Be Nice to Your Mean Parts

Doctor's Order: Be Nicer to your Mean Parts.

If you act out of anger or frustration, it's not helpful to respond to yourself with more anger and frustration. That just builds up the reactive anger and frustration neural pathways.

We think that if we don't beat ourselves up, we're letting ourselves off the hook, but that's all or nothing, black and white thinking.

You DO need to do something differently to act more thoughtfully during moments of anger or frustration.

You DO need to take responsibility.

But you can do it with kindness and self-compassion. This is better for your brain. It supports the direction you want to go in.

Start with curiosity, concern, and compassion for yourself -

'Oh sweetie, you're suffering Why do you think this is so hard right now?'

Then you will be much more productive when you ask,

'What do I need to do differently?'

The answer won't be, 'Try harder. Don't be such an asshole. Grow up,' or other mean things.

The answer will be more productive and effective, like,

'Get more sleep. Talk to someone about how stressed and worried you are. Breathe and slow down throughout the day.'

Self-compassion makes you a more effective parent than beating yourself up.

You are rewiring your brain for patience and kindness, first toward yourself, and then toward others.

With love and optimism,

Dr. J

Want to change how you respond to anger and frustration?