5 Tips to Silence Your Inner Mean Girl 21


So, there I am, sitting in Burlington Coat Factory’s dressing room. Bad lighting. End of the day. Full-length mirror. Suddenly there are wrinkles around my eyes that weren’t there before. Lots of them. 

Lean forward.  Look a little closer.

Is this really my face?

Index finger, pulling skin. It’s like Michelle Pfieffer looking in the mirror at the end of “One Fine Day” — only I am not looking so fine.

Hmphff!

When did Burlington Coat Factory put circus mirrors in? You know, the kind that distort everything that you see.

Or, maybe it wasn’t the mirror.   Maybe it was me.

Tortoise Wrinkes - 5 Tips to Silence Your Inner Mean Girl

 

There are times when we all look in the mirror and see something that we don’t like.  It’s not necessarily that moment that makes or breaks our day – it is what we do with that moment.

Do you hang onto that thought?

Do you start obsessing about those things that you don’t like?

Do you compare yourself to the women around you?

Do you put yourself down?

Or…

Do you realize that those wrinkles, that bit of unwanted fat, the cellulite or stretch marks do not define who you are.

What do you do with your mirror moments?

Today, I will give you five quick tips to challenge your own inner mean girl. You know what I am talking about. It is that inner voice that says things about your body that you typically wouldn’t ever say out loud to anyone else.

5 Tips to Silence Your Inner Mean Girl - Body Image

1. Stop the body shaming.

There are certain words we use with ourselves that are cruel and mean. They hurt us. We need to start banning these words.  We do it with our children, they are usually the four-letter kind and crude and/or cruel language are banned. We can do the same thing with ourselves. You know what kind of words I am talking about.

Ugly. Fat. Old. Worthless. Big. Gross. Disgusting.

These aren’t healthy or helpful. These are shaming.

Guilt is feeling bad for something that you have done. Shame is feeling bad for something that you are. Don’t allow yourself to shame your body. A recent study showed that many women admitted to having 50, 100 or more body shaming thoughts a day. And, the same study showed that 97% of those women studied admitted they had an “I hate my body” moment.

When you find yourself using those words regarding yourself and/or others (yes, the way we view and think about others affects our own body image), apply the following.

STOP.

Don’t say, “Stop it! You are so dumb! Why do you keep doing that?” If you do it in this manner, you are only continuing the shaming cycle. Instead, just stop. Say it out loud if necessary. Take a deep breath, or get an ice cold drink of water, but stop. Don’t allow your inner mean girl continue the shame.

You deserve to be treated with respect, by others and by yourself. Make sure that you demand it — kindly, clearly, and immediately.

Stop Demand Respect Kindly Clearly and Immediately - 5 Tips to Silence Your Inner Mean Girl

 

2. Don’t believe everything that you think.

 I feel so fat!!

In reality, you may feel fat, but fat is not a feeling. Feelings are happy, sad, hopeless, excited, overwhelmed, frustrated, and angry. You use the words, “I feel fat” to describe these other feelings.

We have the opportunity to challenge our negative thoughts by shifting our persepective. Widen your outlook. Take on a more balanced view.  Practice counteracting your negative thoughts.

Challenge your inner mean girl. The research shows that these negative thoughts are just that: negative. They aren’t necessarily accurate or true. But, they do have an impact on you –a negative one.

Instead of “I feel so fat.” or “Why can’t I look like her?” find ways to focus on what is really happening.

I feel stressed today and I am taking it out negatively on my body.

I don’t look like her. My body isn’t built the same way, and that is o.k. I am going to try to focus on the positive things my body does for me today.

I have a lot of positive qualities that I am ignoring right now. Let me shift my thoughts to those things.

Don't believe everything that you think - 5 tips to silence your inner mean girl

 
3. You are not all or nothing.

 A lot of times the inner mean girl is very black or white, all or nothing. Good or bad. Fat or thin. She offers very little sense of the in-between.

Let’s look at common all or nothing thoughts:

I ate too much today, so I am a failure!

Nothing looks good on me!

I missed exercise today.  I am terrible.

Using the two points we have already addressed, you have some ideas for how to approach these kind of thoughts. If you noticed, these thoughts are not totally accurate, and are very shaming.

Instead, try this:

I ate a too much today. I can be more mindful of what I eat starting now.

This outfit is not flattering, but I know I have some clothes that I feel better in.

I missed exercising today! Bummer. I will work to fit it in tomorrow.

Remember, none of us all completely good or bad. None of us are perfect. We have a lot of in-between. Some days we do great things, and still make mistakes. Some days are filled with a few more mistakes than others. But, we wake up the next day and try again.

4. Your body is more than the sum of its parts.

You know exactly what I am talking about. The media does it constantly to us as women. Very seldom do we get an entire picture of a woman. Often, it is only part.

Her legs.

Her back.

Her belly.

Her rear end. 

If you haven’t noticed, pay attention. You will quickly see what I am talking about.

Sadly, we often do this to ourselves. Just as I did in the first part of this post. It was all about those wrinkles. Thousands of wrinkles. I must be old. (Do you see how I already broke some rules there?)

Honestly, how often do you do this to yourself?

I have saddlebags!

My arms are flabby!

I hate those stretchmarks on my belly!

Let me ask you one question:

Do you define your worth by one piece of you?

One piece - 5 Tips to Silence Your Inner Mean Girl

We are more than our legs, our hips, our stomachs, our breasts. We are more than the sum. When you find yourself compartmentalizing and criticizing one piece of you, think this:

What would I do without my legs?

How would I feel without my breasts?

Because frankly, there are many people out there who don’t have legs or arms.Think about those women who go through breast cancer. I have a dear blogging buddy who has been there, and she stands proudly, scars and all. Suddenly, my wrinkles don’t seem that important.

 I have laugh lines. At least, like two of my kind besties pointed out, I don’t have frown lines!

5. Practice, practice, practice.

These things take time. If you inner mean girl has been around a while, you probably won’t silence her in one day, or one week. But, you can do it!

Because I care and truly want to help in the battle against our inner mean girls, here is a little reminder. Feel free to download and use it as a gentle reminder to take care of your thoughts. For thoughts become actions, and actions become habits. Habits…well, they quickly and easily define us. Choose your habits wisely.

5 Tips to Silence Your Inner Mean Girl - Balm to My Soul

Take it one day, one hour at a time. And, let that inner mean girl know that she doesn’t get to win this one. You know better now!

Take the challenge with me. Let’s say goodbye to mean girls!

Goodbye Mean Girl - 5 Tips to Silence Your Inner Mean Girl

 

If you enjoyed this and have missed the other posts in this series, be sure to check them out below!

Victoria's Secret is Out 1               3 Things Every Woman Needs to Know About Body Image

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Elizabeth

Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul.I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!
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About Elizabeth

Wife, mother of twins, speaker, and creator of Balm to My Soul. I love to write, speak, sleep, snuggle and, if I really get lucky, inspire and help others. I am clearly imperfect but determined to be a little better every day. Some days are better than others! Thanks for stopping by!


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21 thoughts on “5 Tips to Silence Your Inner Mean Girl

  • Reply
    Jen

    Circus mirrors, that good! I have often wondered why dressing rooms tend to have horrible lighting and be a terrible place if stores actually want us to buy clothes! Great tips Elizabeth it always seems that we are our own worst enemy.

  • Reply
    Jenny @ Unremarkable Files

    All good thoughts. Can I suggest one more thing? And I don’t mean this sarcastically at all: don’t spend too much time in front of the mirror. Evaluating how you look is not really that helpful – you either end up feeling superior or inferior to others. Maybe one reason to get rid of the bathroom scale or full-length mirror in your house. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Elizabeth Post author

      I agree Jenny. That is one thing I try to do. I get ready in the morning and then move on with my day. I think that too much time looking in the mirror leads to too much time lost seeing what else is going on in the world. I don’t necessarily think getting rid of the mirrors totally is necessary unless you really struggle with the inner mean girl. If so, then learning to look at yourself as a whole, without compartmentalizing is important. Thank you for your comments! Love to hear what other women think.

    • Reply
      Melissa K. McCarthy

      Yes! Many years ago, I went through treatment for an eating disorder and giving up the mirror and the bathroom scale were essential. Actually, I ran my bathroom scale over with the car for fun one day. Now THAT was therapeutic. I also had a picture of myself at the age of 5 taped to the bathroom mirror. My thought was that I wouldn’t talk to a five year old the way I talked to myself. It was a good reminder everyday to take care of myself like I would take care of a child. I’m happy to report I’m completely content in my body today.

  • Reply
    Cheryl

    It might be a very good idea to get rid of full-body mirrors, and a lot of mirrors in the home -even decorative ones, save for the half-mirror in the bathroom. Also distance yourself, be it temporary or permanently those family members that are “mean girl”-ing you constantly about other matter in your life, not just your looks when you go shopping with them, or try something on at their house at the insistence of other relatives (especially female ones) for the sole purpose of to satisfy their curiosity, or as a token (“she looks darling, you should dress/look like that more often/all the time”). Dress or look that helps you feel good in YOUR skin, even if it in other people’s eyes you look like a slob, hippie, dyke (mother’s favorite when it comes to hair). And if that tv show (I think it’s called ‘What not to wear’)involving taking all of your clothes & putting them in a trash bin in front of your eyes, relatives are in your home WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION OR KNOWLEDGE, sending your clothes to be disposed, refusing to give them back or go through with their ‘fashion reeducation camp’.; then you need to change the locks in your home, and changing jobs as they will use your manner of attire against you-as if it’s more important how you look or how it will reflect on the family, than how it makes you look or how you are expressing yourselves!

  • Reply
    Amber

    Nice post.

    I try not to panic when I find a wrinkle or a gray hair. I’m like, “It means I’ve LIVED!” And then I go eat chocolate to help myself feel better.

    • Reply
      Elizabeth Post author

      I love it, Amber. We certainly have lived! That is one wonderful thing to be grateful for. I tell myself that perhaps I am a little kinder, a little more empathetic, and a little wiser because of the years and experiences. That helps me too!

  • Reply
    LindseyLoo

    Elizabeth, I really like your point about not being “all or nothing”. There are days when I want to smash every mirror but then I get dressed up and put some makeup on and realize, “Hmmm…not bad.” We can’t always trust what we think or feel but equally what we see. It could be the mirror. It could be lighting. It could be the clothing. It can be that we ate something that’s making us bloat. Or we are dehydrated and our skin shows it. It can be so many things. But inside each of us is a heart that beats and loves, our babies first home, an incredible mind, and a soul worth loving. Getting dressed up, grooming, getting polished and pampered is just the icing on the cake! And no matter what, you can always ice it! (Does that make sense?)

  • Reply
    Alli

    I’m so glad I stopped by today! When I look in the mirror I zero in on those parenthesis that have settled around my mouth and I think about asking for Juvederm for Valentine’s Day to pump um up. πŸ™‚ When I complain about them, my daughters roll their eyes and act like those lines don’t exist. My eyes always go straight to that one problem area, yet I know that I’m probably the only person that notices.

    Thanks for the reminder to stop looking at my flaws and begin to see that my body is more than the sum of my parts, even the jiggly ones. Great reminder to love ourselves – all of our self. Excellent!

    • Reply
      Elizabeth Post author

      Thank you, Alli. Isn’t it funny how we always seem to focus on the problem areas? I know that I do it too, so I am working on it. I am glad you stopped over!

  • Reply
    Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom

    Oh wow, did I ever love this.

    I needed this today too because I kid you not, I stood in front of the mirror and verbally put myself down. I obviously have that mean girl too. She’s always picking on me. These are great tips to turn my inner mean girl into a nice girl.

    Thanks so much for sharing.
    xoxo

  • Reply
    Kristina and Millie

    hubby thinks I am nuts because if I start to think negatively I will interrupt myself with a little song like “I love you, you love me, we are perfect as we are” or something like “I am to cute for (whatever)” lol. It does interrupt that mean girl for a bit and gives a chuckle!

  • Reply
    Ronda

    Thank you for stopping in and linking up with us this week on #TheWeekendSocial. We love your ideas and hope to see you again this weekend on KitchenDreaming.com. We have pinned, stumbled & shared your link across our Social Media, FB, G+ and Twitter.