Today I Fired my BFF

awesome bubble

I recently read an interesting article about self-talk and the things we say to ourselves every day. Apparently, therapists generally agree that if Hubs or a friend spoke to us the way we speak to ourselves, we’d kick them to the curb right freaking now (okay, I paraphrased).

The writer pointed out that since the person we spend the most time with every day is, well, us, that’s where most of our personal feedback comes from. A co-worker that remarks “Gee, that skirt is a little tight for the office, don’t you think?” doesn’t do near as much damage to our self-esteem as an all-day inner mantra, repeatedly chanting to ourselves “Yep, you’re still fat.”

The brain believes what it’s told, so it’s critical that we become aware of the constant barrage of judgmental, belittling “truths” that we unconsciously tell ourselves all day long. In short, we should never talk to ourselves in a way we’d never tolerate from someone else. We need to be our own biggest cheerleaders. Our own best friends.

She suggested an experiment where you journal your conversations with yourself over the course of a day, to see what kind of a friend you are to you. Here’s what I found. (Meet my inner voice, “BBF,” or Bad Best Friend):

1. The morning weigh-in:
Me: “Staying down where it should. This isn’t so hard.”
BBF:  “Yeah, since you haven’t eaten dinner in a week. You won’t last. If you had that kind of control, you wouldn’t have been a teletubby in the first place. Same time tomorrow, Porkchop.”

2. Out of the shower, naked inspection:
Me: “Not bad for 57. With the right clothes, a push-em-up bra and Spanx, I could still work it.”
BBF: “You’re kidding, right? Then what’s that on the back of your thighs? See it, right between your legs? That’s it, bend over and look upside down between your thighs, and tell me what you see. Yep, it’s your sagging butt cheeks. They evidently thought your boobs looked lonely, so they joined them on the Gravity Express. Still feel like ‘working it’?”

3. Blow-drying my hair:
Me (holding up blow-dryer): “My triceps need a little toning. Maybe I’ll get one of those Shake Weights.”
BBF: “Yeah, that’ll work. If you’re 12. That wobbling skin under your arms is called ‘turkey waddle,’ and it’s only sexy on poultry. Now you’ll be wearing long sleeves in July, just like all the other middle-aged grandmothers in the park.”

4. Make-up:
Me: “My skin looks pretty good. Must be good genes. A little tinted moisturizer to smooth it out, and I’m ready to go.”
BBF: “Who are you kidding?? You’ve had an eye job and Botox, and you still have a L.A. road map around your eyes. And is that a chin hair I see??”

5. Getting dressed:
Me: “This dress would look better over Spanx, but it’s too hot, so not today. I look fine.”
BBF: “Yeah, if your definition of ‘fine’ is a middle-aged woman with ass-jiggle when she’s standing still. No Spanx, no dress, lady.”

6. Career:
Me: “Got to get to work. But someday I’m going to make a living by writing.”
BBF: “Dream on, baby. So far, you’ve only impressed your mother and an ex-boyfriend from high school, class of 1974. And if you ever do actually write a book, your mother is going to expect a free copy. Don’t quit your day job, you hack.”

7. Dieting:
Me: “I’m going to lose two pounds this week. I’m committed. Where’s the produce department?”
BBF: “Yeah, how would you know? You haven’t eaten a vegetable in, like, 57 years. And you might want to take the econo-size box of Milk Duds, 3 frozen pizzas, Brown Cow Diet (seriously??) ice cream sandwiches, Doritos Fire Chips, 2 cans of bean dip, and the 6 bottles of wine out of your cart. You on a diet?? Bahahahaha!”

8. Shopping:
Me: “That bikini in the boutique window is so cute. I remember those days.”
BBF: “Oh, please. You couldn’t wear that in high school. Why do you think your parents always called you the ‘wholesome one’? Get a clue, Blondie. That wasn’t a compliment.”
Me: “Fine, but look at that rockin’ black leather jacket. Ooh, I could definitely do that.”
BBF: “Absolutely, if you’re going for aging, rock band groupie. Why don’t you just buy a leopard print miniskirt and a t-shirt that says ‘I used to be hot’?”

9. Grandkids:
Me: “I wish we lived closer to the kids so I could see them more often.”
BBF: “Yeah, I’ll bet that’s what they’re thinking too. ‘Gee, we wish Mom was here every day, so she could be all up our business and give us lots of advice on how we spend our money and how to raise our kids. That would be way cool.'”

10. Out and About:
Me: “That delightful young man behind the counter is smiling at me.”
BBF: (Snort) “Uh, look behind you. See that hot 20-something blonde gazelle in the cropped top? I’m betting it was her, not you. Besides, you could be that boy’s mother and not have been a child bride, if you get my drift. Guys that flirt with you aren’t called ‘guys.’ They’re called ‘seniors’ and they carry AARP cards, not backpacks.”

11. Dinner:
Me: “No, I’m not going to eat dinner tonight. If I have more than a Fruit Loop and a Diet Coke after 5:00, my weight goes up. But I’m disciplined. I’ll pass tonight.”
BBF: “Ha. By the second glass of wine, you’ll be hitting the Pringles hard. Admit defeat now, snarf down that pizza, and kick yourself in the morning, like every morning, Chubs.”

12. Writing:
Me: “Time to create a brand new post. I can do this. I’m funny. Really, I am.”
BBF: “Maybe you were funny at one time, but that ship has sailed. You have no funny stories left. You’ve told them all. Face it. You’re not funny anymore. And you’re 57. Get out now. You need a new craft, and you’re not getting any younger.”

It seems that my inner best friend is kind of a bitch.

That night, I sent her a text. “Dear Bad Best Friend, You know this friendship thing? You suck at it. So get on down the road with your judgmental, mean-girl self, because I’m dumping your ass. When you can say “Good morning, Gorgeous” without rolling your eyes and snorting, we’ll discuss reconciliation possibilities. Until then, I will no longer consult you on any matters pertaining to my worth.”

I feel more confident already. And now if you’ll excuse me, there’s a fabulous black leather jacket that’s calling my name.

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Comments

  1. says

    As always you had me laughing and shaking my head in agreement all at the same time. I have been having a real heart to heart with my inner BFF and I have told her that if she has nothing nice to say than say nothing at all. We haven’t spoken since the 90’s! Lol!

  2. Mlou says

    Oh ha ha! I want that t-shirt “I used to be hot” – can I get sparkles on it! Seriously, I bet you’d make millions! :)

  3. says

    Spot on…why do we do that to ourselves? And the bad thing is, this starts when we are young. If only we could get pre-teen and teen girls to read this! And of course, the biggest lie your BFF is telling you is that you are no longer funny. I haven’t been reading your blog long but I can honestly say that that’s one big fat lie. You are very funny and I doubt you’ll ever run out of things to write!

  4. Goddess says

    Love this, and we all need to kick the BBF to the curb!That or at least grab her by the scruff and inform her of the new rules. (with a smile and hug afterwards of course~) No more judging, only acceptance, love & encouragement! They say love can heal the world but that must start with loving and nurturing ourselves. Thanks for the smile and great message today!

  5. says

    Yes to firing your BFF. I agree with Goddess that it’s best to let her go with a hug and a smile – after pointing out to her that her tactics have never worked. Being mean to ourselves doesn’t get us to change into perfect beings!
    I love this post.

  6. says

    Oh wow. Just wow. This took my breath away. You nail the serious underlying issues with brilliant humor as always. But I am seriously wondering if my “BFF” reincarnated into your psyche?? Although the timing isn’t right so not possible. But if you peruse her in action here, you will see they could be one and the same!!
    The Write Way To Die. | Once Upon Your Prime. . .
    https://thequotegal.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/the-write-way-to-die/
    Ps. Three more days to BlogHer… I hope our paths cross in person. I would be honored.

    • says

      So happy that you liked this post, Stephanie! I think we all have a demon inner voice. We just need to learn to STOP LISTENING. Can’t wait for BlogHer14! Let’s try to find each other! :)

  7. says

    So, one of my BFF’s (in real life, not my “Bad Best Friend” which I have too) just got a boob lift. I haven’t seen her yet, but she sounds so happy already with her decision. It has made me scrutinize myself even more, wondering if I should do something about my body, which seems to age faster each day. But, this post made me laugh AND make a conscious decision to kick my BBF out of my life, or at least out of the way for now.

    • says

      Emily, you’re right. Nothing like a good friend that suddenly looks 10 years younger than you to make you start questioning your body options. By the time I needed a boob lift, I had decided against it. But some days, I wonder… :)

  8. says

    Such a great post Vikki! Brilliant information from that article, and well applied my friend. Well applied.

    Now excuse me, while I go see about breaking up with a girl.

    ;)

    • says

      Thanks, Chris! Glad you liked it. I debated about posting it because it’s kind of personal, but then again, who am I kidding. I share EVERYTHING. Thanks for commenting! :)

  9. says

    Love it! My best business advice: Hire slow, fire fast. So no matter how long she’s been begging for the job, and even if she worked out for awhile, cut her loose without severance.

  10. says

    To think you put up with that bitch for so long! My inner bff is kinda a weirdo, I need to be more like her sometimes. That is a really good idea though. I’m going to try it out and see what happens.

  11. says

    You’ve managed to produce a very funny post while making a serious point about the importance of quashing our internal critic. That’s no mean achievement.Respect!

    • says

      Thanks, Barb! Yes, it seems like our 50s is when we finally get fed up and drop kick her critical butt out the door! Would have been nice to get there sooner. :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  12. says

    Loved this! I’ve been looking for blogs that are more midlife in nature since I’ve also started one in January. I can really relate to this negative self talk! Why is it that very single day we berate ourselves on not looking nineteen any longer? I love the wisdom I have so far attained, it’s just too bad there is a trade off! Have a wonderful day!

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