We here at the antiselfie advocate kindness towards others to replace the narcissism behind the selfie culture on social media.
But we’d like to pause and remind you:
Kindness to others must begin with kindness to self.
The antiselfie has learned, and continues to learn, this lesson in the hardest ways possible.
We all want to be kind to others. But what do we do when others do not reciprocate, or worse, abuse our kindness?
Then we retreat, and start showing ourselves kindness through practicing self-respect.
Self-respect means honoring pain, boundaries and limits, and listening to the internal or external “ouch” and not dismissing it. To do so is to show kindness to yourself. Your self is sending you a message to care for yourself. Listen to it.
One good question to ask yourself to determine if someone is abusing you, or showing you unacceptable behavior : “Would I allow anyone to treat my child (or any child) that way?”
If the answer is no, then the offending behavior should not be allowed to continue. This may mean leaving a situation or person, reporting the situation or person to authorities, seeking help from trusted people to deal with the abusive person or situation.
Then do something to actively soothe yourself. Take a walk in nature. Soak in the tub. Cook your favorite healthy meal. Do yoga. Talk to a trusted, kind person.
Anything that sends yourself the message that “You are loved. You deserve kindness , care and gentleness. Your well-being is important.”
Like all practices, kindness starts with yourself.
Not knowing to care for yourself, you will be unable to care for others.
Not knowing how to honor your own boundaries, others will end up abusing you.
Not knowing to show compassion for yourself when you’re in pain, you will be unable to show genuine compassion for others, and unable to recognize their pain.
When you show yourself kindness and are able to care for and respect yourself, the ability to be kind, caring and respectful to others arises naturally.
Kindness does not mean being a doormat.
In what ways do you care for yourself? In what ways do you encourage your well-being? Do you hear, and listen, when that small voice inside you sends you a message of pain?
Here are other good resources on self-compassion: