Seeing ourselves beyond simplified scripts

So, simplified strategies help us cope with emotional & mental burdens, like too many choices. This article discusses cognitive shortcuts in a similar context: “Our minds are naturally inclined to use simplified strategies to conserve mental energy and reduce cognitive load.”

Although “self-talk is what separates us from other species,” there’s a negative edge. It reveals early stories (scripts) which simplified framing ourselves and the world. Such simplifications (or partial perceptions) can bias our outlook, stand in the way of healthy outcomes.

How do we find the energy and support to reframe those beliefs (“reparent your inner child”)? To overcome fears? To realize “more balanced and realistic self-talk?” And to nurture positive relationships?

• Psychology Today > “How to Quiet Our Negative Self-Talk” by Judy Ho Ph.D., ABPP, ABPdN [1], reviewed by Ray Parker (May 11, 2024) – Why did self-talk, an evolutionarily adaptive trait, get turned on its head?

KEY POINTS (quoted)

  • Self-talk is powerful; you can transform yours to spark positivity and healing.
  • Negative self-beliefs stem from early experiences and represent our deepest fears about ourselves and others.
  • Reparenting is an evidence-based strategy that offers practical ways to heal your inner child.
  • Adopt the self-statements of the securely attached, and you’ll see shifts in your self-talk and your life.

How to take away the edge of negativity …

• Neuroscience > “Friendly Chats Mitigate Social Exclusion Effects” as featured in paper by Randy T. Lee et al. Cornell University (May 11, 2024) – Simple [small] social interactions, like chatting with a friend, can mitigate [buffer] the effects of social exclusion [slights].

Key Facts (quoted)

  1. Conversations with friends before or after exclusionary incidents help diminish their negative impact.
  2. Anticipating future social interactions can also accelerate recovery from social slights.
  3. The study highlights the effectiveness of social interventions in reducing vulnerability to exclusion, with broader implications for settings like schools and workplaces.

Making and sustaining healthy social relationships …

• CNBC > make it > “I’ve studied the science of happiness for 10 years – here are 10 sentences I try to use every day” by Stephanie Harrison, Contributor (Sat, May 11 2024) – Tips from new book, “New Happy: Getting Happiness Right in a World That’s Got It Wrong.”

Key points (quoted)

  • We’re never taught how to build healthy and supportive relationships, but it’s a skill that, like any other, needs to be cultivated.
  • We live in a world that makes it difficult to invest time to hone this skill and build relationships, which often end up taking a backseat to work and other responsibilities.
  • By creating happiness for someone else, you ultimately end up experiencing it yourself.

Sentences for nurturing relationships (or similar phrasing)

  • ‘How are you feeling, really?’
  • ‘Will you tell me more?’
  • ‘I’m grateful for you’
  • ‘You’re great’
  • ‘I forgive you’
  • ‘Keep going’
  • ‘What do you need?’
  • ‘It’s OK if this feels hard’ [validating feelings]
  • ‘You matter to me’
  • ‘I love you’

[1] Ho, Judy. (2024). The New Rules of Attachment: How to Heal Your Relationships, Reparent Your Inner Child, and Secure Your Life Vision. Hachette Book Group.

1 comment on “Seeing ourselves beyond simplified scripts

  1. Mindfulness

    Mindfulness can help balance our inner monologues.

    • CNBC > make it > “Neuropsychologist: 4 tips to stop the cycle of negative self-talk” by Aditi Shrikant (May 19 2024) – your ‘thoughts are not the absolute truth.’

    Key points (quoted with annotations)

    1. Identify what triggers you [examine patterns].

    2. Question your thoughts [consider the evidence].

    3. ‘Yes … but … ‘ [practice a balanced perspective].

    4. Label your feeling as a ‘thought’ [distinguish thoughts from reality].

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