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Be Careful When You Negative Self-Talk

  • 26th Oct'21

Have you ever trash-talked yourself? As in talking to yourself in a manner in which you would never speak to anyone? I have, and I'm sure many have done the same at some point or the other. It is what underlines the negative self-talk. Some people practice self-reflection to seek motivation to improve in what they are doing. However, both self-reflection and negative self-talk are different despite their familiarities. People can have self-reflection as a habit but must always prevent negative self-talk. It is because self-reflection is constructive mainly and helps us to perform better. Negative self-talk is never productive and, therefore, rarely can motivate you to do better. Consequently, you must learn to identify negative self-talk that holds you back and try to get rid of them as soon as possible. Also, negative self talk can lead to anxiety and depression.


Why Do People Negative Self-Talk?

Before we check out the common types of negative self-talk, I believe it is essential to understand why people have negative self-talk. Or what leads them to negative self-talk in the first place? The negative self-talk that holds you back is the product of your subconscious mind. Our subconscious mind is capable of storing a lot of information right from our childhood. Significantly, some of the repetitive events that occur in our lives form the basis of many individuals' negative self-talk. It can happen to someone who gets told, "You can't..." or "You're not..." kind of thing throughout their childhood. It stirs up the mind with negative thoughts, resulting in negative self-talk whenever a situation arises.

You must avoid negative self-talk as it can deteriorate your healthy being and put you in a stressful condition. Many people are known to try to get rid of negative self-talk habits. However, you fail as you cannot identify the negative self-talk that holds you back. Therefore, to help you become more familiar with negative self-talk, here are some examples.


Mind Reading

One of the common reasons people negative self-talk themselves is mind reading. People assume what other people are thinking and start reacting to that assumption without any objective evidence. As a result, it often leads people to trash talk themselves down for no good reason. However, to avoid falling for this trap, you must remember that mind reading is nothing but a failure of imagination that creeps our mind with the negative thoughts surrounding us. A typical example of this at the workplace is:


  • While giving a presentation, you notice that your boss is staring at her phone, and you immediately regret volunteering for it assuming she is bored of your presentation.


Now, your boss may have several other reasons to check her phone; however, you chose to assume the worst because it fits your narrative to degrade yourself. Remember that this is a sign of negative self-talk that holds you back, and try to overcome such thoughts the next time.



Overgeneralization is the habit of predicting future outcomes after an adverse event has taken place in our life. Here is a typical example to help you understand it better:


  • Your flight gets delayed, and you immediately hear your subconscious tell you that your flights always get delayed.


It is to signify that a similar incident had happened to you earlier, and that has triggered negative self-talk that concludes that such things are bound to happen with you repetitively. If you have similar experiences due to a particular situation, understand that it is not a healthy thing to do, and most likely, it doesn't happen to you alone. Therefore, you must not look down on yourself because of any such incidents.


Emotional Reasoning

Emotional reasoning is one of the reasons people negatively self-talk themselves down. People who rely highly on emotional reasons can make decisions on how they feel over what they value. Here is an example to help you identify such negative self-talk that holds you back:


  • You plan to go to the gym in the evening, but you don't because you don't feel it when the time comes.


It happens because you might prefer to avoid discomfort than work for a thing you can value. It is an unhealthy practice that can end up taking more from you than adding to your life. Therefore, try not to get overwhelmed with such negative self-talk as it is never constructive or motivating. Instead, it can lead to depression and procrastination.


Black and White Thinking

Black and white thinking refers to the extreme categories that people use for evaluating things. It happens when we keep exaggerated expectations and fail to meet them. Here is an example to help you understand it better:


  • You went on a date, and it went badly. As a result, you blame yourself for it and consider yourself awkward for people to stay around.


This negative self-talk can hold you back from considering going on a date in the future. Here you self-talk yourself down as a disappointment and thus prevent yourself from succeeding at something again. 


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