(Not that kind)
With ADHD, we have many opportunities to feel shame. And we often contribute to that be being harshly critical of ourselves. And we often were subjected to shaming criticism as we were growing up (and after), so we learned how to do it.
But, if we watch out for it (spotting), we can learn to stop this damaging self abuse.
Instead of saying ‘that wasn’t very smart’, you can say ‘that wasn’t a good idea.’
A subtle difference, but belittling yourself is destructive.
Self esteem – how we value ourself
Self image – how we see ourself
Ideal self – how we think we ‘ought to be’
One source and measure of our shame is the distance between our ideal self and our self image.
Sometimes when I see someone playing the guitar well, I think I should just give it up. But wait, that professional practices or plays eight hours a day, six or seven days a week. Should I be comparing myself to them?
Question O the Day:
Should any of us be comparing ourself to anyone about anything? What is the benefit of that?
Tips O the Day:
- Be gentle and kind to yourself.
- Do not call yourself names. Dumb, stupid, etc. are words that should never be used about anyone (so is ‘should’).
- Some people think that the harsh approach helps drive them, or others, to do better. It doesn’t; it causes damage and impairment.
- If you are a parent, be careful how you correct your child. Label the behavior, not the child.
- Consider this – what is your ideal self? Is it realistic?
A Summary of Helping Yourself with ADHD from Vanida
Nice one! I often compare myself to others, but it’s not always self destructive. Often it is to try and learn what I can, and if I can’t figure it out on my own, I go ahead and ask “how do you make that so neat? Can you show me?”
I personally find it worst when others passively-agressive attack me my comparing me with themselves “why can I do it and you can’t?”. I have developed a trick against these people many years ago, even before my diagnose. I just shrug and non-chalantly say “You’re better than me”. It makes them absolutely furious because they want true humiliation or a fight, and they’re getting neither. :p
As for putting myself down, it’s usually the “little voice” in my head that I insult. I think of the voice not as a part of me, rather as an unpleasant guest with whom I don’t need to use regular plesantries, so I’ll go “shut up! I hate you and you’re wrong!” when the little voice starts making stuff up about my being stupid or something like that. When I really do insult myself and say “you’re so stupid sometimes!” I catch myself and correct myself “No wait, you’re not stupid. But you sometimes aren’t careful enough”. It’s a struggle. I’ve managed to turn my head around with many things with some practice, the last few year. But this one still sneaks up on me.
And I’ll be using the squint and “what did you hear?” method in the future!! 😀
thank you for another great comment. i guess the example you give is comparing yourself, but not in the negative way i was writing about, but constructively, they’re better than me at that so how can i learn from them. very different.
and you give three THREE beautiful strategies! I think you are really making your life better. and ours, by your contributions.
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