Have you ever considered how you talk to yourself? I sometimes do it out loud. It started, innocently enough, with me and my dog. “Hey BearBear,” I’d say brightly (she hiding, sensing what’s coming) “I know it’s pouring, but we do still have to go for a walk!”
All too soon, this morphed into actually hearing myself say: “come on Jennifer, stop procrastinating and just do that …” (fill in the blank: nasty chore)
Either way — whether our self-talk is aloud or in the privacy of our own head — the key thing is actually what words we use, and what tone of voice, as it were. This is especially important when things go wrong, when we fault or blame ourselves.
I have found that playing with the pronouns you and I produces very interesting results. This applies, by the way, both to tapping and to normal self-talk.
In tapping, “I” is traditionally used: “Even though I’m really frustrated and angry with myself…” This works very well, as myriad happy tappers will attest. You might like to try, however, experimenting with what I call “you and I” tapping and/or talking: the effect is subtly but profoundly different.
In a nutshell, if you split yourself into two people, as it were, you a) gain valuable distance from your issues, and b) can become your own wise and understanding best friend.
Some of us have an unfortunate knee-jerk reaction when something upsets us: we immediately criticize ourselves for feeling upset — thus effortlessly and unhelpfully doubling the problem! “I’m so frustrated with X… Why am I allowing myself to be so upset? What’s the matter with me? Why am I such an idiot? Why do I never learn?”
Imagine, instead, hearing yourself say: “Even though YOU feel very frustrated and hurt, and on top of that you’re upset with yourself for feeling so upset, I completely get it! I totally understand why you feel that way! No wonder you do! It makes complete sense!” When we feel truly heard, understood and accepted, it’s as if the sun just came out! Essentially, this is the response you would want from your best friend. So here’s the exciting part: it’s surprisingly easy, just by swapping pronouns, to become your own absolute (and ever-present!) best friend and ally!
If you just need to rant (“I’m tired, fed up, exhausted…”), traditional “I” tapping works fine. If you’re conflicted, however, or feeling emotions that are unacceptable to you, or you need a hug, that’s when “you and I” tapping can be really transformative. “I can see you’re really upset and conflicted, hating how you feel, not accepting of any of it…but that’s ok. It really is. I’m here, I totally get it, and I will keep you company and I will do my best to help! You may feel alone and stuck, but I’m here, and I’m not going away!”
Do try it! The worst that can happen (if speaking aloud) is people thinking you’re crazy. And then…you can just tap on that!