It is 5:56am and I’m unable to sleep.
As I don’t seem to have anything better to do, I thought I’d comprise a list of some of the incessant pessimistic thoughts I deal with on a daily basis. Sadly, I don’t actually think they’re that uncommon. Maybe you’ve thought some of these things to yourself.
Negative thoughts are normal every now and then. You could even argue that a fairly taciturn ‘negative internal voice’ is essential to mentally ground us as human beings; helping us to stay humble as opposed to growing egotistical. But the thing is, even then, you require the positive voice to counterbalance it. And you need the positive voice to be a lot more vocal; it should be at the forefront of your overall thinking habits so that you can cultivate that positivity into your life.
But when the roles are reversed – when that negative voice starts to morph into the Batman of your mind and the positive voice is only its sidekick, Robin, that’s when you need to re-evaluate the way in which your mind is working. The negative voice shouldn’t be the main voice. Right now, mine is. It has been for most of my life. I’m working on it, but it’s extremely difficult to unlearn a lifetime of terrible thinking habits. Thoughts like this have become so routine to me that I’m desensitised to how damaging their messages are. It was only until I wrote them all down now that I could recognize how cruel I’m being to myself every single day.
“You’re a nuisance; a burden; someone who just gets in the way.”
“You bring people down. You’re so miserable and negative.”
“People – not even the people you’re closest to – enjoy your company.”
“People only spend time with you because they feel obligated to. They’d always rather be somewhere else, with someone else. They don’t look forward to seeing you.”
“You’re nowhere near as intelligent as you once thought you were.”
“You don’t deserve success.”
“You’re not pretty enough or thin enough.”
“People find you boring. I mean, there is literally nothing interesting about you. All you do is eat and lie in bed all day.”
“Everyone you’re friends with has a friend they’re closer to.”
“You don’t even have any real, fulfilling friendships anyway.”
“Besides, every friend you make you always end up losing, because people get fed up and bored with you so easily.”
“People would like you much more if you were a lot thinner. You’d get more respect. Not to mention you’d be happier within yourself too. You’d be a better person.”
“No one you care about cares about you anywhere near as much.”
“You overestimate how close you think you are to some people. It isn’t mutual.”
“Why do you think that you’re so often the one to instigate the conversation? It’s because nobody wants to talk to you.”
“In fact, if you didn’t talk to people, you’d probably lose contact altogether. People wouldn’t even notice if you were gone.”
“Your hair is stupid and ugly and unkempt. It’s just a mess.”
“Everything you write is crap. You should give up writing altogether because – let’s be serious – you’re not any good at it. It’s embarrassing.”
“Life is just going to keep getting worse, and that’s what you deserve.”
“You shouldn’t talk about what’s wrong or ask for help because you shouldn’t treat people like they’re your therapists. They’ve got their own problems. Not everything is about you.”
“Your body is so disproportionate. Even if you lost weight you’d still look extremely unattractive because of your build.”
“Your eyes are too close together. Your nose is too big and it gets even wider when you smile. You shouldn’t smile anyway; it makes you look ugly.”
“Everything about you is disappointing.”
“Why would anyone ever love you when there’s always somebody better?”
“People would only voluntarily hang out with you to remind themselves that at least they’re not as pathetic as you are.”
“People are only friends with you to have their token ‘ethnic’ friend.”
“When people compliment you, it’s because they feel sorry for you and they’re just trying to make you feel better.”
“You’re an easy target.”
“People patronize you because you’re so pathetic and unconfident. They pity you.”
“You’re lazy and you never even try at all, let alone try hard enough.”
“Nobody likes you.”
“You’re so far behind. How have you achieved so little when people younger than you have achieved so much more?”
“You have so little life experience, so few stories to tell.”
“You’re constantly letting people down.”
“You’re a broken record. You’ve been dealing with the same problems and saying the same things for years. You never make any progress.”
“Nothing looks good on you.”
“Nobody could ever actually find you attractive.”
“You’re constantly making mistakes. Why can’t you do anything right?”
“You take so much for granted, you’re so ungrateful. Somebody else has it so much worse and they’re dealing with it.”
“People are laughing at you.”
“People are staring at you.”
“You’re unworthy of all the things you want.”
“Stop blaming the past and experiences and other people. Everything’s your fault.”
“It’s not even that people hate you, because that entails an element of caring. People don’t care enough about you or acknowledge you to be able to hate you; they’re just indifferent. You’re just like a blank piece of paper to them. You mean nothing to anybody.”
“Everyone is doing better than you – in relationships, in their work, in their personal lives, with their health and within themselves. You’re lagging behind.”
“You’re always going to make the wrong decisions. That’s why you have so many regrets.”
“Your personality is shit, and that’s something you can’t change.”
“Even the things that you claim to be ‘passionate’ about, you have barely any knowledge on. You don’t know anything about anything.”
“You feed off your own self-pity.”
I bet that just reading through that is exhausting, it is for me. I bet that it would make anyone feel deflated or upset. So imagine the effect those thoughts are going to have if they’re a daily mental occurrence. It’s quite literally bullying yourself. Thoughts have a monumental impact on the way we live our lives and our outlook on life. Because I think so negatively, these thoughts are manifested into how I go about my days and how I interact with people – sullenly and anxiously.
I know this and yet, as I mentioned earlier, retracting yourself from that routine way of thinking is not easy to say the very least. It can feel impossible. Not to mention you have to keep actively reminding yourself that you are meant to be thinking positively, as sometimes you just forget. There’s also the fact that (as a result of the low self-esteem caused by negative thinking) you may not feel you deserve to think positively, which creates another reservation, another barrier to overcome. And furthermore, when you do create a positive thought, it can feel so forced and fake and untrue that it’s intended ‘uplifting’ message therefore falls flat. It can feel as though the negative voice was the authentic real life and the positive one is a badly scripted play.
In other words, the negative voice feels as though it’s not controlled by to you whatsoever, it’s a separate and real entity, whilst the positive voice is so obviously you fabricating the words in your head, speaking inside your mind. The negative voice, however, speaks for you. But that must just be an illusion. Surely, logically, the negative voice is just as little or as much under your power as any other is. I’m not sure.
Are thoughts something we have control over? How much/little? Do they pop up from our subconscious or do we actually contrive every single one without realising it? Perhaps, before it’s even a case of knowing what to think, I first have to relearn how to think?
I don’t know. I’m just fed up of being a prick to myself.