Below Average

In my never ending quest to get to the end of my issues, I started to read Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff.I have only read the first two chapters but they got to me. I was on the T coming home from work reading the book and thinking, “Yep, I can relate to that.” I almost started to cry on the train but really had to pull something up to stop that.

The first exercise in the book is called Seeing Yourself As You Are and you are to list 5 culturally valued traits for which you are above average, just average and below average. I had a hard time coming up with some of them but here are my answers:

Above Average

1. Close to my family

2. Reliability

3. Self consciousness

4. Resilience

5. Self Criticism

Just Average

1. Looks – not pretty nor ugly

2. Intelligence

3. Money Managing

4. Sense of humor

5. Compassionate to others

Below Average

1. Weight control

2.  Self Control

3. Retaining friendships

4. House cleaning

5. Relationships with men

I had a hard time coming up with this list. I don’t think I am better than anyone in much of anyone in anything except maybe self criticism and not in a good way.

As for my relationships with me, it fits right into the cycle of this. I look out for any little thing. A slighted call, a wrong tone of voice, anything that perhaps shows signs of pending problems and then start to prepare and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

She also discusses that a lot of self criticism comes from your childhood. Whether it was parents who used criticism as motivation, I don’t remember mine doing that much or classmates and siblings, a lot, a common way for people to handle criticism as a child is to self criticize because no one will do it, if you already do it to yourself.

I have to say the years of teasing, harassment and maybe the chaos that was my mother descending into mental illness had some effect on my brain. As self preservation, I am just going to beat myself up so I can be prepared for what I know will be coming. Yet, I am compassionate to friends and others outside of myself.  The whole thing just makes me depressed when I think about it.

If there only was one of those easy buttons to go back and fix things.

Speaking of family problems, my father has a time share and he wants to sell it. He got a cold call from a shark of a telemarketer and Dad told him to talk to me since he has had the stroke. He has been harassing me to give him thousands of dollars up front to sell this time share. Something smelled extremely fishy and I told him no but he must have called me 8 times today.

I could just use an easy button in general….

Photo by Jason Gulledge

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