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Talking to your inner critic, can it be tamed?

Community Champion
Community Champion

Do you have an inner critic ? Have you ever tried to talk to your inner critic. This is what happened when I tried. In my Be yourself thread people asked about how I interviewed my inner critic. So here it is.

This is adapted from a writing exercise to interview your inner critic about one's writing. As my inner critic has an opinion all aspects of my life I decided to broaden the scope of the interview.

Me: I welcome (well I don't really) this opportunity to find out why you always need to have an opinion that is always negative about me and my life.

IC: I thought this was going to be a friendly interchange of ideas but there you go with your anger and hostile remarks. I do not see myself as negative but as helping you, because you do need help.

I am here to help you why can't you see that?

Me: So when I am trying to sleep and you tell me about all my mistakes, embarrassing moments, how does that help me?

IC: I thought while you are in bed you would have time to consider some of your past behaviours. This I feel will only help you to improve.

Me: If you are so helpful why do I feel so worthless, so sad, so ignorant when you are around? Do you really know how low I can feel when you are constantly telling me all my faults?

IC: You make yourself feel that way- I am merely pointing out the truth. It is not my problem that you are so weak.

Me: Maybe this was a bad idea you are never going to listen to me or understand me.

IC: Have you ever thought that maybe you shouldn't listen to me if I upset you so much.

Me How can I ignore you when you are so loud at times.

IC: See this is what I mean you are so weak. You have the power to ignore me, to silence me but all you do is whinge and complain.

Me: I am ending this interview. Enough is enough.

What would you say to your inner critic and what do you want to hear from your inner critic? Maybe you can have a go at interviewing your inner critic.


828 Replies 828

Hi Quirky and all,

You’re most welcome 🙂 Although it mustn’t have been pleasant during the post birthday come-down. Hopefully things have settled for you again, and if not, you’re always more than welcome to share with us here.

Sorry, I don’t want to sidetrack the conversation but wanted to quickly get that in.

So to bring things back on topic, I’ll copy and paste your latest question (and supporting text) 🙂

Is that my inner critic or low self esteem. I mean if I take on the negative I should take on the positive or ignore the negative and the positive. I suppose ideally I would analyse the critical comments, disregard ones that don't apply, and absorb the positive.

What do others thinks? What role does the inner critic play in handling feedback good and bad?

Pepper xoxo

Pepper,and everyone

Thanks for your kind words. I am fine , I was hoping at my age I would be able to cope with the the post party let down but it always disappoints me.

I know you worry about going off topic I feel your comments tie back to the topic anyway.

After having a good time, sometimes our inner critic starts over analysing what has happened instead of letting us enjoy the moment,

I do like what Karen said about how our background affects how we amalyse bad and positive feedback. What do others think?


Hi Quirky and all other contributors,

I'm in complete agreement with what Karen said yesterday. Couldn't have said it any better.



I think it applies most of the time but not all time. It does not apply tom me. I had much love and positive comments yet I still focus on the negative. Maybe I am unique!.

Growing up with negativity and verbal abuse I agree would make it very hard for people to accept positive comments without being wary.


Hi Quirky and all,

Thank you for the lovely post 🙂

I wonder if your post-party blues (sorry, if that’s not the right term) has something to do with experiencing a sudden emotional “high” during your birthday celebration (i.e. you were with family, presumably received presents, etc) then suddenly you returned to daily life, which must have been a huge contrast and “comedown” from you emotional “high.”

Even if you enjoyed daily life, I feel maybe the contrast between can really unravel some emotions...just my thoughts...

Also I wanted to say thank you gratefully for your continued support. It really does mean a lot.

I also see how active you are in supporting so many threads on the forum yet still somehow make time for me. I really appreciate it as I know you don’t have to do it but choose to do it and I’m really thankful for it

You’re a very special, caring person. Big hearted, intelligent and beautiful ❤️

Pepper xoxo

Hello everyone,

Thanks Pepper,

I don't like being centre of attention and I don't socialise much so birthdays can be exhausting. Thats why I dont like parties.

Anyway thanks for your kind words , I will try to accept the kind words. I appreciate your compassion helping others on the forum.

The inner critic has to be fed and listened to for it to grow.

What if we stop listening to the inner critic what would happen?


Hi Quirky,

Thank you, that makes sense. Thanks for explaining your feelings about birthdays and why you find them stressful.

Anyway, I’ll let you people get on with your inner critic discussion 🙂

Pepper xoxo

Hi Quirky and all 😊

Wow this discussion has been busy. And a new member too, awesome, hello Mellyj.

I was thinking about not accepting positive feedback regardless of a loving upbringing. No Quirky you're not alone.

I had a supportive upbringing too but what I learnt recently is in my mind positive feedback was always tied into negative feedback. So I don't trust the words anymore.

Example? My mum would say all the nice comments about how I looked but then her actions said the opposite (buying me a wardrobe of new clothes two sizes too small as "incentive"). To me that negated her words.

Although I know she loves me and would be upset if she knew I felt this way even now I don't always trust words.

What do you think Quirky? Is it something like that?

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello everyone,

Quercus, that is an interesting question. I suppose I was praised for things I was good at but not for things where I struggled, like being messy and untidy. However my parents acknowledged I was no good at sport but I was a good sport and a good loser - well one had to be when one always lost or came last!!

For me it is not trusting the positive because I feel I have fooled people and I know the truth about my flaws and my inner critic is saying you may have fooled them but you can't trick me.

Not sure if that make sense.

Obviously, the inner critic is me, but where did it come from. Forgive me if I repeat myself .

When did you first notice your inner critic- was it at a particular time/incident, moment in your life or can you not recall a time with out Inner/harsh critic?


Hi Nat Your comment My mum would say all the nice comments about how I looked but then her actions said the opposite (buying me a wardrobe of new clothes two sizes too small as "incentive" is an example of how praise can be destructive. If you only get positive comments particularly if they are clearly untrue then you stop believing them which means you never really hear/believe anything positive. On the other hand Quirky knew she was bad at sport but it was given a positive spin ie You are a good loser. With my parents I always believed that they were telling the truth as they saw it so if they said they appreciated me doing something for them I knew they really did. They weren't afraid to acknowledge the negatives eg I'm hopeless at typing, art & sport but as far as my parents were concerned that didn't matter because there were so many things I was good at eg maths. This meant I felt safe & accepted at home. Wish I felt that way outside of home!!! I remember mum being concerned re my weight( I was significantly underweight for my age & height) but it was not made into a big issue but rather something she wanted to keep an eye on so it didn't become a problem. It came across as her wanting me to remain healthy & well not as there being something wrong with me.