How to be nice to yourself when self-criticism creeps in: NPR

How to be nice to yourself when self-criticism creeps in: NPR


Image of a person lovingly looking at themselves in the mirror surrounded by positive affirmations written on sticky notes.

Everyone has these mean inner gremlins who point out their mistakes and talk them out of their good ideas. They form the hypercritical mental refrain we call negative self-talk.

The next time you find yourself trapped in a cycle of self-criticism, ask yourself, “Is this how I would talk to my best friend?”

We go ahead and bet the answer is NO.

For you, negative self-talk may manifest itself as obsessing over the tiny hiccups in an otherwise flawless presentation, or talking to yourself like you do never reach anything. (For the record, that’s just not true.)

When we beat ourselves up for mistakes or talk ourselves out of great ideas, we are not giving ourselves the grace and care we would give to others. So try to practice some self-compassion and replace that negative inner voice with a friendlier one.

“We talk about using the same kind and gentle language and approach that we use with the other people we love in our lives – with ourselves,” says psychologist Joy Harden Bradford. “Because we are also people we hopefully love, right?”

The next time you find yourself being mean to yourself instead of being your own worst critic, try to be your own best friend.

Here is more on how to break the cycle of negative self-talk.

22 tips for 2022 is edited and curated by Dalia Mortada, Arielle Retting, Janet W. Lee, Beck Harlan, Beth Donovan, and Meghan Keane. This tip is from an episode of Life Kit hosted by Keisha “TK” Dutes and produced by Andee Tagle.



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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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