My cousin Caroline is a psychologist who for years worked with abused children in the court system.

She once told me that the children who were the most hurt were not necessarily the ones who had suffered the most abuse. The children who were the most wounded were the ones whose moms knew of the abuse and ignored it. The mothers hadn’t stood up to protect the children.

It’s very powerful when someone stands up for you. You feel supported, elevated, protected, loved. You feel like you matter.  It also makes you feel like you are not alone.

If your self-talk is cruel, critical or even verbally abusive, it’s in your power to do something about it. You can be that person who stands up for yourself. You can make a difference in your life by standing up for yourself — against your own self.

Be careful how you speak to yourself because you are listening

Neuroimaging shows that part of your brain listens to everything that the other part says. It’s like you are having a conversation with yourself. Imagine the toll that it takes on you to be listening to an inner speech that is filled with cruelty.

So, take notice. What are you saying to yourself? Here are some of the words that my inner bully has said to me:

  • Who do you think you are?
  • There is something wrong with you.
  • You can’t count on anyone else.
  • You will always be alone.
  • You are unlovable.
  • You are a fraud.
  • You always mess everything up.
  • It’s always your fault.
  • You look terrible.
  • You are a bad person.

Verbal abuse is detrimental wherever it comes from – including self generated.

Once I noticed how I spoke to myself, I was able to do something about it. I choose to do something about it.

You have the power to stand up to that negative abusive voice, and protect yourself. You can be that person for yourself. You can be the person you have been waiting for all those years. You can speak to yourself like a real best friend or a loving parent would.