The quickest way to lose potential friends is to put yourself down all the time. People who do this, no matter what's going on in their lives, are very tiresome and drain everyone's energy.
We've all been the victim of self-deprecation before. The times when we have lost our confidence in ourselves and used language that conveyed to others we were incapable of doing things. Now this is okay as we quickly recognised it or our friends, family and colleagues would ask us why we were putting ourselves down and hopefully we would get out of self-deprecation mode and regain our confidence.
For some people they have developed the art of self-deprecation and function very well. They draw people in and make people feel sorry for them, thereby offering help when someone is putting themselves down, this quickly becomes tiresome and the person who is helping all the time will start to avoid the person putting themselves down.
Self-deprecation can also be an indicator of some form of mental illness; severe depression, and stress. It can also be an indicator of some kind of trauma in someone's life such as abuse, in the past and in the present. Many women who suffer from domestic abuse are prone to self-deprecation. Therefore, we as colleagues, friends and family have a duty to try to understand what is going on in someone's life and help them through difficult times.
Dealing with the self deprecator
There are ways to deal with people who put themselves down all the time. Here are just a few things you can do:
- Point out to the person when they are using self deprecating language
- Ask if there is anything they want to talk about
- Point out their strengths
- Stop them from apologising all the time
- Never put them down in front of people
The cycle of self-doubt
If you constantly say to yourself you can't do something, guess what, you won't be able to do it. If you don't do things you will sink further into the "˜can't do' attitude and try even less activities. The less you try to do the lower your self esteem will become. This is a vicious circle and is hard to break if not recognised.
Stopping the cycle and gaining confidence
If you are someone who puts yourself down all the time there are a few things you can do to try and stop the cycle and regain your self confidence
- Focus on your strengths and do more things around them
- Work on smaller goals which are achievable
- Do not compare yourself to someone else
- Think about your successes in life (everyone has success stories)
- Learn from someone you admire (Don't compare, just learn i.e. how do they react in certain situations, how do they walk, how do they talk)
- Learn to talk positively to yourself
- Recognise the demons of self consciousness and stop them in their tracks by talking positively and remembering your successes
- Congratulate yourself often, even with small jobs
- Build your confidence slowly and learn from each success
A powerful way to change your beliefs
The way you speak to yourself internally will literally change your beliefs about yourself. If you constantly tell yourself you're no good at something you are literally hypnotising yourself into believing that. Don't underestimate the power of self talk.
Low self esteem and low self confidence can be debilitating but you can break the habit by changing the way you think and changing the way you speak. Stop the self deprecating talk and start to learn more about yourself and build on your successes.
Read the other parts of the 'Making true friends' series here:
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