Bullied by Your Inner Thoughts
When you struggle with your self-esteem it can be easy to let your thoughts become very harsh and critical of yourself. If you have habits of putting yourself down frequently, thinking that there is something wrong with you and you should be different then you may be your own inner bully. Having negative inner thoughts and tendencies to bully yourself can be a deeply ingrained habit but it is possible to change that behavior around.
Even though putting yourself down may be an intuitive reaction to things that happen in your life, it does not have to be a continual cycle that causes problems with your self-esteem. Every time you put yourself down it reinforces negative beliefs about yourself that simply become stronger and more deeply held. If you constantly have ideas of what you should be like that you are not able to live up to then it can slowly develop into feelings of depression.
Your inner bully may get in the way of relationships, work and other aspects of your life because it is always pointing your flaws, mistakes and the ways you might fail. The negative voice in your head can have tremendous power over you but it is in your hands to take back control of your opinion of yourself. We all have an inner critic at times but learning not to listen to it all the time can help improve your mental health.
What Causes Bullying Thoughts?
When we are children we are given messages by the people in our lives that can dictate how we view ourselves as we continue to grow up. If you are given positive messages in your childhood then you can develop confidence and good self-worth that can carry on into adulthood. However, if you hear critical or rejecting messages from people around you then you might start to develop an inner bully.
Struggling with self-esteem is a common problem that most people experience because they haven’t been able to see enough positive reinforcing messages that help them feel okay with who they are. Someone with an inner bully deep down will feel that there is something inherently wrong with them. That deep-seated belief can shape their lives in ways that they aren’t even fully aware of.
The belief that there is something inherently wrong with you can sometimes mean you allow yourself to be treated worse than you deserve. You might also have turned down opportunities in your life or avoided following dreams because you felt you wouldn’t be able to accomplish them. A person’s life can be changed dramatically if they start to work on getting rid of their inner bully.
How to Stop Bullying Yourself
One of the biggest things that people with inner bullies lack is the ability to feel compassion for themselves. They might be able to act kindly toward others but have trouble showing that kindness and forgiveness to themselves because they feel they don’t deserve. Learning how to be kind to yourself is an important skill that takes time to develop.
Compassion means viewing yourself as an imperfect human being without judgement or criticism. Cultivating self-compassion is something that you can work on every day so that you minimize your inner bully. You can treat yourself as you would a small child who is hurt or simply give yourself permission to not be perfect.
If you have an inner bully you might struggle with the belief that there is something wrong with you. That belief may dictate your behavior in many ways but you can start to get your power back. In addition to working on your self-compassion you can also try to act and behave as though there is nothing wrong with you.
Any time you have negative thoughts coming from the inner bully you can fight back by denying and walking away from that criticism. If you learn to tell yourself that there is nothing wrong with you then slowly you will start to combat that old belief that was feeding your inner bully. Thinking of your negative thoughts as something outside of yourself can also help you keep them at a distance rather than listening to them as truth.
It is normal to recognize mistakes you have made or flaws that you can improve on but putting yourself down with harsh criticism and judgement can have negative effects on your health. People with bullying inner thoughts can develop issues with depression and anxiety that can make their daily life much more difficult.
Talking to a professional can be a good start to help you learn to have more compassion on yourself and stop listening to your inner bully. If you need help, find a therapist in your area that can provide you with treatment and support.