There is a meme that speaks directly to the hearts and minds of the overly self-conscious.
Perhaps you’ve seen it; it goes something like this: ‘Brain: ‘I see you are trying to sleep. May I offer you a selection of your most embarrassing memories from the past 10 years?’
At first it seems odd to think that this meme is so popular among those of us whom you would call ‘millennials’ – who grew up steeped in the self-esteem movement of the 1990s.
We were raised after all to love ourselves – not to quietly torture ourselves with decade-old memories.
We were taught in classroom exercises how special we were – the prevailing pop-psych theory of the day being that high self-esteem would carry us to success.
And yet this turns out to be poor preparation for dealing with the everyday embarrassments of being human.
Instead of single-mindedly trying to love yourself – may I suggest a self-directed attitude that has been famously called the opposite of love: indifference.