I’ve always been quite hard on myself for one reason or another.  I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting to improve and be your best– making goals is great– but there is a difference between working at becoming a better person and making an effort, and tearing yourself apart every time you make a mistake or have a weakness.  I have definitely been at the latter side of things to a drastic extent.  An emotionally abusive boyfriend put me on that path, and a wonderful and caring husband has been helping to bring me back.  The influence of men in our lives is incredible.  I’ve seen it firsthand.  A while ago I came across an article that quite effectively discusses why this is.  I don’t fully agree with all of it, but it is very powerful and overall a great description of why women are so hard on themselves.  It’s pretty long, but I recommend you read at least some of it (if not all).  Whether you agree with it or not, it will make you think. Click on the picture below to read it.  I’d also love to hear some feedback with your thoughts in the comments.
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click the picture above to read the article
EDIT: The website seems to be down right now, at least with Chrome. It worked for me with IE though. Here’s the URL if you want to try yourself later or with a different browser:
http://www.danoah.com/2010/10/worthless-women-and-men-who-make-them.html

On a similar note- anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself is not someone you should associate yourself with- especially in a relationship.  It is not worth it- because you deserve a lot more.  It’s a heck of a lot better to be single for a while and find the right person than to be in a toxic relationship.  And sometimes it’s hard to notice yourself because it can slowly turn into a dangerous situation- so if you know someone who is in that situation, please say something.  I wasn’t even aware of what was happening to me until a long time after the fact and the damage had been done.  Even if the person doesn’t listen right away, the idea will at least be in their head and they can take it as they want.  
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