Been a little rough on yourself lately? How about some kindness?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2015-04-16 22:17:14 -0500
Started 2015-04-05 08:40:29 -0500

“You knew that would happen!”

“Can’t you do anything right?”

Or how about:

“Idiot!”

Who’s saying all those mean things to you? Most likely, your own harshest critic. YOU!

We human beings sure can be tough on ourselves. Pointing out our mistakes. Our misjudgments. Anything we do that falls short of a demand we didn’t meet. All too often demands we created for ourselves and that weren’t realistic in the first place.

If you’re living with a chronic condition, you know about demands. Your condition places all kinds of demands on you, every day, even throughout the day. And with each demand, another reason to be hard on yourself when your performance doesn’t quite measure up.

Let me ask you something: Have you ever thought about the toll it takes on you when the person in the mirror always has a good scolding at the ready, just waiting to unleash it? That’s a lot of pressure to live with. And another question: Is it possible that you might be demanding a little too much of yourself in some areas of your life? And how about this: Is all the scolding the only way you have to keep yourself motivated?

Compassion starts with being kind to yourself.

I recently posted an article about how to be kinder to yourself. Here’s a link:

http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-infor...

So, what do you think? Are there times when that tough love and self-discipline veers into being rough on yourself? Do you really have to be your harshest critic?

And what do you do to be kinder to yourself? Any encouraging words you give yourself? If not, are you ready to start showing yourself some kindness?


50 replies

Stuart1966
Stuart1966 2015-04-14 22:31:03 -0500 Report

"I am alive"? [ sic. Diabetic]

Self-Compassion AND a grim reality must they be different creatures? I wish them to be polar opposites, but do not believe it so. Compassion seems a luxury, if the smallest of my own mistakes could kill me?

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-16 22:17:14 -0500 Report

Interesting point, Stuart. I think we can be compassionate, knowing we have a tough road to travel, but also give ourselves some tough love to stay on the path.

RebDee
RebDee 2015-04-10 18:32:00 -0500 Report

I try to eat three meals and three snacks each day between 7AM and 8PM and I try to make the biggest meal for lunch.
Yesterday, my BFF Mimi and I treated ourselves to a movie that we had been told we HAD to see. It was called THE DELI MAN. It was delightful but it did make me feel like I wanted a great big sandwich (pastrami, roast beef, tongue, turkey, chopped liver) which is not on my diet. But because it is still Passover, I prevailed and didn't go to my favorite Deli. Mimi and I were so busy patting each other on the back for being "good" that we started to laugh hysterically and that cured us of being hungry!!!!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-14 21:17:33 -0500 Report

Hi RebDee,

What a great story! I love deli food, too. Especially chicken salad and cheesecake. I eat the chicken salad but skip the cheesecake. Sounds like you invented one more reason to have a good laugh -- it's an appetite suppressant!

Gary

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2015-04-09 12:51:22 -0500 Report

I am not hard on myself. I don't make things harder than they have to be. As the saying goes working smart means you don't work hard. If you are hard on yourself you really don't accomplish too much. Sometimes what is happening is you set yourself up to fail.

A person should not expect for everything to go perfectly because one little mishap can cause an imperfection. The same goes with self criticism. No one is perfect and life certainly isn't. So you messed up. The next step is to fix it.

If I mess up, no big deal. I learn from it. When I mess up, it can be a blast because it is usually something I haven't done or tried before. The same goes with diabetes. If I eat something that raises my blood sugar, I don't look at it as a major issue. I don't get upset or panic. I just wait for it to come back down. Life is too short for me to be hard on myself. With all that I am involved in, I get enough criticism from other people that I basically ignore.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2015-04-06 13:23:00 -0500 Report

Something that Jibber Jabber told me is that you cannot mess up if you are not trying to do things right in the first place. That was a light bulb moment for me and I have shared it with several people already. That really helps me when I goof up.

I used to get mad at myself and then used that to go ahead and just wreck my whole day. Now that I have gotten used to lower carb intake, the extras really didn't get too out of hand. Whew! My numbers have remained constant.

Getting mad at myself just messes me up. So I have found ways to roll with it and not be so critical (unless it gets too crazy and I have to step back and take some actions to get on track) But for the most part now, It is summed up in a smiley face or a frown face in my journal, just to remind me that in that moment, I did things well or not so well. It shows me that I can do better if I realize what I did wrong or right.

I do the happy dance every time I get numbers in range. I try to figure out what happened when I am not successful, but sometimes it just escapes me. I chalk those moments up to the fact that my body is incredibly complicated and doing things manually that god intended for it to do on it's own is very difficult to replicate.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-07 21:21:00 -0500 Report

Gabby, thanks for sharing Jibber Jabber's words of wisdom. I read that sentence twice and the light bulb went off for me, too. That makes a lot of sense.

You're so correct. Getting mad can just lead to the desire to punish, and then you just end up beating up on yourself. Followed by a spiral downward in to feeling out of control. Who needs that? Instead, pick yourself up and move forward.

And that's a really interesting point about dong manually what your body was intended to do in its own. Makes a lot of sense.

Thanks!

Gabby
GabbyPA 2015-04-08 05:50:46 -0500 Report

Doing manual adjustments for our body is so incredibly difficult because we were designed to do it automatically. That is one of the most incredible things about our bodies and even that we can still function when some of that is broken always amazes me.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-08 18:02:10 -0500 Report

Truly a miracle, I agree. A reminder of just how amazing our bodies are when we have to step in do some of the work.

rolly123
rolly123 2015-04-06 11:40:52 -0500 Report

Dr Gary
Im very hard on myself that i give up on myself ! I have demand on me that i say i show them and do oposite but when i c my sugar rises to 450 i get real angry with myself ! I dont eat then discipline myself by not eating or i feel so so down that i dont assciatr with anyone ! I havent been on this site my sugar so high for weeks ashame dont do anything about it! Great subject
Valerie

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-07 21:16:20 -0500 Report

Hi rolly, nice to see you again. It's been awhile. I hope you won't be too hard on yourself. We can't change the past. But you can decide to take better care of yourself, and not punish yourself. Just pick yourself and move forward!

rolly123
rolly123 2015-04-07 21:31:35 -0500 Report

Thanks Dr Gary im doing better! Im going c a endo docter nervous dont know what to expect hopefully help get me back on track!!

Jibber Jabber
Jibber Jabber 2015-04-06 06:56:44 -0500 Report

You NAILED me with this one…I am a perfectionist…I need to get straight A's and I need to be the best at my Job..I need to understand everything before me…and I get angry with myself if I miss a beat…I know exactly where it all stems from and I am fine with it…I was raised by a mom who trusted in her life..she didn't work and she was a stay at home mom till her marriage suddenly broke up leaving her alone with 5 kids and pregnant with number 6…I watched her struggle for years…That struggle turned me and my siblings into the people we are today…We are ALL over achievers and it has served us well…MOST of the people we grew up with didn't do well in life and they blamed being raised in poverty..we used poverty as motivation…and busted our humps ..still do…I have a brother who is a Judge in NYC..another who became a college professor..another who is a principal in the NYC public school system..and even my sister who is too ill to work obtained her degree…I married young..but got my hustle on when I realized my marriage was failing and had 4 kids to support…Real Estate in NYC allowed me to raise them without going on the system and I am now in college..I say ALL of these things because SOMETIMES being your toughest critic and pushing yourself..and YES getting angry at yourself…is a very good thing…As long as you don't stay angry for long..and turn your self criticism around and harness it to learn…

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-07 21:14:52 -0500 Report

Hi Jibber Jabber, thanks a lot for sharing this with us. What an incredible story. Your mom really stepped up to the plate and taught her children to to do the same. What an inspiration you and your family are. I think you said it well. Pushing yourself hard to achieve excellence can be a good thing. But as you said, instead of criticizing yourself and beating yourself down, give yourself encouragement to do your best in spite of the odds. Congratulations on what you have achieved and continue to achieve!

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-04-05 22:12:15 -0500 Report

Hi Dr. Gary,
Quite an interesting topic. Brought up feelings in me I thought had long since passed. But after much thought I have to admit, I'm very hard on myself. I have to be…who else will take the job. With some of the problems I have it would be easier not to take medication. I'm speaking about the depression. But, I promised myself if I could find a way out of that dark hole I was in I would do everything I could to never return there. I never have either…I've lost a great deal of weight.
Only I could care enough to keep my food intake to a minimum. I
have to be hard on myself, but in the same sense I love myself as well.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-07 21:01:16 -0500 Report

Hey valentine lady, thanks a lot for jumping in here. I really appreciate your honesty, as always. Sounds like you are giving yourself some tough love here, doing the best you can to take care of yourself because you DO care about yourself. Those are all things we do out of love for ourselves. I hope you also give yourself some encouragement for all of your hard work. You deserve it.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2015-04-06 12:04:38 -0500 Report

Sweetness, haven't i kind of helped you with that long distance?

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-04-08 12:08:51 -0500 Report

Sweetheart,
Of course you've been there for me. Your not hard enough on me. Your soft spoken words help, but I need the power behind the words. I need my determination. I need my toughness on myself. Like Steve said, "I strive to be my staunchest critic." But your my biggest booster. Your wonderful and I love you for all you do for me and because your
just you.
Love U
P

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-04-08 12:08:36 -0500 Report

Sweetheart,
Of course you've been there for me. Your not hard enough on me. Your soft spoken words help, but I need the power behind the words. I need my determination. I need my toughness on myself. Like Steve said, "I strive to be my staunchest critic." But your my biggest booster. Your wonderful and I love you for all you do for me and because your
just you.
Love U
P

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-04-08 09:35:42 -0500 Report

Sweetheart,
Of course you've been there for me. Your not hard enough on me. Your soft spoken words help, but I need the power behind the words. I need my determination. I need my toughness on myself. Like Steve said, "I strive to be my staunchest critic." But your my biggest booster. Your wonderful and I love you for all you do for me and because your
just you.
Love U
P

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-04-08 09:35:31 -0500 Report

Sweetheart,
Of course you've been there for me. Your not hard enough on me. Your soft spoken words help, but I need the power behind the words. I need my determination. I need my toughness on myself. Like Steve said, "I strive to be my staunchest critic." But your my biggest booster. Your wonderful and I love you for all you do for me and because your
just you.
Love U
P

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-04-08 08:28:16 -0500 Report

Sweetheart,
Of course you've been there for me. Your not hard enough on me. Your soft spoken words help, but I need the power behind the words. I need my determination. I need my toughness on myself. Like Steve said, "I strive to be my staunchest critic." But your my biggest booster. Your wonderful and I love you for all you do for me and because your
just you.
Love U
P

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-04-08 08:27:48 -0500 Report

Sweetheart,
Of course you've been there for me. Your not hard enough on me. Your soft spoken words help, but I need the power behind the words. I need my determination. I need my toughness on myself. Like Steve said, "I strive to be my staunchest critic." But your my biggest booster. Your wonderful and I love you for all you do for me and because your
just you.
Love U
P

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-04-08 08:27:30 -0500 Report

Sweetheart,
Of course you've been there for me. Your not hard enough on me. Your soft spoken words help, but I need the power behind the words. I need my determination. I need my toughness on myself. Like Steve said, "I strive to be my staunchest critic." But your my biggest booster. Your wonderful and I love you for all you do for me and because your
just you.
Love U
P

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-04-08 08:26:56 -0500 Report

Swpeetheart,
Of course you've been there for me. Your not hard enough on me. Your soft spoken words help, but I need the power behind the words. I need my determination. I need my toughness on myself. Like Steve said, "I strive to be my staunchest critic." But your my biggest booster. Your wonderful and I love you for all you do for me and because your
just you.
Love U
P

valentine lady
valentine lady 2015-04-08 08:26:17 -0500 Report

Swpeetheart,
Of course you've been there for me. Your not hard enough on me. Your soft spoken words help, but I need the power behind the words. I need my determination. I need my toughness on myself. Like Steve said, "I strive to be my staunchest critic." But your my biggest booster. Your wonderful and I love you for all you do for me and because your
just you.
Love U
P

RebDee
RebDee 2015-04-05 20:02:17 -0500 Report

I smile at myself in the mirror every day no matter what I look like, awful or beautiful, just to show myself that someone out there likes me and that makes me feel better.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-07 20:53:31 -0500 Report

Hey RebDee, that is a great idea. And you have such a beautiful smile! :))

RebDee
RebDee 2015-04-07 22:24:13 -0500 Report

Thanks Dr. Gary. What you said made me smile since I just wrote that I want to fix my front teeth so I can smile better.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2015-04-05 16:51:48 -0500 Report

Howdy Dr Gary.
My mind goes to the song "Try a little tenderness" (as sung by 3 dog night here) ♫♪♫ <3 ♫♪♫ ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQnBKm2L8_g

I am doing well and have been doing well for a while and so don't "sweat the small stuff" so much anymore. I will even eat some regular ice cream from time to time.

Thanks for posting this.

James

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-07 20:53:05 -0500 Report

HI James, wow that was a blast from the past. I haven't thought about that song in years. Thanks for the reminder. So glad you are doing well! That's great. Not sweating the small stuff, those are words of wisdom for all of us. And enjoy your ice cream, my friend!

sweetslover
sweetslover 2015-04-05 15:27:08 -0500 Report

Am I hard on myself? You betcha. I have to be. I'm afraid if I let up even a little, I will slide back into old habits. I already have too many complications—I am afraid one little slip will be the proverbial "straw that broke the camels back." Under my regimen I have lost a tremendous amount of weight and brought my A1C down to 5.3 I actually like the way I look now (for the first time in 30 years). But, I am constantly tired. I can't sleep and the responsibilities of my parents is very difficult. I can't allow myself any weakness, or I am afraid I will knuckle under to the pressure. Do I occasionally slip? Sure, and then I hate myself with my next BG reading. I am not expecting perfection from myself, but I have to set a high standard. Some days it is very difficult to hold up under the pressure and I have moments of depression, but I hold up because I have no other choice. I do what I have to do.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-07 20:50:39 -0500 Report

Hey sweetslover, a very good point. I understand that desire to really toe the line on managing your diabetes, and not letting up for a second. And it sounds like you are having amazing results from all that hard work and discipline. Excellent! I am sorry to hear you are so tired and that you are working so hard. I know that just means even more self-discipline. I do hope you are being kind to yourself, taking a break here and there to do something nice for yourself. Give a little care to the caregiver. Stay in touch with us! Gary

denipink57
denipink57 2015-04-05 10:36:59 -0500 Report

i can be very harsh with myself when i drink pop. every time i go to the grocers i tell myself no Denise not this time but i end up buying it anyway. pop is pure sugar and i know i am not supposed to have it but it has become a regular for me. not daily but weekly i have my pop.

i dont drink diet pop because i dont believe in using sweeteners. they are pure junk so i avoid them.

i try to be kind to myself telling myself that i am not perfect and i should not be so hard on myself but i know i should not be drinking pop. every week is a new week and so i just tell myself that next week i wont buy pop. that is the best that i can do.

Denise

RebDee
RebDee 2015-04-07 22:26:10 -0500 Report

Denise: Try Dasani drops in water. Tastes good. Helps me not to drink pop. Besides I am not supposed to have the bubbles as it is bad for my tummy.

debcox
debcox 2015-04-09 20:30:20 -0500 Report

I use Mio which is about the same as Dasani. Actually, I buy whichever is on sale. I haven't had soda or any sweetened drink since I was diagnosed in May 2015. I drink plain water while riding or walking but put in a few drops of Mio at lunch & dinner as it makes me feel like I'm having the same as my family. Of course, now my grandsons are drinking my Mio in water during their meals about 75% of the time. Hooray!!! I don't mind picking up more flavoring, if they are drinking water. I've not said anything to them about their drinks but they see me drink water and want the same. Yesterday, we got two Taco Bell meals that came with soda and my hubby & one grandson drank 1/2 of one soda.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-04-07 20:42:32 -0500 Report

HI Denise, nice to see you! I appreciate your honesty. At least you are aware of your tendency to reach for a pop and that this is a behavior you want to change. That is a step in the right direction. Yes, we do the best we can. Have you tried flavored selzer water? That takes the edge off the soda urge for me.

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