Talking to your inner critic, can it be tamed?
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.
Very timely email directing me to this article. Spooky really.
I've been on antidepressants for years, but the last few have been horrid. Death of mum, family disputes, friends who just don't understand/have their own issues, loss of job 2 weeks prior to mum's death. All compounded by alcohol use which (unfortunately) I still turn to as a short term solution to stop those negative loops which go round & round in the head.
It's just so exhausting to keep fighting these things. And to top it all off my alcohol counsellor left the practice and when I tried to reschedule with the person he recommended I was told they too had left and my new referral was null & void. It was just too hard to continue to seek treatment. "Even the universe hates me" you tell yourself. The last straw, almost. If I wasn't so scared of there being a possibility of hell or reincarnation into a worse world than I'm in now I would consider the longest sleep perfect peace.
And I totally agree with the article in regards to where these inner voices come from. I've been dealing with rejection since primary school and still feel that I don't fit in anywhere. I think that brought on the depression and not the other way around. I'm not normal. I feel so isolated to those closest to me because they just don't understand. I feel like I'm living in my own little bubble and will never connect with anyone on a close level.
But before I even saw this article I actually did give myself some kindness today. Instead of forcing myself to get up and about like I had planned to, I relaxed in a bath and went back to bed. Just to give me some space and some relaxation time so I can recoup my energy and start again tomorrow. And that was pretty much a first, believe me.
I'm into true crime, so I will keep in mind to take my thoughts to court as suggested - when it's so engrained in you it's hard to win though.
4cats, thanks fir sharing your story,
i am glad you found the article helpful.
I agree that when we are physically ill we get lots of tea and sympathy yet when mentally ill we are often ignore or golf to get over it.
I think we need to be kinder to ourselves as you have mentioned so we don’t out too much pressure on ourselves.
Inner critic may come from a place of rejection or insecurity or low self esteem but we need to challenge that negative voice.
Someone told me that you should treat yourself as you would your best friend so instead of bullying yourself you try to look after and care for yourself .
I think the fact yiu are aware of what you think and how you behave this will help.
Thanks so much for your reply. I agree being aware when your inner critic is talking is the key to being able to control it.
Thinking about something good that has happened or saying something we like about ourselves is one way of silencing the inner critic.
Thinking of you. The forum and the community is always here when you are ready or comfortable to post.
A counsellor asked me to fill out a "Strengths Survey" a couple of days ago on the computer. It was interesting while I was doing it, noticing just how much I put myself down!
My answers could have been so different if I had more self respect and self appreciation! That inner critic can be tough on those not so good days hey!
Huge cheers to you Quirky! From Dools