I Don't Believe It When People Are Nice To Me

Most of us have an Inner Critic and an Inner Saboteur inside our mind – who ‘put us down’ and make our life a misery – for as long as we continue to let them get away with it.

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Q How can I like myself more? People sometimes say nice kind things to me, and although I hear it, it’s like there is this voice in my head that says ‘yeah right – what bullshit!’

Just telling you this has made me cry.

A Please remember that you weren’t born feeling and doing this – you’ve learnt to do it.

When you were small your ‘child’ brain made whatever sense it could of your early experiences. You then made decisions about yourself, what you were like, what you deserved in life, and how much you could trust what people said, and how good your life was likely to be.

These decisions formed your life ‘SCRIPT’ (Sub-Conscious-Rules-Influencing-Present-Time © – Maxine Harley)

Most of us have an Inner Critic and an Inner Saboteur inside our mind – who ‘put us down’ and make our life a misery – for as long as we continue to let them get away with it.

They both will stubbornly stick around even though we wish they’d just ‘go away’!

They form part of our deeper belief system about ourselves, and they distort present-day events to fit into the old ‘filter’ of what was believed to be true back then… even though that old filter was created when you were about 6 years old (and topped up in adolescence) - and it no longer serves you.

When we can see that these inner voices were created by our ‘child-mind’ many years ago – and that they are in fact trying to help us to survive emotionally – we can then see just how little they fit us now that we’re an adult. This ’emotional survival’ also explains why they are so resistant to change… they feel they have to keep protecting us!

These two un-welcomed guests have been lurking around in the shadows for so many years that it can seem like they belong there… but they don’t!

We could just try to ignore them – as some therapists suggest – in the hope that this might work… but it can’t and it won’t! They are much too powerful for that.

We have to learn how to persuade them to move on … because they’re making the place (in our mind) feel uncomfortable and untidy – and they keep tripping us up if we try to step around them.

We have to remember that they were set up with good intentions – to keep you from feeling pain. The irony is that they create pain for you by doing so.

They may be trying to prevent you from making a fool of yourself – and so they make you hold yourself back in many areas of your life.

Or they were created to prevent you from being surprised or hurt by a rejection; or to give you feelings of shame and inadequacy ahead of someone else doing that to you.

Maybe they have caused you to doubt people’s motives when they are nice to you; or the classic low self-esteem belief of ‘if only they knew the real me they wouldn’t say/feel/behave so nicely towards me’.

They criticise you and sabotage your life. They have to go!

We can begin this process by thanking them for their (misplaced) help and gradually sending them on their way.

They’ll be much more inclined to leave when they know for sure that they’re getting in your way, and that your life really would be better off without them.

The place they occupied can then be filled with your more up-to-date, realistic and evidence-based self-concept, self-belief and self-esteem.

You will then be changing your ‘filter’ and allowing in the good, kind, loving comments and gestures from others – without dismissing or discounting them.

This will take time… one compliment, and one act of self-love and compassion at a time.

You will then develop a new way of accepting goodness and believing that you do deserve it – no matter what other rubbish you’ve been believing about yourself for years.

It’s such a common problem, which creates so much sadness for so many people.

We must learn how to challenge, weaken, and to finally shift these mind-characters, and to make a happier calmer place of hope and brightness in our minds - where we can really grow into all we can be.

I wish you well in offloading those unwanted pests – and to a life of freedom to choose who to have around you, and to allow in the good stuff which will then resonate with your new revised and updated inner beliefs about yourself.

Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy)


www.maxineharley.com - where you'll find a wide range of free resources (videos, e-books, articles etc.) to help you if your own childhood conditioning is still tripping you up in the present day

Maxine Harley