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While not everyone in my life is great, I do have several people who take pains to reassure, encourage, and compliment me. Whoosh. None of it ever sinks in. Any criticism sticks; I can remember it forever. I can remember positive things I've been told, but I don't believe them. I know this is fairly common; the most progress I've made with CBT techniques is to stop repeating the negative things inside my own head. Has anyone turned this around, even in small ways, to start accepting positive comments from others?
 

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Well (speaking for myself), there's a difference between realistic positivity and empty positivity.

I notice that people often attempt to encourage me with well-meaning lies (or otherwise, things that might not be deliberate lies but are nevertheless untruths that they don't realize because they don't have the insight into the depths of my problems). I generally just let them have their say and politely inform them that they're not helping.

I don't think you can brush that aside as "my brain filtering out positivity". It's more like it filters out false hope.
 

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Yep. I always focus on the negative, always anticipate the worse case scenario will unfold. I never believe any of the positive things I'm told either, and interpret any positivity as an attempt to "groom" for me for some ulterior purpose. It's very stressful to live like that.
 

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Yes, "positivity" and stuff that is ostensibly "happy" do not register in my mind. What registers are failure. frustration, self-recrimination, and absurdity.
 

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I know what you mean - I find it very hard to believe it when people try to be positive about me or how I've lived my life. My last therapist would try to rationalise it all and while she was a really nice person I found it very hard to accept and I'm still very hard on myself.

The only time I came close to accepting it was when I did some relaxation exercises a while ago. I was having extreme anxiety most days and would do these guided meditation things I found on Youtube - and when I was at my most calm I'd have some moments of realisation and acceptance of myself. It was wonderful - but fairly brief.
 
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