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.
I understand your comment about boastfulness. I was brought up with the same principles.
It can make it very hard to accept praise and even criticism when we have an unbalanced view of what is acceptable.
Today I decided to go on a walk I have been meaning to do for years but put it off because I felt like I needed to take someone else with me. Maybe that was a good idea for safety in-case of an accident like a sprained ankle.
Part of me also tells myself I don't deserve to do anything that I will find enjoyable! How crazy our inner critic can be at times.
I went for my walk. I did leave my husband a note to tell him where I was in-case I didn't return before he came home from work.
I congratulated myself for going on this walk.
Cheers all from Doolhof
hi quirky, i 100 percent agree. Awareness takes a lot of "oomph" out of our inner critic. If we are aware of the kinds of critical thoughts we have, they become ridiculous.
I often have thoughts that people will dislike me if I stand up for myself.
Now that I know that, I'm okay with it - i can let them dislike me and in the end it rarely happens.
My inner critic can be quite loud and brutal! But im learning to restructure those thoughts and soften my inner critics voice to just background noise.
As quirky perfectly put it -
I think the more we are aware of our inner critic the more we can fight it or be logical.
how is everyone going with covid being isolated and ones inner critic.
sleepy, you are so right, when we face a fear it may not happen and if it does we are ok.
Gambit You say so well that im learning to restructure those thoughts and soften my inner critics voice to just background noise.
Has any one any other advice to quieten our inner critic.
I've has a pretty rough 6 months and have been doing therapy which has helped a lot but it was pointed out to me during these sessions how critical I am of myself. Ive never really noticed it until it was pointed out to me. I have always been like that, nothing ever good enough, impossible standards etc. Ive been trying hard to be more aware of this and trying to catch myself when I do it but it can be hard when it's been so well practiced.
The other day at work I had to complete a task but I didn't do it correctly, instead of going, I'm I can see my error and trying again, my first instinct was to send my boss a message telling her that I failed and that I should receive "dumbass of the week award" - yep, I actually used those words 🤦♀️, thankfully she knows me well. It wasn't until I sat down at the end of the day with a cuppa and had time to reflect that I realised how hard i was on myself and that I completely missed it at the time. Defiantly a work in progress.
Catie thanks for sharing your experience honestly,
I can relate and its not till later we think why were we so harsh on our selves. You now realise what you did, The next step when you hear critical words coming say ok realty check.
I made a mistake but I am not worthless, I can learn from this mistake,
The earlier we catch the negativity the better we feel.
Thanks for being so honest and I hope next time you can catch those thoughts earlier.
Hi Quirky and all.....🤗..
My inner critic can be very argumentative when it wants to be listened to...
Strange isn’t it that when we do something nice for someone, or do a good job at doing something our gentle caring inner critic hides..The moment something goes wrong, our.... well I know my over controlling inner critic pushes itself to the front of my confused brain and starts arguing with me...