‘She’s so up herself’. I heard that phrase used by a woman about another woman recently. It was casually said but poked something within me. I felt the prickle of something uncomfortable about it and it’s been niggling me ever since.
I looked up the phrase online and there are many similar but slightly differing interpretations from ‘snobbish’ and ‘stuck up’ through ‘smug’, ‘self important ‘and ‘self centred’ to ‘literally up her own backside’ or ‘loves herself so much she’s masterbating’ but we all know what someone means when they say it. It’s hard to warm to someone who seems to be looking down on you or others but is it always used in that context?
When I heard it spoken it was about a woman who appears confident in herself, owns her beliefs and talks openly about her self and her experiences. I’ve never witnessed her being condescending to others or seeming as though she thinks she’s better than anyone else. She just knows her own worth and in my experience, people who do that are more likely to recognise the worth in others and value them as individuals.
So where does that judgement come from? It seems to stem from a belief that a Woman (probably a Man too to some extent but I’m a woman so this is being told as I see it through my personal female lens) shouldn’t have that level of confidence or self belief; that it’s somehow an undesirable trait to feel your own worth and talk positively about yourself. It’s probably something ingrained in us from birth, social conditioning reinforced still to this day in certain areas of society. Is it a British thing? The self effacing underdog does seem to be a favourite of us Brits! It’s as if seeing a self assured, strong woman triggers in us some kind of reaction, to dismiss her as ‘up herself’.
If we look deeper what are our actual gut feelings? Why do we feel this way about someone who openly likes themselves and just naturally give off confident vibes? Is is Jealousy? Secret admiration for that level of self love and openness, triggering self loathing because we can’t do that for ourselves? I don’t know but what I do really feel to be true is that Women (all people actually) should be recognising the worth in each other, supporting each other and raising each other up. Maybe you have to recognise your own self worth in order to see and value it in others? Or does noticing characteristics we admire in others help us to recognise those same things within ourselves and bring about more self love?
Talking positively about yourself doesn’t mean you don’t value others – It could be argued that you’re more likely to also see the positive in others and value it. Confidence is not the same as arrogance and self love does not equal loathing of others. Someone being strongly embodied in their Self is not an indication of how they feel about others. I would have thought it would mean they are better able to value others and raise other people up.
When I feel into what being ‘up myself’ might mean to me I think of feeling mindfully present within my body and aware of the fullness of my soul, fully grounded into my physical body, owning my beliefs and characteristics, knowing I’m flawed but having self acceptance and self love anyway, having the confidence to speak my truth, act from my heart, completely embody by spirit and live my purpose. Being ‘up myself’ would be all about how I feel about myself, living in authenticity and from a place of love and a wish for harmony and balance. It would be nothing to do with anyone else. And maybe being fully within the physical earthly vessel of my soul/expression of my Self would also mean enjoying the pleasure I could create within that body – so it’s possible the masterbating bit is the closest description I found in my search!
Maybe we should all be a bit more ‘up ourselves’? And if you are already ‘up yourself’ congratulations! and thank you for leading the way. Keep shining your light and hopefully we’ll all feel able to shine right beside you soon.
These are just my initial thoughts on the subject, I’d love to know what you think.
Be healthy, be happy and raise each other up. X