When I was little, my mom gave me some pretty great advice, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”  While I truly make an effort to apply this rule to conversations with and about other people, it never occurred to me to use it when thinking about myself.

Last week, I got lost (like I often do), and when I was asking for directions, I started the sentence with, “I’m a moron and  completely directionally illiterate!”  While a little self-deprecating humor can lighten just about any situation, negative self-talk can be just as bad, if not worse, then saying negative things about others. 

Do you find yourself saying nasty little things to yourself that you would never say to someone else?  Unfortunately, those little negative messages add up, and eventually, they impact the way you see yourself. 

Dr. David J. Abbott explains that when you change the things you look at, the way you look at things changes. When you change the things you talk about, the way you talk about things changes. When you change the things you think about, the way you think about things changes.

Remember, you act like the kind of person you think you are.  Be kind to yourself and make sure you’re sending the right messages.  It will determine what you see when you look in the mirror.


  1. Thanks Anne! My quote of the day from values.com compliments this very thought! “To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)

  2. This is a wonderful reminder, Anne. Many of us focus on forgiving and accepting others but neglect ourselves. I like the Inverse Golden Rule: Treat yourself the way you would like others to treat you. Thanks for your good work!

  3. This is a great thought. Years ago I used to come to work sick and work no matter what. I finally told myself that if I’d tell a friend to go home if they sounded like I did, it was time to follow my own advice and be a friend to myself (helps keep others from being sick too).

    • Hi Leela,

      That’s a great point. I often remind myself how I would respond to or treat a friend in a similar situation. We’re often so much kinder to others than we our to ourselves.

  4. I had never thought that my negative self comments could have that effect but now that I’ve thought about it, it makes sense. I have always been my harshest critic and I can see, after reading this, that I have begun believing my own criticism.

    • Hi Lesa,

      Thanks for your comment! It’s not something we usually give a whole lot of thought to, but it’s so important. Just like a battered woman actually believes what she’s being told, we believe what we tell ourselves, especially over a long-period of time. Be kind to yourself 🙂 You deserve it.

  5. Wow. So true. Never really thought of it that way. Thanks! 🙂 oh, and by the way, I tend to get lost very often, 🙂

  6. WOW….I really enjoyed this…..what a message….change what you say….watch what you say….Everybody can use that message from time to time & this was my time to recieve that. Thanks so much, you & your family are in my prayers & continued grace & peace be unto you, & your family & business…SC

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