Do you like a bit of naughty but nice?

5 Jul

Would you describe a treat to yourself as ‘naughty but nice’?

‘Naughty but nice’ is associated with having a cupcake or something.

And yes – I think that is probably a good description of taking in a huge sugar hit.

However, I know that I often label things that are simply “treaty”, and not to do with potentially unhealthy food, in my head as being ‘naughty but nice’.

If I were to buy some flowers for the house, for example.

Or give myself an hour off in the middle of the day, when I had had an early start, to sit down with a cuppa and a thriller.

I am really working on moving away from describing either of those types of things as ‘naughty but nice’.


Has my inner pedant gone mad?

Or is there something supremely unhelpful about describing little treats to yourself in this way?

I would say the latter.

Our brains can be so judgemental, if we allow them to be.

The trouble is that, describing something as naughty can ring in your head as being bad.

Why would I want to label something that is just essentially a bit pleasurable as something that is wrong to do?

It takes the edge off and activates guilt…

I don’t want to feel guilty for just giving myself a harmless little treat.

The language you use to yourself as well as to other people is important.

So I am working on changing that tendency to evoke a ‘guilty pleasure vibe’ every time I give myself a treat.

I am just going to think of it as a treat.

A treat that needs no negative connotation.

Because here’s the thing: I can find myself justifying having a simple treat, because my brain is translating it as somehow being a bit wrong, and so I need to justify it!

Justifying what you are doing for yourself is reductive.

As though you had to DESERVE it.

And implies you should FEEL GUILTY for doing it.

Certainly for me evoking guilt over treats has meant that I will often deny myself them.

I hope that you have had a few treats in the last weeks.

I went to Dieppe for three days with friends and had a great time. Just a little break at the beginning of the week, a spontaneous decision.

Lovely little town, great food, friendly people, plenty to see and visit, including the museum of Dieppe. A true town museum really charting the history over the last 4 centuries of the town.

With some fun interactive things to do, such as putting your face through the hole, so that you too could be seen as lady playing the harp in the 17th century.

Talking about it afterwards to a friend, I could hear myself moving into justification mode:

“I didn’t let any clients down.”

“We’re not talking about splurging out and putting the family house in jeopardy. It was incredibly good value.”

“I worked all the previous Saturday.”

Why did I feel the need to justify it?

I made the decision, and that should be enough.

Do you do a lot of justification?

Even for tiny little treats, like a bit of time off in the middle of the day, or buying flowers?

I think treats are important for well-being, and not to be diminished by guilt!

I believe that by being kind to ourselves and allowing ourselves the space for a treat ultimately means we give more in a free and flowing way to others.

It definitely feeds in to making us better communicators.

A big part of my mission is to enable people to look at how they can approach their life and work from a place of love and excitement, instead of ‘got to do’ and fear.

These are different sides of the same continuum, and so it is really possible to move over to the positive end from the negative, without any change in outside circumstances.

How you communicate with yourself – ie. in a kind way and non-judgementally, without question means you will be able to do that better with other people, and watch how much more engagement and influence you get with that mode of speaking and listening.

If you don’t already subscribe to my newsletter and would like to know more about what I offer at Locus Coaching then please do feel free to press the link here and sign up to receive by bimonthly newsletters, links to my blog and vlog, news of supportive webinars and offers.

And set yourself a little test.

Decide to stop justifying yourself for little treats to start with.

And then just decide to have a week of not justifying yourself at all.

See how you get on, and feel how liberating it can be.

If you would like to find out more about my coaching and training services, or my new Havening offer, contact me via email at Fiona Whytehead, or book a discovery call.

Fiona Whytehead
By Fiona Whytehead

Founder and Director, Locus Coaching

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Fiona Whytehead
By Fiona Whytehead

Founder and Director, Locus Coaching

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