Friday, April 30, 2010

The Reverse-Golden-Rule

We’ve all heard about the Golden-Rule: Treat other people as you would like to be treated. Pretty straight forward and most people get it.

Have you ever heard of the “Reverse Golden-Rule?” It simply states: Treat yourself the way you would treat others.

Many times in recovery, clients treat themselves so poorly that I’m bothered by the way they treat themselves. These individuals emotionally berate themselves, sometimes even expressing the self-hate and shame out loud. Statements such as “I’m so stupid, I’m a F***-up, and I deserve SH**” are not uncommon. When I hear this, I simply ask, “Would you treat others the way you treat yourself? Almost always, the response is No. Hence the Reverse-Golden-Rule: Treat yourself the way you would treat others. For individuals early in recovery, this is the only way to learn self-care, self-respect, and self-love. It isn’t the end of treatment, but it’s a start.

Be Gentle with yourself!


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