By Patricia O’Gorman, PhD
The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox Plan: The Resilient Woman’s Guide to Saying NO to Negative Self-Talk and YES to Personal Power (2014) — a fun book about a serious topic
Women focus on being kind to others, but do we ever stop to think about being kind to ourselves?
How Do You View Yourself?
When you look in the mirror, do you notice:
- Your beautiful smile . . . or do you focus on where you need Botox®?
- Your kind eyes . . . or do you tell yourself you need to get your eyebrows done?
- Your curves . . . or do you fret about losing weight?
- A capable and competent employee . . . or do you worry that you won’t be liked if you offer your opinion?
- A valuable asset to your partner . . . or do you focus on being someone you think your partner wants you to be?
Girly Thoughts Teach Unkindness
Every single day you are cruel to the person who is the foundation of your life – yourself! Why? Because those societally driven, family-reinforced notions of how women should look and act – girly thoughts – cause you to see yourself (and other women as well) as not measuring up.
Think not? Listen to what you say, not only to yourself, but also about other women.
- “I can’t believe she got that promotion. She must be sleeping with the boss.”
- “If I just lose five more pounds, I bet I’ll get his attention.”
- “I wish she’d stop bragging about her daughter all the time.”
Your girly thoughts are a major distraction from important parts of your life—love, connection, and compassion, and they teach you to be critical instead of kind. They drain you. You only have so much energy; do you want to spend yours on negative, judgmental girly thoughts or on being kind to yourself and others?
Fighting Girly Thoughts with Kindness
Marisa had already decided to stop beating herself up over not having what society deemed the perfect body. But in a clothing store one day, she heard stifled sobs from the next fitting room, and her heart broke. In there was another a younger, tall, curvaceous woman who was distraught because she couldn’t find anything to wear to a friend’s wedding.
“I’m so fat,” she moaned. “No,” Marisa countered, “You’re a commanding presence!” The younger woman laughed, and Marisa helped her to find the perfect dress honoring her beautiful body.
Detox from Your Girly Thoughts
Want to be kind to yourself? Stop listening to your girly thoughts! Here are some tips from my new book, The Girly Thoughts 10-Day Detox:
- Realize you’re not the only one who feels so inadequate. Having the right color lipstick or staying forever young are messages women hear every day.
- Identify those self-defeating messages as girly thoughts. Having a name for something gives you power over it, and helps you say NO to self-defeating thoughts.
- Get support for outing your girly thoughts. Have fun with friends at a Girls’ Night Out, or with your daughter or your mother to see who can find the most girly thoughts in a TV Show, a movie, or in ads.
- Challenge your most annoying girly thought. Every time you hear it, name it and tell it to get lost.
- Replace your girly thoughts with kind messages about yourself. Instead of being angry with your body, thank your “big bottom” for cushioning you as you sit; think of your stretch marks as your tiger stripes. Find the positive in the parts of you that demand your attention.
- Say daily positive affirmations. I love my body; my body loves me; I like my spirit; I am capable and confident.
Getting rid of your girly thoughts—now that’s being kind to you!
Patricia A. O'Gorman, Ph.D., is a psychologist in private practice. She is noted for her work on women, trauma, and substance abuse and for her warm, inspiring, and amusing presentations that make complex issues accessible and even fun. She has served as a consultant to organizations across the country in preventative and clinical strategic planning. Dr. O'Gorman is a cofounder of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, and she has held positions ranging from director of a rape crisis center to clinical director of a child welfare agency, and director of the division of prevention for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). She is a veteran of numerous television appearances, including Good Morning America, Today, and AM Sunday and is the author of eight books including: The Girly Thoughts 10 Day Detox Plan (2014), The Resilient Woman: Mastering the 7 Steps to Personal Power (2013), and Healing Trauma Through Self-Parenting (2012) 12 Steps to Self-Parenting.