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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Bodies » Do you know how to be gentle with yourself?

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Author Topic: Do you know how to be gentle with yourself?
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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That perhaps sounds like a silly question, but I'm noticing more and more than a lot of our users do seem to have a hard time taking it easy on themselves emotionally. And in the way some of the current culture is -- I call it a 'culture of mean," just feel like there's so much snark and nasty and boot-campy business afoot the last few years -- it wouldn't be surprising if people were having a hard time being gentle with and on themselves.

I'm asking because I'm wondering if it might be helpful for us to develop a little content around this. being too hard on ourselves, trying to kind of boot-camp ourselves emotionally, after all, can create a lot of problems with sex and relationships, especially with understanding each other, asking for what we need, acknowledging and respecting our own limits, etc.

So. I'm curious.

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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I think this is an issue that needs a significant amount of attention. In a society that is so fast-paced and pretty brutal (in my opinion) about "making it" and always having everything together, it's not surprising that we're tougher on ourselves. I think so much is expected of us and we expect so much of ourselves that when we don't always meet these standards, we blame ourselves. I am privy to that, too.

I'm not sure if I addressed the specific topic you stated, but I'd love to hear yours and others' responses to this subject!

"I do the best that I can. I'm just what I am." - Rush (Best I Can)

Posts: 692 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
moonlight bouncing off water
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Hmm, this is an interesting question which reminds me of an analogy my father once told me. He said that if you had someone sitting next to you all day, whispeing bad things about you in your ear, telling you that you did this wrong or that wrong, then you would be miserable but that if that person were sitting there saying nice things and complimenting you all day you would feel amazing and invincible. He said that it is the same principle with how you speak to yourself, how you control your inner dialogue. He said that you must listen to what you are thinking an what you are telling yourself, and work to tell yourself good things. He said that you must feed yourself compliments, even if you do not believe them at first.

It was when I began to take his advice that I truly began to realise just how nasty I can be to myself. If I said something wrong or embarassing I wouldn't drop it but rather riducule myself for making such a stupid mistake.

I try to be gentle with myself and to be kind but it is hard. I find it hard to know where the line is that I am being good to myself or that I am just letting myself get away with not doing something I have resolved to do.

But I am getting better. I try to do nice things for myself, like buying myself a new book, or staying up past my self-imposed bed time or eating some junk food instead of something healthy. But I balance it. I borrow books to save my money so I can plan for my future (which is looking pretty damn exciting, the world is such an amazingly varied place), I create and usually follow a realistic self imposed bed time so that I will get, at the very minimum, enough sleep to function properly, and I have been doing my best to start some better eating habits and to exercise so that I will remain healthy.

Does this answer your question Heather?


I am ME and that is the only label I need.

Posts: 864 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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