Am I Really Hugging Myself…Then Throwing Up in My Mouth a Little?

Vday Paula Dean

It has been said on more than one occasion, I am too hard on myself. I downplay my life’s achievements (too boastful), I envy other’s smooth skin (too old), I judge my hair (must I always look like Drew Barrymore from the movie Firestarter?), and God forbid you give me a compliment (Oh, it’s just these pants that make me look thin. I’m actually very bloated from eating all those spicy peanuts.).

Good Morning America.

Good Morning America.

I am not alone.

While this phenomenon seems to mainly circle around women, I am going to direct this question to all human kind: How did we learn to be so mean to ourselves?

My brain's playlist.

My brain’s playlist.

While we definitely need to be kinder to ourselves and proud of who we are, please don’t go 180 degrees in the opposite direction. You don’t want to be the Kardashian of constant selfies and posts stating, “I totally dominate this bathing suit!!” or, “I could so rule this African pygmy tribe.”



Maybe that’s too confident. And by too confident, I mean maybe that person should not speak. Out loud.

Nope, I’m talking about giving ourselves a break. Which apparently is a very difficult thing to do.

Somewhere along the line, we were conditioned to be embarrassed of ourselves. To hide our talents and gifts, and say things like, “Oh, that’s okay. I’ll volunteer/bake nine hundred Bundt cakes/take on forty extra clients to pick up the slack.”

No. It is not okay.

We can sit here for years discussing where the beat down came from. Parents? Childhood bullies? Mean teachers? The list and therapy sessions could be endless. Bottom line – we got here and we need to get out of here.

So during this season of icky, gooey, sugar-betes love sonnets, maybe we focus inward instead of outward.

When someone compliments your outfit, just say “Thank you.” When you start comparing yourself to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, just stop. Most of society doesn’t look like that. When you beat yourself up for driving through Church’s Chicken for dinner, instead of planning an organic meal, give yourself a break…then call me because I really love fried chicken. And when someone asks you about your recent job promotion, prize winning peach pie, or how you find time to make stylish clothes for your children, tell them all about it. Your efforts earned those achievements, be proud of who you are.

So good.

So good.

Then seriously call me. I wasn’t kidding about the fried chicken.



Photos courtesy of:

Paula Dean –

Drew Barrymore in FIRESTARTER –

Mean Girls –

Selfie –

Fried Chicken –