Therapists talk a lot about boundaries, but we're not always clear what we mean by "boundaries", why they are important to an individual's mental health, or why they are important for healthy relationships.
Self talk is the little dialogue you have going on in your head throughout the day. It is extremely subtle and most people don't realize it's even going on. It's usually a "tape" of what your parents, or whoever raised you, said to you while you were growing up. If they were nurturing and supportive, your self talk probably is nurturing and forgiving. But if they were punitive, verbally abusive, demeaning, belittling, negative, fearful or insulting your self talk probably is too.
Many people ask me how to build self esteem. I think one of the most important aphorisms I've heard was spoken many years ago by Dear Abby, "We teach people how to treat us." So this is where you begin, with good, healthy self care. When you care for yourself you communicate to yourself and others that you are worthy of care. What constitutes good self care?
I was always afraid of guns, because I didn't understand them. So I decided to learn to shoot. I didn't realize I was going to learn about a lot more than just firing a weapon.
Virginia Satir developed a concept of the Self which I have always found useful, especially with clients who are trying to comfort themselves in the midst of a depressive episode or while working through a difficult period in their lives.