Self Talk


So, how do your treat yourself?

Do you give yourself permission to take little shots at yourself? I’m such a dingbat. I’m a knucklehead. Do you give yourself license to really unload on yourself? I’m such a loser. I’m a moron.

I used to do both of those things with regularity. I would really let me have it.

There is a name I used to call myself.  Whenever I met with failure or personal disappointment, I would call myself an “intelligent idiot.”  I reasoned that I was a gifted individual who had ample opportunity to succeed, but I failed anyway. This was more than harsh self-criticism. This was self-contempt.

And I had no business talking to myself that way. Every one of us has been made in the image of our Maker. That means every one of us is due honor, respect and love. That applies to me.

My wife had no idea that I talked to myself that way because it was my private nickname. I kept it safe; and that left me vulnerable. The enemy likes to work inside our heads where we’re isolated. He likes to speak insults in the 1st person. He loves self-hatred.

Once, at a low point, I drew a cartoon of a not-so-super hero, called Captain Futility. My wife told me to knock it off. She was right.

By insulting ourselves and lying about ourselves, we diminish ourselves. And we end up with less of ourselves to offer those who rely on us.

And we grieve God’s heart.

I don’t give myself permission to mistreat myself anymore. I won’t allow it. In my case, I had to find the root of my self-contempt and deal with that heart issue. Now I guard against picking up that old, bad habit.

How about you?

12 thoughts on “Self Talk

  1. Excellent, Dave. Thanks for your gracious honesty. I have certainly been guilty of the same, and have loving friends and family that won’t allow me to be self-insulting….it really helps.

  2. Thanks for taking on something that tends to be a “taboo” discussion. I definitely struggle with this and when I listen to myself closely, it happens more often than I like to admit. I appreciate your transparency and willingness to share your struggles to help others out. 🙂

    • Sometimes we do have to listen to ourselves closely, as you say, to pick up on what we’re saying.
      I have learned and grown so much from reading the honest writings of others. I am happy to make my contribution to the real-life discussion.

  3. This is something I’ve definitely struggled with.. something that has helped put what I say to myself in perspective said something along the lines of: “if you talked to your friends the way you talk to yourself, would they still be friends with you?” But I think it’s a good reminder that we are not just “bashing” ourselves… we are demeaning God and how He’s made us. thanks for the reminder, Uncle Dave!

    • You’re right, Amy. We do say things to ourselves that we would never think of saying to others. It sounds strange, but I actually found myself asking God’s forgiveness today for the way I had mistreated me for so long. And let’s keep reminding each other of what we know so that we take it to heart.

  4. How do I treat myself? Better than I used to. Like you, I had to kick “Captain Futility,” aka Not-So-Wonderful Woman, to the curb. Replace self-doubt and lies with the truth of who because my Creator-God says so. In my family, the women hold each other accountable in a “None of that talk around here” kind of way. That helps too — to know that if I dare speak a bad word about myself aloud someone else will call me on it.

    • “Better than I used to.–That’s great news. “Not-So-Wonderful-Woman–That’s hilarious. Glad you kicked her to the curb. “the women hold each other accountable”–That’s the way to do it–the community approach is the best.

  5. My favorite used-to-be phrase? I’m so stupid. God really convicted me about it one day. When I’m tempted to call myself that name, I catch myself. (Although sometimes I do say, I do such stupid things.) 😉 Encouraging post.

    • Thank you for sharing your “used-to-be phrase.” And good job keeping an eye on the roundabout ways we can say the same things. You’ve gotten my attention with your comment, and I’m going to try to pay closer attention to what I’m saying.

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