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Is It Better to Be Unkind About Yourself? (Rather Than Boastful?)



Why is it that saying something kind about yourself can seem boastful whereas saying something unkind seems okay? The unkind thoughts stick, get repeated, become facts. Become the truths you know about you. In my work I encourage children to relate to themselves kindly. I want them to understand that not only are they allowed to be nice to themselves, it is to be actively encouraged. I often draw this Venn diagram. It helps us to sort out their thoughts. And to recognise that somewhere between boastful and unkind lies the truth. For example, Me: “I thought you were really thoughtful today when you asked me about my cough. You noticed I was struggling not to cough last week.” Child: “Well I’m not the most thoughtful person I know.” Me: “If someone said ‘I am the most thoughtful person I know’ which circle would you put that thought in?” Child: “Boastful. If you say nice things about yourself you are boastful.” Me: “I think that saying, ‘I am the most thoughtful person I know’ sounds boastful too. But I don’t think it is boastful to say kind things about yourself. I think it’s really important to notice things about yourself that you like. Which circle would you put the thought, “l’m the most unthoughtful person I know’ ? Child: (unsure) “Maybe unkind.” Me: “I think if that was your thought it would be unkind. Because I already know you can be thoughtful. Also this is called ‘Truths About Me’ and that thought wouldn’t be true. Can you think of a thought that would sound true to you? Child: Amy thinks I can be thoughtful as I asked about her cough this week. Me: Yes. That is true. Which circle would it go in? Child: The middle? Me: Yes. Because it is true. Now we know a truth about you. You can be thoughtful. And we know this because you asked me about my cough after you noticed me struggling with it last week. Now I’m feeling Curious. I wonder if we can find out any more truths about you. #TheWorryWizard #fromWorriestoWellbeing #wellbeing #selfkindness

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