The Danger Of Bad Self-Talk

Blog 1264 – 02.24.2019

The Danger Of Bad Self Talk

I have heard that the subconscious mind like a small child believes everything it is told. Many of us were told as children by either well-meaning family members or poorly trained teachers and preachers many things that it has taken us a lifetime to unlearn and overcome. But far worse, in my estimation, than these other voices echoing negative self-image things in our head is the sound of our own voice saying things like, “You are so stupid, ignorant, ugly.” I have caught several people quite dear to me talking to themselves that way and my standard remark is, “How dare you talk about my friend like that.” And we should not stand for anyone saying bad things about those we love. Then why do we think we have the right to “bad mouth” ourselves. Don’t we realize the hurt such talk always without exception causes.

I have never been a proponent of “tough love.” To me it just seems like an excuse to be mean to someone because someone was once mean to us and rather than admit that they were ignorant of the damage they were doing we try to excuse, nay even praise parents and teachers who would by all standards of enlightenment today be called “child abusers.”There are people some even yet today who cite an archaic and just wrong verse that says, “Spare the rod and spoil the child” and another like it that says,” It is natural for a child to think foolish thoughts but the rod will drive them far away.” And it will – the children, but fantasy, pretending, and daydreaming are not foolish thoughts, they are the way children, all of us learn to dream and decide which dreams we want most to come true.

I do understand the basic assumption that many parents and teachers start with, that it is a tough world and that children should be prepared to face it. But how best do we do that, by criticizing, berating, and talking down to them? I don’t think so. But by loving them and being as nice to them and all as we can. Recently I listed what one author wrote many years ago are the characteristics of love and talking tough and mean were not on that pretty comprehensive list. The first two things on the list being, “Love is patient, love is kind…’ Perhaps that is why we would rather believe in “tough love” because we don’t want to take the time to be patient and kind. But, it pays real dividends and then there is all the money we will save on therapists and re-education not to mention prisons and other corrective measures. This makes real love not only the best bargain but the most needed ingredient in the lives of not just children but everyone especially ourselves.

Another expression “having to treat people with kid gloves” as if that were a bad thing, always struck me as not quite right. It is to the soft touch that babies respond to so well, and adults do too, that is how we should handle everyone and everything. How about it, Baby Love? I can still hear The Supremes belting out those sweet notes, “Baby love, my baby love, been missin’ ya, miss kissing ya…”

Don’t forget, never, ever bad mouth my friend – you.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

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