There is how one is spoken to by others, and then there is how one speaks to themselves. And what is taking place internally can often be known through what is taking place externally.
This means that how one allows other people to talk to them is often a reflection of how they talk to themselves. If it is any worse, one might put an end to it or gradually come to accept it.
So when one is kind to themselves on the inside, they are not likely to put up with bad behaviour on the outside. If one isn’t kind to themselves on the inside, they might not notice if someone is being rude or abusive on the outside.
Their behaviour is going to be normal and nothing more that they have come to expect from others. If other people are around when one is putting up with bad behaviour from another person, they might point it out, only for one to act as if everything is fine.
In their mind, it could be seen as what they deserve and even though other people can see that the other person’s behaviour is inappropriate, it is not possible for one to come to the same conclusion. So unless what is taking place within them changes and one starts to see themselves differently, their external circumstances are unlikely to change.
What this person needs is something to make them realise that they are valuable, and that they don’t deserve to be treated badly. For while inner change can lead to outer change, it can also the work the other way around; with one being transformed internally as a result of what they have experienced externally.
One could meet someone who is kind and who shows them that they are valuable. In this case, one isn’t kind to themselves, but through meeting someone who is, a seed is planted. This encounter could have an instant effect on ones idea of themselves, or it could take a while to influence one’s life.
What this all comes down to is how long it takes for one to internalise the other persons message. At first, one might only experience resistance and end up dismissing the whole experience.
But if the seed is not completely rejected, one could soon find themselves thinking about what happened. And this could make them look for things that validate what the other person said and how they treated them.
So instead of accepting what is taking place within them and not questioning their inner dialogue, one starts to detach from what is taking place and to observe it. One is then no longer a slave to their mind; they’re the watcher of it.
Through this process, one can see what is happening as opposed to being oblivious what is happening. One can then take a look at how they talk to themselves and what they need to change.
Here, one could find that their mind is filled with all kinds of negative thoughts and these thoughts could match up with how other people treat them. Perhaps one says they’re useless, unlovable, worthless, not enough, a failure, or that they are less-than others.
These thoughts and many others are then going to cause one to feel low and to sabotage certain areas of their life or even their whole life. And these thoughts are also going to be supported by the feelings that are associated with them.
One approach would be to say that ones thoughts are causing their feelings and so, when one deals with their thoughts their feelings will change. In some cases, this may work and through changing ones thoughts, they soon feel better about themselves.
This will mean that their self-talk will gradually change and what one puts up with externally will also begin to change. However, what if ones thoughts are not causing ones feelings? And what if their self-talk is an effect of what is taking place in their body?
What is taking place in one’s mind could be nothing more than a reflection of what is taking place in their body. Their self-talk and the thoughts their mind is creating is then an effect of something deeper.
The mind is often seen as the cause of one’s thoughts and their feelings, and while this can sound right, it is a half truth. If one is carrying trapped emotions or trauma in their body, their mind is going to end up paying the price.
When one is carrying toxic shame in their body, it is not just going to cause them to feel bad; it is going to make them believe they are bad. This means is not just a feeling, it has become their identity. One is going to feel less-than human and as though they are flawed, and there is nothing they can do about it.
Though feeling this way, it is only natural that one is going to have a negative inner dialogue. This toxic shame could have been caused by physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse. Ones adult years will have played a part, but it could have been their childhood that had the biggest impact.
Normal shame is part of having a conscience, amongst other things; whereas, toxic shame has no benefit to one’s life. The toxic shame and the other feelings associated with it, such as grief and abandonment, will need to be faced and released. This can be done with the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.