A couple of questions

Why is it so easy to see the goodness and light within others, and difficult to find it in ourselves?

Why is it that when others are hurting, we can find words of comfort, but we often can’t when we are hurting?

I might ask questions like this once in a while.


I believe it’s because at some point in our lives we were conditioned to believe that. Maybe not intentionally, but all it takes is a couple comments from your parents or someone you trust to make you feel like you’re a POS and other things add to it and in time you believe it. We aren’t born with hatred for ourselves.

I added this to my profile yesterday, it’s fitting.
“I’m the girl that talks others out of suicide, but has a hard time doing the same for herself. She truthfully assures everyone how beautiful, lovely, wonderful and precious they all are, because she doesn’t want them to feel the same way she does… the opposite.”

I think the answer is pretty much the same for both of your questions.


These are good questions @Wings, and an interesting invitation to dive into things that probably hit close to home for many of us.

For your questions, I think that a reason is because we simply are in a position of an outsider when it’s about someone else. No matter which amount of empathy someone can have, struggling and hurting are always individual experiences that happen within ourselves. We can relate and understand, we can also feel for someone, but we can never be in their shoes entirely. Which I think is a great asset when it’s about encouraging someone, because we are not impacted by the hurt that’s happening the way they do. Of course we can hurt with and for someone, but there is still an irremediable distance that would make these hurt different. The emotional side of it is not made of “I am worthless”, because it isn’t about me, but someone else and what they believe about themselves.

When we support someone, we are not leading the fight they are leading within themselves at the moment. But because we’re not in it, we can be invited there and remind them that there is another reality that exists outside of what they are feeling. We can set some lights to show them a safe path when they are lost, because we can see the big picture of a situation. We can appreciate the life of someone beyond the emotional storm they are going through and feels like everything to them at the moment.

That is at least why I deeply believe in vulnerability and the fact that we are stronger together. Emotions, deep emotions and hurt can make us lose sight of so many fundamental things, for so many different reasons. But having safe people in our life who take the time to listen and understand us can be a pillar of strength during those times, because we can rely on them, they can remind us all the things we cannot see or feel when we are hurting.

Another reason, from the “we” side, and not the “others” one, was greatly shared by @Mystrose: worthlessness is a perception that is generally learned because we live in a chaotic, competitive, brutal world that constantly gives us reasons to feel bad about ourselves. It is sometimes integrated for so long that we are unable to even see the thoughts and emotions patterns at play within us. We are just bombarded and overwhelmed by it. We learn to live on this mode almost automatically, so it’s also hard to put words on it.

Another reason, I think, is simply because we don’t have to do the work when it’s about someone else, and when it’s about ourselves it’s just not pleasant to face our pain and challenge our beliefs. When we remind someone that they are worthy, we already know and embrace the conclusion/untangible truth that transcends their situation at the moment. But they’re not at that point yet. They have to go through an emotional maze to get to the same point about themselves, and we cannot do that for them. So we kind of have the “easy” position, the one that doesn’t require to do the work. While when it’s about ourselves… well we are at the beginning or middle of our own maze, and there are times when we just don’t want to deal with it (and vice-versa for others).

No matter what, there is strength to find in the connections we create because we realize that we go through similar processes and share similar thoughts about ourselves. A thing that generally helps me when I struggle with helping myself, is to remind myself that I am no exception. It humbles me to remind myself that I don’t own any privilege when it’s about hurting. I’m like everyone else who is struggling with seeing their own worth, which at least gives me the benefit of the doubt that, like everyone else I may also be worthy of love and have something to share with this world, whether I am able to see it or not. On the main page of the forum there is this sentence that I think summarizes it pretty well: “Where your story is unique but your struggles are not”.

Finally, I think there is often something interesting to dive into when it’s about the connections we make between others and ourselves. There isn’t necessarily a contradiction when we help someone while struggling with helping ourselves. Supporting someone affects us too indirectly and can be a reaction to our own feeling of helplessness. I know that I haven’t become a social worker by mistake. It is meaningful to me. And I’ve learned to see it as being part of a cycle that also meets my own struggles and growth.

I’m a firm believer that genuine care exists but is always made of two people at least. I deeply hate this idea that is often conveyed about helping others as being similar to sacrificing ourselves. I think it’s actually very hypocrite and doesn’t give access to the fact that we affect others as much as they affect us. If I tell people everyday that their situation is not hopeless, then it will of course affect me, my vision of the world and myself in the long run too. It doesn’t change the fact that my motivation and focus are 100% for the other person during the interaction we have. But it’s healthy to acknowledge that because being present is meaningful to me and makes sense regarding my own story, then it also affects me and shapes my heart.

Once I am aware of what belongs to my “relationship” with myself and my own story in the act of supporting someone, I can be genuinely present for someone else and embrace what is about them. All of this being constantly changing through unique interactions.


Good answers! I think it’s useful to consider these questions from time to time. As we evolve, our insights change, although we may not realize it until we revisit questions such as these.

It remains very easy for me to reflexively jump to negative conclusions about myself, then it can take days before my emotional equilibrium is restored. I believe that’s a consequence of past trauma and abuse. I spent my young years absolutely convinced that I deserved all of it, otherwise, it wouldn’t have happened to me. I really loathed myself, and attempted suicide at the age of nine. Emotional flashbacks still occur. These days, when I experience such emotional states, I still manage to keep in mind that it’s an episode that will pass. It’s a bit like stumbling on a path, or maybe even falling, but even while it’s happening, knowing that I’ll be up and walking again.

I think your answer suggests that we are able to view others objectively, and understand what is good about them, but we deny ourselves that same kind of assessment. We do this because we have internalized a deception. Knowing what the problem is, does it mean fixing it can easily be done.

I have another thought that helps me. If a person feels they have little worth, it stands to reason that they would believe that their gifts of support were also of diminished value. If a person knows they have value, compassion, and talent, the support they offer will also be considered to have significant value.

If you want the gift of your presence and interaction to be of greatest value, you must also value its source, which is you.


True. Also, I think in most cases, a person who is suffering, is unwilling to have other people suffer because of it. Besides, a drowning person doesn’t benefit very much if another person decides to drown out of sympathy.

It’s possible to be in the easy position after already having performed a significant amount of the hard work.

There is great liberation in not feeling uniquely victimized.

I think that’s why my brother became a psychologist and I became a psychiatric nurse.

Amen to that! I tend to associate “sacrificing” with codependency and manipulation.

With that understanding and focus, I have no doubt that you have facilitated many miracles. I envisioned myself as a conduit or channel of Loving Energy, hence compassion fatigue was nonexistent. I came away from some really intense hospice situations, feeling like I’d received a cosmic hug.


:hrtlegolove: :hrtlegolove: :hrtlegolove: :hrtlegolove:

I’m glad that you are able to do this. I can relate to this too. I was watching a video on this tonight, what a coincidence lol. He talked about suicide resilience which he described as the perceived ability, resources, or competence to regulate suicide related thoughts, feelings and attitudes.

Made sense.


Self-Love is a daily practice
Training the brain to speak kind to self
To nurture your inner child
To BE the parent you’ve always needed
Positive mind talk
Positive writing/journaling
Being mindful and celebrating the good you do
It’s not wrong to pat yourself on the back
To say “I’m doing very good” - compared to myself before
Not comparing to others.
Creating new wiring in the mind
Proving to your body that you care
MOVE the body as much as possible
Motion and discipline and learning self-care
It’s ok to learn
Life is a learning journey
We build ourselves
We build ourselves up
Like a lego tower, one block at a time
Discovering what nourishes us
Then making that nourishment a daily practice


I often think of this as when your loved one is in a bad relationship or marriage. You, on the outside, see all the crap they go through, how poorly they’re treated, and how much more they deserve. We don’t have any other motivation except our loved one’s best interests at heart, in seeing them as happy as possible and safe. So we say “leave” because we see there’s so much more to life than the pain and misery they’re experiencing.

When we’re the one in that exact same scenario, we may see all the things the outside objective viewer sees, but the conflict/hesitation comes from our minds, from the memories, from the hopes and fears we have. We tend to block out the logic and the evidences in favour of the mental fears, anxieties, misplaced hopes, blame and guilt. We have our HISTORY that we cling on to, that we define ourselves by, that we let determine our future hopes/desires/ feelings of worth.

This is how I view our own inability to be kind and loving to ourselves, why we can’t follow our own advice. Our level of love for ourselves tend to be weighed down and eroded by our past mistakes, our feelings of worthlessness, our guilt and shame, etc.

One of the most powerful things we could ever do is see an internal representation of ourselves and “talk” to that self as we would anyone else here, with love, compassion, faith, and just a 100% belief that they matter and are worthy and valuable. If we could do that for ourselves, consistently, to say to ourselves “hey, YOU’RE GREAT!” and mean it, there is little in this world that could bring us down.

1 Like


So, awareness of our own mistakes dominate our self-perception, but we feel free to overlook the mistakes of others, or find them so understandable that we realize our response should be to provide comfort and support.

What we often end up with is a collection of people who provide support for others while denying their own worthiness, therefore, support received by others is neutralized.

We share gifts of empathy, compassion, encouragement and insight, yet the only reasonable way to maintain a self-perception of unworthiness, is to deny the existence within ourselves, of the gifts we’ve shared.

1 Like

hey there @Wings ,
these are good questions .

1- In my opinion when people see goodness and light within others rather then themselves is probably because they probably see other factors in them that the person who thinks that doesnt.
For example one may say : “she looks very pretty why cant i look like her?” The person feels like theres something inside of her that doesnt make her feel unique. But on the mental health side of things may one say or question someone infront of them “they look very happy , why cant i just be as happy as them ?” or " why cant i just be as good as them." Honestly with what im looking at it , its probably due to self doubt in ones life how one may be doubtful of themselves then others.

2- Honestly when we find the right words we do it out of encouragement , to help others . But when we do it ourselves it is hard to do so due to the fact that we are so “in the moment” that our brain cant process the information thats being told to us or that we try to tell ourselves when were in this flight or fight response when something goes wrong

To those who read this Hold Fast , You’re worth it!

1 Like

It’s not only awareness, because awareness is good. It’s all the heavy negative thoughts we hold on to, that are associated with those mistakes.

For example, to continue the same analogy, if our friend broke up with a toxic partner, we’d say “wow, she really didn’t know what she was getting herself into, i’m so glad she got out of it, it clearly was unhealthy for her”. End of Story.

If it were Ourselves who got out of it, we’d tend to say, “How could I be so stupid and blind to not know better? Maybe this is what I deserve how I should be treated, maybe I made that person act toxic, maybe it’s my fault, how could I walk away and abandon my relationship like that, I’m so weak for leaving, I should have stayed and fight”.

1 Like

You are the first person I know who understands what I mean with this thought. For someone who often struggles with conveying in words the things that are in my mind, I have to say that it feels really good to know that it resonates with you too.

Thank you, really. It means a lot.

I envisioned myself as a conduit or channel of Loving Energy, hence compassion fatigue was nonexistent. I came away from some really intense hospice situations, feeling like I’d received a cosmic hug.

I have no doubt that you’ve brought a lot of peace and warmth to people who needed it during crucial times. That’s just how you are. It can be felt even through computers and with a distance.

1 Like

So, not only do our mistakes dominate, they are expanded upon and associated with feelings of guilt and deficiency. It still comes back to the question of why we’re so unfair toward ourselves. In one sense, we probably believe we are being fair with ourselves by maintaining a horrible self-concept. If we are used to being around people who reinforce our low self-esteem, perhaps when we are no longer around them, we assume their role by providing a steady measure of negative expectations of ourselves.

I think there is often a thought that it’s easier to continue feeling like a hopeless failure than it is to have and then lose hope. If a person has been overwhelmed by the expectations of others, it might be easier to avoid those expectations by convincing others of their ineptitude. If a person’s past includes abuse, the thought of disappointing others can be very frightening.

If I were part of your relationship breakup analogy, I simply tell myself that the partner would be better off without me. In fact, that’s exactly how I felt when it happened. It took years and the support of my children for you to realize that I wasn’t the primary liability to the relationship.

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I believe this kind of discussion is helpful, not only for us but for others who read these postings.

1 Like

My impression is that it’s pretty typical for people to believe of each other that they are happier, more attractive, or more of whatever. The default behavior when in public is to act happy and confident, even while feeling insecure and less than happy. However, I believe the people who hang around this site are pretty good at looking beyond the façade, to sense the deeper emotions and intentions. When they do that, they tend to see what is good in the other person. Something that is commonly overlooked, is the fact that we cannot see the good in others unless that same good exists, at least in potential within us. Therefore, we can learn a lot about ourselves by looking for things to admire in others.

The concept of “fight or flight,” reminds me that even when acknowledging a complement, our identity, or the story we have come to believe about ourselves, is threatened, it’s human nature to resist the unexpected change, even if it’s a positive change or realization about ourselves. It is possible to program our minds to accept the truth when people say good things about us, but it really does take practice and actually an effort akin to “positive conditioning.”

I like the way it’s worded in Perks of Being a Wallflower. “We accept the love we think we deserve”.
It sums up so much and makes so much sense.


I like the way it’s worded in Perks of Being a Wallflower. “We accept the love we think we deserve”.
It sums up so much and makes so much sense.

This movie is pure beauty, with so many thoughts and emotions to read between the lines. I wholeheartedly agree, this quote sums up it all. :hrtlegolove:


I read the book a few times, and it’s sad, but it makes so much sense.


This topic was automatically closed 30 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.