The way that we speak to us has so much impact on our self constructs, the way we feel about ourselves and the way we feel inside. Yet we punish ourselves with words and keep ourselves in these make believe cages of sadness. What words would you use to describe yourself? Are they positive in nature or are they harsh? Many of the internal thoughts that we have about ourselves have been developed through childhood and they stay with us until adulthood.
Thanks to the popularity of NLP (neurolinguistic programming), most of us know that when we think positively, our words and lives begin to reflect those thoughts. Whether or not we believe we’re beautiful, powerful or full of energy, studies have shown that our confidence and alertness begin to increase simply by telling ourselves that we are.
Language is the hallmark of humanity—it allows us to form deep relationships and complex societies. But we also use it when we’re all alone; it shapes even our silent relationships with ourselves. So, when we talk to ourselves especially after narcissistic abuse we will most likely emoji what the narcissist has said about us. WHY? Because this person that we have been so open, trusting and vulnerable with have used these qualities against us. So, we need up believing what they say about and to us. This forms negative self constructs.
But it does maintain many of the characteristics of dialogue. We may imagine an exchange with someone else, or we may just talk to ourselves. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a conversation. Our minds contain many different perspectives, and they can argue or confer or talk over each other.
Language is the hallmark of humanity—it allows us to form deep relationships and complex societies. But we also use it when we’re all alone; it shapes even our silent relationships with ourselves.
Think about it: how do you speak about yourself… now? I’m too fat, my bum looks big, Im so ugly, no-one will fancy me etc etc…
How do these comments make you feel?
What emotions come up?
How do you behave as a result?
“If you watch a small child playing with her toys, you'll probably see her talking to herself.”
We can look at individual differences between people and how much they seem to use inner speech and how that relates to their cognitive profile. We can look to see if you block the language system through giving people a secondary task like repeating a word over and over, does that affect the primary thing that you're interested in? You can ask people, you can give them questionnaires, you can use different methods of experience sampling, and with new techniques, you can start to look at what’s going on in the brain when people seem to be doing inner speech.
Although the inner speech in our heads comes from that social language initially, and then this out loud private speech, when it goes underground, it can come back out again.
So, next time you say something to yourself I want you to be more aware of the language you chose to speak - remember this has a vibrational frequency - what you say you attract back to yourself … like a mirror. Think about the meaning of those words, are they positive or negative?
How narcissistic abuse effects our self-esteem
With most forms of emotional abuse, the victim is left feeling powerless, worthless, and broken inside. These wounds don't leave visible scars, although they're just as painful as any physical injury.
The truth lives in our body and behaviours, and the truth will keep manifesting in increasingly strange ways until we find our way home.
Here are five signs that suggest you might still be suffering from the lingering effects of emotional abuse:
You isolate yourself, becoming more an observer of the world than a participant. Everything feels blocked. You don't feel bad — but you don't feel good either. You don't feel much of anything at all. Even when you know you should be happy, it's like there's a tight guard around your heart at all times, preventing anything from going in or out.
2. Seeking approval
This one can be really sneaky because it manifests in ways that are socially acceptable: people-pleasing, excessive accomplishing, being "nice" to everyone, and hyper-focusing on your appearance. The underlying current of approval-seeking behaviour is that you are somehow "not enough" without it. This was a lie put into your heart, and it needs to be banished forever. Our worth as human beings is not dependent on any of those things.
If you slow down and pause these behaviours, you're likely to feel a great deal of shame, inadequacy, and even jealousy. Your first instinct may be to run back to your vices, but I encourage you to sit with these feelings (and seek out professional counselling, if needed) until you really understand how much you are truly suffering. Only then can we begin to regard ourselves with compassion and discover that healthy love does not need to be earned.
This can build up over time, common signs include irritability, blame, blood pressure changes, heart tightness, frustration, and impatience. Resentment's key word is "should." (This bad thing shouldn't have happened. People should have behaved a different way.) Essentially, we are living in a constant state of resistance to reality.
Most psychological or spiritual paths will outline the reasons resentment is toxic, but releasing it is not quite so simple. We need to be kind to ourselves and not feel any sort of shame for carrying this resentment. All we need is the simple intention to release it, and it will begin to happen. I personally have found forgiveness (and self-forgiveness) to be very effective, but there are many other paths. Once we stop focusing on the "bad other," we finally have time to tend to the wounds in our heart.
4. Judging and analysing
This is a personality shift that happens slowly. You hear nice words coming out of your mouth, but your thoughts are somewhere else entirely. You find yourself obsessively analysing everything others do, to the point that it becomes difficult to trust anyone. You hyper-focus on behaviours, holding others (and yourself) to very high standards.
Once again, the key here is self-compassion. You need to be kind to yourself and understand that these are all protective mechanisms — a fear of not being in control. Judging ourselves for being judgmental is an infinite loop that can only be broken by love. You did not ask for this. You did the best you could with an impossible situation, and the more you can rest in this truth, the softer your heart will become.
5. Anxiety and depression
Insomnia, appetite changes, constant fear, a sense of doom, and hopelessness: self-destruct mode. This is your body saying "no more." Your patchwork — the above four solutions — aren't working anymore, and your body is going to torture your mind until you surrender to the only permanent solution: love.
All of next week I will be talking about these points in the Patreon Membership. We will also be taking these topics to the online therapy group on Wednesday, if you would like to join the discussion please click the link here: