Treat yourself as you would wish to be treated by others.

A little while ago I had a meeting arranged with a guy who was looking for a new job after the company he was with went into liquidation. For reasons that don’t matter here his circumstances had left him financially compromised but not destitute. I had known him for sometime and he had been a tall, slim, good looking character with a confident almost commanding presence.

46371870 - value yourself sign with blurred background

I was surprised when we met again. No longer did he appear as confident as he once had, somehow his body language was less open and expansive, on top of which his suit did not appear to fit quite as well. His face was less expressive and his language was less authoritative. None of this was critical but it was evident to someone who had known him for some time that his circumstances had understandably affected him.

When I enquired about his welfare he told me he was fine (don’t we all do that). The situation had been no surprise to him and he was looking forward to the challenge of finding a new role and making a success of it. He even went so far as to say had he not lost his job he would probably have resigned.

However he knew as well as I did that at over 50 and expensive it was likely to be an uphill battle. But he was falling into the trap of having to appear positive about everything while at the same time being guilty of self-criticism, feeling inadequate and seeing himself as a failure. He was wrestling with self esteem that at that point in time was at a low. The result was anxiety and discomfort which in turn would affect the possibility of securing a new role and could ultimately have led to depression.

Try self-compassion

Sometimes life is not as we want it. Rather than flagellating themselves with self-criticism or failure self compassionate people understand that ignoring or trying to hide the pain, it is better to accept our imperfections and frailties, understand and work with them. Trying to fight the negative feelings and ignoring their existence is only likely to increase stress levels. If you are able to treat yourself with greater sympathy and kindness then periods of difficulty are likely to cause less emotional turbulence.

If this sounds odd try to imagine a friend or colleague having a similarly difficult time. If you criticise them for being inadequate and tell them they are a failure would you expect it to have a positive effect. Of course not but why would you treat yourself any differently to the way you would treat a friend. Perhaps the old adage should be changed to “treat yourself as you would wish to be treated by others”.


Who am I? A chap living in Nottingham, United Kingdom who perhaps has a much higher level of enthusiasm than ability leading to an interest in many things but mastery of none. A father of three no longer dependent children, or so they tell me, and husband to a one-time nurse who now works with me (or rather I work for). I attempt to take photographs and occasionally fluke half decent shots though thank goodness I no longer have to buy film. I endeavour to practice karate but with advancing years spend more time instructing them participating but actively participate in the more gentle tai chi. Professionally I have spent the last twenty years in recruitment – not always the most highly regarded ‘industry’. For my part I take great pleasure in helping companies to find the right people and a lot of satisfaction out of seeing them thrive and succeed. More recently I have spent a lot of time helping people who have, or fear they may, lose their jobs. For many putting a CV together is so difficult and then finding opportuniteis can be a major challenge. Interviews can be a different problem altogether but with a little help most people can perform a lot better than they otherwise would.

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