, even if it came along with a whole lot of “bad”…

    Why is it that I can’t seem to do this for myself? Every time I try to compliment myself, I feel cheap and unworthy.. I am only able to focus on my failures rather than accomplishments…

    How can I turn this positivity inwards to help with my own inner image and healing?

    Thanks in advance…

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    justkeepswimming
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Wow! Thank you so much for addressing my question!

    To give you a better picture of where I’m coming from:

    I went through a high school that wanted to produce a very specific “poster child”. The way they went about this was by attempting to crush any behaviors or attitudes that didn’t fit that mold.

    Therefore, I was trained to always think about myself in this extremely negative and critical way.

    I need to learn how to stop doing that…

    That’s why to me it feels super weird and untruthful to compliment myself on doing something that does not look perfect – which obviously nothing ever will…

    And then only once I figure out how to get past that can I even start with self compassion – something which I clearly don’t really know how to do…

    So any further advice would be greatly appreciated!

    (And saying a general topic like “self compassion/love” doesn’t work for me because, like I mentioned, I don’t reaaly know how to do any of those…)

    Thanks again!

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    justkeepswimming
    Participant
    Topic Author

    And to answer how I figured out to do this for other people:

    I went to a camp that really trained me in modern childcare extremely well!

    Also, feeling so disgusted and traumatized with the way I was treated even though I was a good kid just trying my best, I vowed that I was going to make a difference and making sure that others shouldn’t feel that way.

    So even if I have a negative thought or feeling to a person, I will only ever express positivity…

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    justkeepswimming
    Participant
    Topic Author

    Another question that I had regarding this was:

    Is it unhealthy to desire compliments, love and care from others?

    Where is the line between healthy interpersonal relationships and lacking self confidence/co-dependance?

    Thanks!

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    Feiga Weinstock
    Participant

    I created the following exercises to help people with difficulty to self love.

    https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn:aaid:scds:US:e5723988-4b73-3065-a2a9-63037bc0c5f3

    Hi, just keep swimming,

    Thank you for posting this question, because I suspect almost everyone who is reading your question has had the same question, somewhere along the line, in their life! Kudos to you for putting it out there.

    From a therapist’s perspective, I would answer your question by giving you some information about what could be going on.

    Al Pesso once said: “Simply put, the past is deeply embedded in the experience of the present and woven into anticipations of the future.”

    As we were children, when we encountered toxic or overwhelming experiences and we could not use our voices to both ‘feel and deal’ (meaning feel our feelings, share it with a safe other, and deal with them when we were supported by adults), the memories became encoded in our brain as shameful or difficult or overwhelming, and most importantly, our brain tells us to avoid them, as well. Think of these memories or experiences like large snowballs in your brain. If you defrost them all at once, you’re likely to get flooded (pun intended). If you avoid them, they keep on being frozen and affecting your present life.

    It makes sense that in the present, self-compassion and being seen/being delighted in, are difficult, precisely because your past experiences are frozen in time and still running the show.

    On a good note, there’s lots of things you can do with this. You can use art to picture your younger self and connect with the feelings that she felt as a child. Begin to help her by updating her with lots of empathy for what she went through. These can be activating though, so be sure to talk to a mental health professional before you try this.

    You can also try EMDR or types of somatic therapy to help release past negative beliefs and memories.

    This is a big topic, mostly about the concept of Inner Children, or Ego States. Please PM me if you’d like some more resources.

    Best wishes,

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