An old saying goes, “Listen carefully to how a person speaks about other people to you. This is how they will speak about you to other people." In fact, according to recent psychological research, the way a person speaks about others can also shine a light on their personality, their overall mental well-being and how others see them. (This is not about moments of justifiable criticism – it’s about how we describe other people on a regular basis).
Is your glass half-empty or half-full? Many psychologists believe that your answer to this question depends on what you regularly focus on. If you routinely focus on negative things and complain about them then, no surprises here, you will be a grouch. And you will never run out of things to complain about. It is like driving through life and all of your attention is focused on the dead flies and smears on your windscreen. You miss out on the scenery.
Some people are really down on themselves. They seem to have a constant nagging voice that is always being self-critical or planting a seed of doubt in whatever they do. This constant doubting and self-denigration makes a person anxious and miserable.
Sometimes, this way of talking to ourselves comes from our past. We forget that the way we talk to children over a period of time will eventually become their inner voice. But wherever this voice comes from, is there anything we can do to get a more positive sense of self-worth? Two strategies can be helpful.
“With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world”. This famous line from the Desiderata illustrates the fairly obvious point that the world can be seen in positive or negative ways. Which one do you tend to focus on? Well, many of us often tend to focus on the negative. So, ask someone how they are and they will often tell you how busy they are, or how tired they are, or their latest crisis.