Whether it’s from Instagram posts, encouragement from spiritual counselors or conversations with friends, a consistent culture conversation is the lack of kindness in society. Lately, it seems as if there is so much advice about how we should talk to one another. Reality television shows and cable news constantly spew debates, and it seems impossible to escape from people tearing one another down.
While we should do our best to treat our fellow men and women with gentleness, it’s just as important to remember to speak to ourselves in a compassionate way, too.
How we talk to ourselves can be one of the most important and powerful forces in our lives. It determines not only how we think about our own abilities, but also how we communicate and engage with one another. If we’re telling ourselves that we aren’t fun to be around, or that we don’t fit in, it’s going to be difficult to hide those feelings when we are with people. This degradation of our self-esteem is unhealthy, and it can lead to anger, resentment and ultimately, isolation.
How we talk to ourselves can be one of the most important and powerful forces in our lives. It determines not only how we think about our own abilities, but also how we communicate and engage with one another.
We wouldn’t let someone else talk to us in a harmful way, so why do we often let these thoughts guide our days? We don’t want to be constantly thinking that we aren’t valued or appreciated—and we probably don’t even actively do it. But still, these thoughts prevail.
A good way to combat this is to be open with those around us about how we’re feeling. If others know how we’re struggling with self-worth, they’ll be able to fight those lies with us.
My pastor recently spoke on this topic, and he mentioned how negative self-image can be damaging to communities and social groups. He made the case that, in order to conquer the habit of demeaning ourselves, we should do our best to encourage those around us. We ought to actively let people know how much they are respected and needed.
If we’re feeling that we don’t belong, chances are someone else is, too.
We have to be the ones to build one another up. It’s our responsibility to make sure that the things we tell ourselves are positive so that we can engage with the world in a beneficial way.
This doesn’t mean we need to be arrogant, or narcissistic. Rather, we should remember that our worth is found in Christ’s opinion of us—not in the world’s, or in our own.