Tough Critic

Depression, being in love, pangs of love… what do they have in common? In all of those emotional states, our minds become foggy and the reality becomes distorted. We become truly someone else but it is not apparent to us until we get out of that state of mind. We constantly try to verify “our” reality and look for approval from the ones close to us. We keep talking about our feelings, say the same things over and over and bother the hell out of everyone around us. This is excruciating for them since they can clearly see the absolute reality but usually they are too nice to say otherwise.  For example, your bff knows that the boy you’re in love with is not a good match for you but she cannot say anything because it’d create tension between you two.

That’s why it’s usually a good idea to talk to a therapist instead of someone who is likely to be biased in your favor. She will help you steer towards the coast, see the reality as it is and find your true north. In the end you realize that it was as if someone else was in control of “you.”

Thankfully we do not go in and out of these extreme emotional states that frequently.

How about any other time though? We don’t realize it but we tend to act irrationally very often. It is not like our minds play tricks on us only during those extreme times. It does it all the time but its impact is not as sudden and destructive yet accumulates over time and manifests itself later on.

It is so easy for us to fool ourselves and distort the reality and behave irrationally. For example, any bad habits we have developed so far are the products of those irrational decisions, acts and thoughts of the past.

I think we should make habit of sitting back and asking straight questions to ourselves: “Is my behavior/decision/thought/act a sensible one? If I were to watch myself as an outsider, an impartial person, what would I say?”

Can we really stop tricking ourselves and tell ourselves exactly what we’re really thinking? I believe we can. I believe that deep inside we know what the right thing is, but we fool ourselves to do otherwise because it is too hard to follow the right path. It takes discipline, courage, sacrifice to do so.

For my part I’ve sat quietly for some time this morning and thought about what I would have thought about myself if I were someone else (sounds eery I know). These are my “negatives” that I decided to work on this month:

  • I am not very good at tackling tough decisions / tasks / talks. I tend to get lethargic and postpone them until they become a necessity and there is no escape. I should just face these head on without skipping  a beat. Otherwise they weigh heavier on my shoulders than they actually do.
  • I MUST stop using my phone near my boy. I have to be the role model if I don’t want his face to be buried in a screen when he grows up.
  • Related to the previous bullet, I have to be more mindful about my cell phone usage. I know I’m better than the majority of the people but I have to limit my time on this attention grabber.

We know ourselves better than anyone else does. That’s whey we can trick ourselves very easily. It’d help to get on the other side of the table from time to time and face truly how we look from outside. Only then we can change for the better.

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