Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Public Service Announcement
I might become impatient with how frequently this friend puts himself down were it not for one tiny detail: I do the same thing. Sometimes without even realizing I'm doing it. Overall, I have pretty high self-esteem and a good amount of confidence, but there are a few chinks in my armor. Often when I put myself down it's because I don't want brag or appear arrogant (I've heard talk that this is common behavior among women and girls). Other times, however, it's just a manifestation of good old fashioned insecurity and ruptures in that generally high self-esteem.
The last time I saw my friend a couple of weeks ago, I offered him a small challenge. I tasked him with taking a minute... the next time he was tempted to demean himself... to forget his own self image. Instead I suggested that he try to see himself as I see him. As his other friends see him. As his kids see him. I suggested he do this just for a minute or even twenty seconds. As an experiment.
I have no idea if my friend took my unsolicited advice, but our conversation got me thinking. What if I were to do the same thing? What if I untangled myself from my own insecurities for a just a few seconds a day or even a few seconds a week and saw myself as my friends see me? I bet if I did that I wouldn't feel any need to put myself down, not even as a way to dilute the appearance of arrogance. Hell, if I took twenty seconds to see myself through they eyes of the men who regularly hit on me on the street, I'd probably feel pretty darn good.
Imagine if we all did that. Imagine if we all got out of our heads and saw ourselves through the eyes of people who like, admire and love us. Maybe we should give it a collective try. For a few seconds. As an experiment.
Image courtesy of the blog Solution Focused Politics.