Different Standards and Rules for Myself and Others

by Michele
(Courtenay, BC, Canada)

I want to know why I have such impossibly hard standards for myself and why I have such compassionate standards for other people.

For example, I have very high expectations for education and a career, and I appreciate people who come from different educational backgrounds and various jobs.

Another example, a person behaves angrily or is rude and I try to examine why. If I engage in the same behaviour, I find it hard not to beat myself up.

I am not slim and berate myself for it, yet I don't feel negative towards other people who aren't slim.

In summary, in regards to achievements or lack thereof, ethics/morality, everyday things a person does, I have one set of rules for myself and one for other people.

How do I stop doing this so I am more compassionate towards myself?

Visitor's Comments

Date: February 25, 2008
Posted by: Catherine, www.Life-With-Confidence.com

Hi Michele,

That's a really good question and one I think a lot of people can relate to.

Here are a couple of ideas on how to approach this.

When you find yourself berating yourself, listen to what you're actually saying to yourself. Are you saying things like, "I'm so fat and ugly. No one is ever going to love me." When you have thoughts like this tell yourself, "cancel, cancel, cancel".

Thoughts like these make yourself feel like a victim and that there's nothing you can do about it. It keeps you stuck where you don't want to be.

After you say something like, "cancel, cancel, cancel" then ask yourself "What do I want?"
- Do you want to be thin?
- Do you want to be healthy?
- Do you want to have more energy?

Figure out what is the real thing that you want.

Then, ask yourself how are you going to get that? Could you start going for a walk when you get home from work, could you join a gym, could you read some nutritional advice books?

When you ask yourself "how?" then your brain switches to figuring out the answer. It will move you towards what you want instead of remaining stuck beating yourself up over what you don't want (you don't want to have the extra weight).

It's a matter of paying attention to what you're focusing on. Are you focusing on what you want or what you don't want?

Do you know why you have these higher standards for yourself?
For example, when you were a child, were you constantly being compared to a brother or sister? If there's something like that happening, you can become aware that you developed these thoughts that you had to be better in order to keep yourself safe or in order to get attention. And, what worked when you were a kid may not work now. You also don't need it anymore. Now, that you're grown up, you can develop new and more effective strategies to deal with situations.

Lots of times just by being aware of where the thoughts come from, will allow you to be able to let them go. You suddenly understand why you react the way you do. When you become aware of why you react a certain way then it's easier to change your response to something that moves you forwards instead of beating yourself up over it.

Here are a couple of other articles that might help you as well:

  • What you need to do before you can develop self confidence

  • How do you talk to yourself?

  • How do I stop being so hard on myself?

    Anyway, I'd be glad to help you work through this so feel free to ask more questions.

  • Comments for Different Standards and Rules for Myself and Others

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    Sep 08, 2012
    Rethink and just readjust your attitude
    by: Allen Zeng

    At Silicon Valley, a principal engineer at eBay killed himself because he felt he didn't accomplish what he should have. He came from China and was the brightest kid of that country and everyone was proud of him. He won the Olympics Competition Award for High School in Chemistry and was regarded as the top boy in China. He went to top university in China top graduate school in US and became principal engineer at eBay. He always scored 100. When he can only score 95, he killed himself. It is an attitude issue. Just change your point of view and focus on what you have done, vs. what you haven't done. That will change the whole thing.

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