You’ll find as you go through life that you can be cruel to other people and get away with it – just pitch your meanness either too low to see or too high to criticize. Dictators and petty despots get away with this all the time.
You can also be cruel to yourself – Woody Allen, Rodney Dangerfield, and Oscar Levant made a good living out of this – and your psychiatrist will also welcome you beating yourself up. At medical rates.
Being kind to others is also approved by the general population, as long as they are not required to join in or to contribute too much money. Do good on a small change basis and you’ll be fine.
But being kind to yourself will bring nothing but condemnation. Anything you buy yourself – any treat that you get – any happiness you find – will be looked upon as self-indulgent. Any time you grant yourself a discharge from guilt or an access to peace will be frowned upon. If you want to be nice to you, you’ll have to do it on the sly. So here are some tips:
a. Decide what you like to eat. Buy it, cook it, and eat it…in your own home.
b. Decide what you like to read. Buy the book, find the website, rent the movie. And look at it in your own home.
c. Decide for yourself what makes you comfortable. Do it in your own home.
Can you see a pattern developing here? Well the exercise of happiness at home is a good start. But consider it as a training phase. Wear yellow clothing and only fly in the daytime if need be…but prepare yourself for bigger things.
One day…go out and order yourself a meal of the things you like to eat in a restaurant. Eat them.
Then go read your book in a public park…or park in a pub and read it.
Then wear the clothing you like out on the street…and go where you find pleasure…and participate in it.
Make no mistake – someone will be angry. Someone will be disapproving. Someone will be unhappy.
But if you have done your training well….it won’t be you.