• By Davina Lytle, www.davinalytle.com

Do You Stigmatize Yourself?

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

I have a really important question to ask you; are you ready? You need to be, because if you’re anything like me, you’re going to take a step back when you hear it. Not because you can’t answer it, but because you might be shocked by the answer. Here it is: do you stigmatize yourself?

Just in case you aren’t completely certain what stigmatize means, it means to make something seem bad or disgraceful; to characterize or mark as disgraceful.

So, do you? Do you criticize the things about yourself that are less than perfect? More importantly, do you make sure the rest of the world knows about them?

I do, and I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t criticize myself. It started out small with things like, why can’t you do anything right, but then ended up being huge with things like you’re a big fat waste of space and I’m not sure why you don’t just “off” yourself?!

For the most part, I didn’t hear them saying it directly to me, but I heard what they were saying through other people. When I think back to my childhood, I never felt confident or proud of who I was.

At a very young age I started telling myself things like “I was too dumb to do the math,” and that “I was fat,” but I was neither of those things; I was merely a product of my environment. An environment in which the voices weren’t very friendly, or supportive.

Unfortunately, up until Gary, each one of my relationships ended up being very similiar to those environments because I continued to choose people that were narcissistic in nature. It was almost like I was trying to heal the relationships that so desperately needed healing by being with people that reiterated what the voices in my head were saying.

Was it because I was trying to convince myself that what they were saying was true? Or was I trying to convince them that they were wrong?

Whatever it is, or was, I’m not going to listen to those voices anymore. I know; with all my heart, that those voices are wrong. Those people aren’t part of my life anymore and the only person criticizing me is myself and it’s time that I stopped! It’s time that I end the self-stigma going on in my head and replace it with positive self-talk.

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