Using Self-Talk to Stay Balanced In The Face Of Bullying/Verbal Attacks

Focus on what you CAN control during unpleasant interactions

Robert Bacal


Photo by Morgan Basham on Unsplash

Self-talk is at the core of staying calm and in control in the face of difficult situations.

Simply put, self-talk refers to the words and thoughts we say to ourselves.

Even if you aren’t aware of the exact words that you’re saying to yourself, be sure that you have this quiet internal process going on within you. It’s a very powerful force for helping you stay calm and changing your own behavior.

We can divide self-talk into two categories:

1. Negative self-talk makes it more difficult to find and use constructive solutions.

2. Positive self-talk is more likely to help you find and use constructive solutions.

Let’s look at them in more detail.

Negative, Nonconstructive Self-Talk

Negative self-talk is inner dialogue that has a tendency to make you more angry, less in control, and less likely to step back and put difficult behavior and situations in context and perspective.

Some general examples of this kind of negative inner dialogue include …

  • vilifying or demonizing another person.
  • labeling the person in a negative way.
  • focusing on how angry you are getting.
  • thinking about how unpleasant a conversation with that person is going to be.
  • words and thoughts of helplessness.

This kind of self-talk is more likely to make you angrier, more emotional, and less in balance.

To be more specific, what do these statements sound like in your head?

  • What an idiot Jane is!
  • I wish this person would smarten up.
  • Man, he drives me crazy!
  • Oh, no, now I have to go talk to Fred.
  • Maybe he’ll quit; that’s the only hope.
  • This is stupid. I can’t do anything with Herb.



Robert Bacal

Author, Trainer, customer service, management, performance appraisal,leadership,difficult customers