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Making Friends with Your Inner Bully

written by Donna Nelson July 16, 2018
Making Friends with Your Inner Bully

With more and more reports of bullying making the news, it’s become a popular topic of discussion. Recently, a friend of mine shared an incident regarding her daughter being bullied at school that tore at my heart strings. As I asked myself how people can be so cruel to one another, I remembered how cruel they can be to themselves. People that bully others also bully themselves.  We all have that voice in our heads that is full of judgement and criticism. The more we can recognize our inner bullies, the more we can help heal and even make friends with it.

Being kind, compassionate and loving to myself was not something I was familiar with until recent years. I spent most of my life judging and berating myself while often not even recognizing I was doing it. I was so accustomed to the voice of disapproval in my head that I couldn’t see how much damage it was doing to my self-esteem and the way I showed up for life. I struggled to live up to my unrealistic expectations, and I was frequently disappointed in myself. The negative self-talk playing softly in the background made me irritable, insecure and hyper sensitive. Frequently, I would hold back from participating in something my heart longed for because I believed the voice that told me I shouldn’t or couldn’t. It was constantly comparing me to others, judging every move I made, and letting me know where I was falling short of my ideals. I was always striving to improve in every area of my life because I believed that would lead to me liking myself, and liking myself would lead to happiness. Loving myself was out of the question! Time and time again, I would let myself down and the soft voice would grow louder and meaner, insulting and berating me. I unknowingly tried to run from it, and drown it out with various numbing techniques. Sometimes I was paralyzed by it. I was being controlled by a bully which resided in my head. Our minds should serve us, not master us, and I was a slave to mine.

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