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Treat Me Like the Scum I Am

guilthideWondering if, to the degree that we have self-esteem issues, we unconsciously ‘invite’ others to treat us accordingly.

For example, if you don’t like or trust yourself, you may be less willing to contribute to conversations. You may hold back and play dumb. Does this encourage others to see you as uninformed, incompetent, uncooperative or passive?

Or, perhaps you believe you’re so worthless that others could never appreciate you. So, when there are opportunities to be seen in a positive light, you avoid them. What’s the point of even trying?

It would make my wife happy if I did the dishes real quick. Wait, nah, she never really appreciates me anyway, so I’ll just keep watching TV.

And does this start a negative feedback loop? A vicious cycle that begins with low self-esteem and ends with lower self-esteem? So, you don’t do the dishes. She sees you as lazy and let’s you know it. You feel worse about yourself.

Where to intervene in this scenario to make a shift?

Seems like the only place to intervene is an area over which you have control. Your own behavior. Speak up. Or do the dishes – or do whichever positive thing comes to mind. Make yourself do it in spite of your feelings to the contrary.

This is NOT easy. Negative feelings can be so compelling that we give into them, almost as if we kinda/sorta want to indulge them. Or, at least, not fight them as hard as we are capable. Of course, we’re talking about the trappings of self-sabotage here.

Unconsciously inviting others to see us in the negative ways we tend to see ourselves is nothing if not self-sabotage.

Most likely, if we invite others to see us as the lowly creatures that we feel we are, we are not doing it on purpose. It’s just an autopilot tendency. This may be why expanding self-awareness is the first and most important move to make.

If you’re up for expanded self-awareness and more education on how self-sabotage works, and how to stop it, watch this free and enlightening video.

Treat Me Like the Scum I Am

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2015). Treat Me Like the Scum I Am. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 2, 2020, from


Last updated: 4 Sep 2015
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