On liking yourself

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On liking yourself

Post by Coin-op Adjutant on Sat Mar 28, 2015 6:28 pm

While skimming the comments section in the "5 Dating Tips for Short Men" column, I came across a couple of posts from Trixnix that really resonated with me:
http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2015/03/5-dating-tips-for-short-men/#comment-904190
http://www.doctornerdlove.com/2015/03/5-dating-tips-for-short-men/#comment-904219
...primarily because this is something that I've really, really had difficulties with all my life. Bullying, never liking myself, never really understanding the concept of liking myself, etc. Then again, I don't really get self-esteem/self-worth/confidence and all that gibberish either. (One_True_Guest's response to this is pretty telling, too--this seems to be a pretty uncommon thing, even among DNL residents/lurkers/etc.)

I point this out because I've actually been in CBT for about a year now and this has been a major component of my therapy (changing negative thoughts and what-have-you), but it's never been a thing I've been able to fix for good. And I'm not stupid enough to believe that it doesn't show when I'm in public.

So I ask the denizens of DNL: How do you do it? How do you work on it? Because I think this is, at heart, Something That Has To Change when learning how to people.

EDIT: NB--In case anyone was wondering, I am sort of short, but that's not really an issue that's been bothering me. The discussion just happened to be in this particular column.
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Coin-op Adjutant

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Re: On liking yourself

Post by kleenestar on Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:25 pm

Self-esteem is kind of crap. What I generally advise people to work on as a first step is self-efficacy - the belief that you are able to set and accomplish goals for yourself. The nice thing about this is that it short-circuits the evaluative mind. You're not saying, "Do I like myself or dislike myself?" Because the moment you ask that question - even if you "work on your self-esteem" so that you can answer it positively - you are already putting yourself in a self-judging mindset. My advice, as someone who went through a long period of self-hatred, would be to step outside the question of liking as much as possible. What you are looking to establish is trust with yourself. That will produce liking, because we like people we trust (generally speaking), but you're not trying to directly control your feelings - that's like trying to grab steam. Instead you work on setting achievable goals, following through on them, and - very important! - rewarding and honoring yourself when you do. Those are actions you can take that will build trust, and the trust will in turn help you let go of a lot of the self-hate.

If this sounds right, I can make some concrete suggestions!
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Re: On liking yourself

Post by Coin-op Adjutant on Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:56 pm

Wow. When you put it that way, it sounds fantastic!

I've been working on some goal-oriented things in CBT (e.g. "approach 1 person a day and ask something off-the-wall"), which I have admittedly not been so awesome about all the time--I'm completely open to ideas.
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