Top 10 Ways to Be Hard on Yourself

06 Aug 2013

You’ve been in an emotionally abusive relationship, right?  Nobody deserves to go through that much pain.   Mr Nasty’s specialist subject was Crime and Punishment – not as in the novel of that name, but simply as in spotting your crimes, and meting out punishment. 

The problem is, he was such a natural at it, that what he said felt very real to both of you.  He was SO good that he bored his way (in more ways than one) right inside your head.  Whether or not you’re still with your emotionally abusive partner, chances are he is still with you.

This week I want to share with you the Top 10 Ways to Be Hard on Yourself.  If you’re  doing even some of them what it means is that Mr Nasty is still inside your head, pulling the strings so that you give yourself a hard time.

  1. You do a lot of “Not-Enough”-ing inside your own head – that is, you tell yourself, over and over again: “I’m not good enough” or “thin enough”, or “clever enough”, or “young enough”, or…   You get the picture?  There’s a benchmark, somewhere, and you don’t come up to it.
  2. You keep on Should-ing yourself.  You tell yourself that nothing you do is ever good enough.  You should be able to do better.  If Superwoman can do it all, why can’t you?
  3. You don’t listen to yourself.  Most of the time you feel low.  But do you listen to yourself?  No!  You just shout yourself down, and call yourself names like: “pathetic”, and “weak”.
  4. You don’t take care of yourself.  Not really.  Even if you do eat, properly, get enough sleep, and get yourself to the gym,  you’re more likely to drive yourself – like a reluctant mule – than you are to coax  and encourage yourself with kind words, consideration, and gentleness.
  5. 5.       You have unrealistic expectations of yourself.  You tell yourself you should have solved ALL your problems (and, most likely, not just yours) yesterday – at the latest. 
  6. 6.       You’re quick to find fault with yourself:  where you’re concerned, there are no understandable human errors, no unimportant little slip ups, no minor mishaps, or little mistakes.  (Now, who does that remind you of?)
  7. 7.       You catastrophize.  When something goes wrong, it rapidly becomes the end of the world.  It’s a sign, an omen, a PROOF that EVERYTHING you ever do will end in disaster – just like he said.
  8. 8.       You give up on yourself.  You tell yourself variants along the lines of: “I’m not important”, and “my feelings don’t matter”.
  9. 9.       You write yourself off.  Famous  writing-yourself-off phrases include: “It’s too late for me”, and “It’s all over for me”. 
  10. 10.   You get bogged down in blame, shame, and self-punishment.  Your response to any kind of problem is to feel the shame, take the blame, and punish yourself for not being perfect.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t solve the problem, it only makes it worse.

FACT: Even if a special dispensation could be made for you, so that you could be perfect, it wouldn’t help.  People don’t love Perfect.  Not even Mr Nasty would love Perfect – he’d only ever see it as competition.

You don’t need to be perfect. You are already enough.  Every kind of enough: that’s good enough, strong enough, able enough etc. etc.  You just don’t feel it.

You are already lovable – for anyone except the Nasty fraternity.  But you don’t yet believe it.

You already have all the gifts, talents, strengths, and resources you’ll never need.  You just not up to speed with who you truly are… Yet.

Sure, you can go being hard on yourself with a view to improving, or motivating yourself.  You can carry on doing that for as long as you choose.

 It hasn’t helped yet.  And it won’t help. 

What you need now in your life is care and kindness, not cruelty and criticism. 

It starts with you.





Annie Kaszina, international Emotional Abuse Recovery specialist and award-winning author of 3 books designed to help women recognise and heal from toxic relationships so that they can build healthy, lasting relationships with the perfect partner for them, blogs about all aspects of abuse, understanding Narcissists and how to avoid them and building strong self-worth. To receive Annie’s blog direct to your Inbox just leave your details here.

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