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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate. Another problem I have been having is negative talking

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Hello Kate. Another problem I have been having is negative talking to myself. My night supervisor frequently swears to himself and I am afraid I have picked up this bad habit. One instance in December 2008 I was thinking of the night supervisor and said a bad word to myself. A man walked down the aisle as I was working on an end. I thought to myself is that the co owner of the store. It was him. When I said that bad word he turned around and was looking at me. I was starring at him but said nothing and his face dropped and he turned around and kept on walking. A lady told me I should of said, excuse me sir, I was not referring to you but I said nothing. Another instance I was at the bank and as I was leaving I negatively talked to myself saying some bad words and one teller said he just called you a bad name. Again this was not directed at her and I am left thinking did I just say that? I never had this problem of negative talking to myself until I came to work the night shift. Another instance in a department store and I was thinking did I just say that but was not 100 percent sure I did say that. I do not want the pretty cashier to think that was directed at her. How do I stop this negative talking of bad words to myself? as I am not running myself down but do not want the person who hears me to think I am talking about him or her.and what is causing this? If I am about to think or about to say something negative or bad, should I think of a happy place for me to be in that will calm and relax me and possibly this may help to eliminate this negative talking to myself. For me it is an aroma that calms and relaxes me. Thank you.

Negative self talk can be one of two things- a learned habit (being around it during childhood or being exposed to it through co workers, family, friends, etc) or it can be as a result of a low self esteem.

People curse because it helps them express strong emotion. Usually it is used to let out feelings of anger, fear or other emotions. It's like a horn on your car. You use curse words to get attention from yourself and others to cope with and express your emotions.

If you are noticing others are reacting to your cursing and it's happening around people like supervisors, then it needs attention. Cursing can draw negative attention to you and give others a perception of you that is inaccurate.

You can change your negative self talk, it may just take some time and persistence. The first step is to begin noticing how you think and what your thoughts are during the day. How you think is either negative or positive, or maybe a little of both. Most people have a mixture of the two throughout the day. As you learn your pattern of thinking, start paying attention to what kinds of thoughts you are having. Do they seem overly negative, even if the situation is positive? Do you feel depressed, angry or upset more often than not? Are their feelings that you feel you need to express but can't?

As you begin to notice your thoughts, you can challenge them. Start by testing your thoughts. For example, if you think that your co worker is annoying and feel upset about it, ask yourself if this is accurate or if you are just feeling frustrated in general. In other words, are you just taking your feelings and putting them on this other person? And even if it's true that they are annoying, what does feeling upset about it your change? Overreacting to someone else's behavior can make you more upset.

Another step is to recognize when you feel upset and put a stop to expressing it. When you feel you want to curse, say stop to yourself. You can even use a rubber band and snap it when you feel yourself starting to curse. This is a way to associate a bad feeling with the cursing. You can also use accountability to stop cursing. Ask friends and family to help you notice when you are cursing. Use a "swear bank" and pay a set amount of money to it each time you curse. Make sure your friends and family know about it so they can check up and see if you are following the rules.

Ask yourself if the cursing is helping you or hurting you. And if it's hurting you, why are you doing it? Do you feel you need to express your emotions in such a way that it works against you? Is there another way to express yourself that is less damaging? By answering these questions, you can get to the root of your issue and change it.


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

This negative self talking to myself I think is from me thinking of someone who is negative and hurtful to peoples self esteem like my night supervisor. He has hurt my self esteem and I am saying negative bad words to myself while thinking of someone negative like him or something unpleasant.

If I am thinking negative thoughts or about to feel I am about to say something bad or wrong, will thinking of myself in a happy place help to prevent this negative talking to myself? I do not want to run anyone down and I do not want anyone who hears any bad words I say to think it was directed at him or her. I believe I picked up this bad habit from my night supervisor, although he more frequently says bad words to himself and I do not want to be like him and just want to stop this negative talking to myself so no one will think I am talking about him or her. Maybe thinking of myself in a happy place surrounded by a scent that calms and relaxes me will help to wipe out any negative thoughts I am having at that moment and will then cause to stop this negative bad talking to myself. I do not want to be like my night supervisor as he is a mean and hurtful person.

Thank you.

Thinking of a happy place may help as well. Doing what you feel works is important, because everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. But it would be beneficial and maybe more permanent to replace these thoughts with positive thoughts or practice negative reinforcement like the rubber band or swear bank. Also, dealing with how you feel about your supervisor would help as well. By going into work with the attitude that you are refusing to let him control your behavior with his actions, you take away his power over you and increase your own self esteem at the same time. The more you try to be opposite of your supervisor, the more you will remove yourself from his control and be in charge of your own feelings.

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