Posted 17 December 2003 - 07:56 PM
I struggle w/this aspect of things too. The post that said, "Well, what would you think of your story if someone else was telling it to you?" rang very true to me.
Some time ago, when I was getting some counseling for panic attacks, my counselor was trying to teach me "positive self-talk" as a means to help myself when I had an attack. Boy, was that HARD! I just COULD NOT be kind and caring to myself--everything was the boot camp drill sergeant saying,"Enough of that! Get yourself together! Stop your damn whining!" and so on. I mean, I really seriously COULD NOT treat myself nicely, it was absolutely impossible! When the counselor, after watching me struggle with this, finally asked me,"Well, how would you respond to a friend who was experiencing this same situation w/panic attacks?", it became so EASY to offer comfort, to be gentle and loving.
The point I'm trying to make, I guess, is that the 2 phenomena seem to be part of the same mindset--that we each feel that we as individuals are not as "worthy" of kindness, caring, etc., as other people, that other people's problems are worse somehow. Don't have any great deep insight into why that is--but if a person has any doubts about whether or not a problem or feeling is "real" or "deserves attention", I'd sure suggest the little viewpoint shift of imagining someone else telling you that THEY are feeling what you feel.