How to Stop Playing Yourself Down

A friend and fellow blogger inspired me to write about the ways to free oneself from that stupid compulsion that overpowers so many of us: the compulsion to play oneself down.

HERE, you can read the resounding piece (PL) she posted on her blog about how we make less of ourselves in the eyes of other people, and consequently push those people away from us, convince ourselves ever more strongly that we are hopeless, and often end up in shitty situations (but accept it).

I’ve noticed that tendency in too many people, and I have trouble with it myself. So, in response to Anna’s call for tips on how to get rid of this crappy thinking habit (or is it more than a thinking habit?… might be, but let’s start with changing our habits rather than our whole selves), I’m sharing my ideas:

I. Listen to the good things people say about you whenever they do and, even though a nasty little voice will be telling you to disagree, protest, and play yourself down some more – suspend your disbelief for once. Believe them. After all, why would they bother to lie to you?

II. Try paying slightly less attention to what others might think about you, and slightly more attention to what you do in your life. Learn, read, travel, talk to people, do things that interest you – there are plenty options that are better than sitting and analyzing other people’s supposed opinions of you.

III. Lastly, show some consideration for those who listen to you as you keep telling them how boring, incompetent, unattractive, etc. you are. This can be tiring, even overwhelming, especially for people who see you not as a pile of shit, but as… just a person like any other, with good and bad qualities alike (i.e. for most people).

My ideas stem mostly from watching other people’s struggles. I’m putting them into practice every day, and although I still cannot say I’m free from the compulsion to always think the worst about myself, I feel less troubled, I have gained more confidence, and I know that I’m doing something good for myself.

So why don’t you do the same?


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I'm an unprofessional writer, reader and translator. I'm also a walking, breathing and listening addict. And I love being all that.

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