Posted by: itneverrainsinseattle | December 15, 2009

Resolution #1: Respect

New Year’s resolutions are generally a waste of breath.

This isn’t a New Year’s resolution. Rather, I am resolved to making a new (and better!) life for myself and my family. (A New Life’s resolution?) This doesn’t wait for an arbitrary day on the calendar, to then be forgotten as the seasons change. This starts NOW. And this resolution STAYS.

Resolution #1: To respect myself and my family, my friends and fellow travelers.

Here’s the deal: I’ve built my life upon acting with integrity — dealing in good faith and honoring my commitments as best I can. That’s all habit by now. But respect is more than that… AND, I need to include myself in that collection of people receiving my respect (and integrity and good faith and commitment, etc.)

Over the years, in an effort to try to be more appealing (less threatening?) in daily interactions, I’ve developed a self-deprecating sense of humor. And as my sense of humor has taken a beating these past few years, along with my self confidence, I didn’t realize that what was left was just the self-deprecation part.

I’ve made a habit of making remarks to try to downplay any sense of faith in myself, because I don’t want to come off as arrogant or pompous or… wrong. But, I would never, ever dream of doing that to a friend, to my family, or even to a stranger! I would never say to any of you, my gentle readers,

“You are probably not a good parent, and are likely going to live alone for the rest of your life.”

I mean… that would just be wrong! On so many levels. And, let’s face it… would you have any business hanging out with someone who would dare say such a thing, even as a joke? NO.

So why have I been putting up with me saying exactly those things about myself?

Habit. That’s all. Just a very bad habit. And, like all bad habits, this habit can be replaced with a better one.

Thank you, dear readers, for encouraging me. Thank you for the gentle (but firm) kick in my behind regarding the self-deprecating remarks I’ve been making in these posts and private e-mails. Do I have doubts? Yes. And I’ll continue to express them. Do I have fears? Yes. And I need to acknowledge and face them.

But I also need to show myself the kind of respect that I would anticipate from my friends. How can I expect my children (or their mother) to respect me when I don’t demand it of myself?

This is not an entirely new revelation, formed out of context. It’s something I’ve been aware of, and have talked about with a therapist and a couple of friends of mine. But I needed a reminder to get back on the right path. With the comments on my most recent post, I’m quicker to see my self-deprecating humor for what it is: the wrong tool for the wrong job that is only making current matters worse.

So… out with the self-deprecation, humorous or otherwise. Time to use some other tools.

And thank YOU, my friends and fellow travelers for reminding me.



  1. I so do this! And you’re right, it is a bad habit. This is going to sound mad, but I have found the best way to break this kind of thought habit is to put an elastic band on your wrist and whenever you catch yourself doing it, give yourself a little ping. It’s a bit Pavlovian, I admit, but it sort of works!

  2. Well, if it helps, I have found your humour to be not very self-deprecating at all. The comments on Erika’s blog are just plain witty. And most of the things on your blog which have made me lol were geeky and/or punny. So you have all that going for you. An intelligent sense of humour. Which, if you read This Fish far back enough, you will find that laughter is the thinking girl’s aphrodisiac. Works on me 😉

  3. I don’t know…I like a little self-deprecating sense of humor. Depends on how self-deprecating, I guess. So, stick with the witty punny stuff and you’ll be just fine.

  4. I do it too. It is such a bad thing to do, because like you said, you wouldn’t do it to someone else and from an outsiders perspective, it sounds so insecure. Glad you realize it, I did too with myself. I read a blog the other day that said to list the best 5 things about yourself, and read it daily. Evertime you go to say something derog about yourself, focus on on of your 5. Actually see yourself at a time when you did it and let yourself feel good about it. I have been doing this and it seems to help.

  5. Wow, I had never thought about it that way: why would I tolerate comments to myself that I wouldn’t tolerate from other people? That’s a real eye-opener.

    In my case, my mantra was, “No one will ever love me.” I’ve gotten away from it, because I’ve realized, logically, how ridiculous it is. But would I hang around with someone who told me that all the time? No way!

    From now on, I will use that yardstick. Thanks!

  6. You’re on the right track now.

    I will never forget that 20 years ago, my (female) boss (at the time) was overheard saying to another employee (about ME):
    “How is is possible for one person to have such a high opinion of herself?”

    I was not offended…I was flattered! (And I got it from my Mom, so thanks, Mom!)

    Oh…and guess who the boss is now? Yeah…it’s ME. lol

    KEEP THINKING LIKE THIS…Practice makes perfect, fake it till you make it, and all that good stuff. When YOU think you’re all that, others will, too.

  7. P.S. When I interview people for positions at my company, if they make any kind of disparaging comment about themselves, I do NOT hire them. I want winners.

  8. I am sometimes the epitome of this. Only due to sacrificing my needs/wants to provide others theirs. I have done the rubber band thing and it works. But sometimes life throws a lot of curveballs and trying to hit them is tough. But in the end you have to respect yourself or others never will.

  9. Yes, we are. Wanna move to California???

  10. I hate it when you talk negatively about yourself. I get it though, I do it too on occasion. But, you have seemed to be doing it less these days, so good for you. You’re fantastic and that’s all you need to remember. 🙂

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