When someone pays you a compliment, how do you receive it? Of course, that depends on who it is, how it is said and in what context and of course the content of the compliment itself!
BUT, the real question is do YOU have an inner monologue that steps into the scene? “Wonder what s/he wants from me?”, “Where did that come from?”, “How insincere!”, “Of course s/he’s right, I am amazing”, “Why is s/he being so nice, all of a sudden?” and so on...
Most of us have an ‘inner monologue’ that operates whether we are aware of it or not. It helps us navigate our way around the world, our relationships, our professional and personal interactions, and our sense of self and others. Sometimes, our inner monologue can destroy us and isolate us because we lose our sense of reality. We are so much ‘in our own heads’ that we are constantly judging ourselves and others in ways that destroy us. The inner monologue of a depressed or anxious person can drive them into the depths of doom and the process of healing may take years even with good professional guidance.
What is your inner monologue and how does it develop? Researchers in Psychology and Child Development tell us that a person’s inner monologue and sense of self develop early and becomes more powerful as we grow up. Our inner monologue can mimic significant peoples’ view of us and is sometimes below our realm of consciousness. Early childhood memories, our founding relationships, early attachment experiences, our genetic make-up, personality traits, environmental and situational pressures/stresses, success, failure, life experiences - all play a role in our inner monologue.
As parents, let’s examine our inner monologue and pay attention to how the dialogue with our children affects their inner monologue. As teachers, let’s understand that kids in classrooms are perceptive enough to ‘de-code’ our inner dialogue; as mental health professionals, let’s encourage our clients to recognize, identify and maybe replace their inner monologue in their journey of healing. More importantly, as adults, let’s not forget that we each have the power to recognize, identify, and label our inner monologue- and the BEST part is, we can choose to be authors of our own lives and re-write our inner monologue to benefit ourselves and others!
Best wishes to each and every one of you if you want to re-write your inner monologue and it’s just
fine to keep writing those drafts until it feels perfect! Because the real truth is, “we are as perfect
as we can be, in this moment of time.”