Updated: May 26
How do you talk to yourself when you make a mistake or don’t show up in the way you would like to?
When you snap at your kids because you’re worried about paying the bills or bringing home coronavirus?
When you’re feeling frustrated about being home with your partner all month in quarantine?
When you don’t pick up the phone when your friend calls because you’re feeling drained?
Do you tell yourself “It’s okay – I’m human and this is hard. Where do I want to go from here?” Or do you tell yourself that you should be different? That a good parent wouldn’t have snapped. A good partner would just be happy about being safe at home with their loved one instead of getting frustrated. A good friend would always pick up.
Most of us at some point or another tell ourselves we should do things differently. That we should somehow be better.
Maybe you think that you really SHOULD be happy being safe at home with your loved ones instead of feeling frustrated and that telling yourself that will somehow make you a better partner or parent. But that isn’t how it works.
When you tell yourself you shouldn’t feel frustrated about being at home with your partner or kids, how do you feel? Do you feel guilty? Even more frustrated?
And then how to you act when you’re feeling both frustrated about being home with them and guilty for feeling that way? If you’re anything like most humans, laying guilt on top of frustration probably doesn’t help you show up as the loving partner or parent you want to be.
What if, instead of telling yourself you should be different, you talk to yourself the same way you would talk to your best friend? What if, next time you catch yourself saying “I should be…”, you switch that to “I’m human. I’m exactly how I should be. Where do I want to go from here?”
Then perhaps instead of feeling guilt or an extra dose of frustration, you might feel some compassion. And when we show ourselves compassion, we create space for ourselves to show up in the world in the way we want to.