7 reasons to stop pulling yourself down

by Naomi Louise

Black sad man

 It is not about plucking confidence out of thin air and telling yourself you are things that you may not feel you are, but about giving yourself a break and stopping a nasty habit before that habit defines you.

Putting yourself down is so not on, stop putting yourself down and no longer let a single negative word about yourself pass your lips. The ways in which putting yourself down effects your life are endless, but on the flipside all you have to do is stop putting yourself down to start putting things right. Here are only 8 of the oodles of reasons as to why if you have not got anything nice to say about yourself, then you shouldn’t say anything at all…


“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love this quote, but what is it doing here you may ask? Just as if you make it a habit out of being positive you will create for yourself a bright future; if you make a habit out of putting yourself down, you’ll create a life which gives you plenty of reasons to continue putting yourself down. Intentionally or not, if you continue to berate yourself out loud or in your head, you are personally mapping out your own journey of self dislike, negativity and insecurities. Doesn’t seem so smart now does it?


… and people who are worth it don’t want to hear it. If you continuously put yourself down to your friends, if they are any type of a friend then they won’t stand for it. And if they let you go on and on and even join in, then they may be a little down on themselves as well and your self put downs give give them a little pick me up. No good friend needs an insecure friend to feel better about themselves.


Pretend for a second that the criticisms you have about yourself are actually criticisms that your best friend has about herself. Would you accept them as true? Would you sit there and let her put herself down or would you tell her to snap out of it and realize how amazing she is? If it is not okay for someone you love to put themselves down then it is not okay for you to put yourself down.


You may not sit there for hours giving yourself a verbal bashing, but even with a small comment like, “Oh, I can’t believe how much weight I have put on,’’ what reply are you hoping for? There are only a few options and none of them are favourable…

– A compliment in return. If you say something bad about yourself in order to hear something good then not only is it obvious but it’s one of the lowest forms of attention seeking. No-one likes someone who fishes for compliments.

– Confirmation. Who really wants to hear someone agree with them when they put themselves down? No-one.

– Nothing. This ones an odd one, because if someone ignores your comment then you are stuck wondering are they ignoring me because they don’t think it’s true or because they think it’s true and they don’t have the heart to tell me?! Paranoia.


To put it simply, putting yourself down is not hot. If your plan is to meet and keep a confident, smart, sexy guy/girl, then you’ll need to up your game. People who like themselves tend to be attracted to other people who like themselves, let’s call it an innate primal instinct that causes people to be drawn to people who they would be well suited with. In order to bag your ‘ideal’ guy/girl you need to stop putting yourself down and start having a little confidence in yourself.


Unless you actually plan to change whatever it is you keep berating yourself for, what use is there in complaining about it? It’s like saying you have smelly breath and not brushing your teeth. It just makes no sense. As the saying goes, ‘put up or shut up;’ either change what you don’t like or accept it and move the hell on… for everybody’s sake.


Every time you say you are this or that, or you label yourself as something, you are defining yourself to one characteristic or trait when you are so much more than that. If you tell yourself you are ‘always late’ or ‘look like crap’ then you are defining yourself with a bunch of nasty sentences and words. No one is one thing, mood, trait or habit and nothing is permanent. If you are late today, so you are late today. Leave it at that and let tomorrow be an open book onto which you write (with love) who you really are.

Making a conscious effort to stop putting yourself down is a step in the right direction. It is not about plucking confidence out of thin air and telling yourself you are things that you may not feel you are, but about giving yourself a break and stopping a nasty habit before that habit defines you. I think there is a lot to be said to showing yourself a little kindness and TLC. Has anyone made a conscious effort to stop talking trash about themselves? Does anyone struggle with this? What do you think/feel when people put themselves down around you?


Read this article in All Women Stalk



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

Comments (2)

  1. You have made some good points but I think you’re missing some things, either out of oversight or lack acknowledgement. I believe there is a stigma attached to problems with an emotional and/or mental origin. There is often a reprimanding, Jobs comforter, non merciful/long suffering attitude towards people with problems like this weather chronic or not. I have seen a lot of these articles and blogs and they mostly share a similar tone and rationale, which is that of cold comfort and tough love. I’m not entirely against tough love but I believe that kind compassion is the way that benefits the person you’re trying to help as well as yourself, weather you’re helping them online or in person.

    In two places you seemed to contradict yourself. In the beginning you stated that
    “It is not about plucking confidence out of thin air…” but in section 3. you state that
    if someone had a friend that was putting him or herself down they would want them to “snap out of it”. Doesn’t that require confidence among other things? If they In section 6. you ask “Unless you actually plan to change whatever it is you keep berating yourself for, what use is there in complaining about it? It’s like saying you have smelly breath and not brushing your teeth…” To address the first question, the person might complain about something while not changing it because they either in need of an emotional release or they can’t change it and are conflicted, which makes it difficult to make peace and “move the hell on.” If you want to help people then speaking in that kind of tone is not helpful and just shows lack of patience. “Take time with the healing hand ’cause it likes to heal”-Stone Temple Pilots

    The main basis for your reasons why people shouldn’t put themselves down is because they are choosing a negative life for themselves and that society doesn’t like people who put themselves down. That is reflective of a problem with society as it focuses on the behavior as something people can always control, not considering a deeper root cause, and a shameful thing to be punished. I understand that fishing for compliments isn’t an attractive behavior but one should still be patient and tolerant while considering the reasons behind it. Understanding is key. They fish for compliments usually because they need some help or encouragement and feel afraid or shameful about asking outright. It’s not a great way to ask but that doesn’t mean there is no real problem. And although it might be for attention, attention seeking behavior is a problem itself and could be a serious one even though society doesn’t see it that way. Sure people shouldn’t WANT to hear someone put themselves down but their attitude should be of genuine concern for their well being if it’s a friend or family member. If it’s a stranger then just don’t judge.

    A reason you should have added is, because it’s hurting yourself. That’s an obvious one but some of the other reasons were obvious so why leave this one out? You’re promoting self kindness but what about kindness to others, particularly to those who you’re trying to encourage self kindness? It works on both sides.

    Self criticism and low self esteem are often SYMPTOMS of the problem, not the problem and not the fundamental problem themselves. Sometimes people need to seek professional help. The cause might be depression or another serious problem depending on their background. They can’t always use some generalized, one-size-fits-all solutions that exclude consideration of individual circumstances. People are not cardboard characters. They are more complicated than that.

    Why is it that Mentally and emotionally oriented problems receive this kind of approach while physical problems receive more understanding and sympathy? Mental and emotional problems, though varying in degree of severity, are as real as physical problems and should not be stigmatized. Don’t just focus on how you’re effected by people that put themselves down as if it’s an annoyance. If the problem is real and you speak to the person as if they have full control all on their own and just need a simple attitude adjustment then that is cruel. If you’re not sure, ask questions patiently in a genuinely caring tone. Don’t bolt.

    “I was dreaming that I was someone.
    I was taller, smarter, prettier.
    I was hoping you could help me
    But you consume me, you make me dirtier.
    Now you’ll make all seem better
    If I can just give up my sorrow
    Glad to hear it’s so damn easy
    All the time we’ve wasted using me, tearing me down…” -Radio Iodine

    Compassion shouldn’t have to be earned. It’s a facet of love. Everybody deserves compassion, those who have incurred problems upon themselves and those who had problems befall them. There shouldn’t be any conditions. Consider it as a spiritual (not necessarily religious) version of the bare necessities. Everybody deserves the bare necessities. Everybody deserves forgiveness, everybody deserves kindness, everybody deserves love etc. Love is the center of all things because it is transcendental.

    The end doesn’t justify the means. I believe your intentions were good. But have you heard the saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions?

    “The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
    It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
    Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
    It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
    ‘T is mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
    The throned monarch better than his crown…” –William Shakespeare, “The Merchant of

    Venice”, Act 4 scene 1

  2. It is a good sit and an information enviroment.

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