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.
As a mum of adult children I know how hard it is and sometimes my words well meaning and positive are misconstrued.
My youngest is shy and when he went for an interview I said I would help him with interview questions. he saw this as being unable to accept he was shy. I thought I was helping and I said I knew he was clever and right for the job but the one word answers he sometimes give would may be seen as being not interested. I suppose I acknowledged his shyness but was encouraging him for the interview.
So sometimes we try to help our children and it does not work. I am sure I could have handled it better.
My inner critic had a field day telling me what a mean uncaring mum I was.
OK...so this is why I think I am odd.
If my mother (or father) ever had the balls to comment or buy me stuff I would have lost the plot.
I know I was born like this and will die like this. Nothing 'caused' it. I was born like this. There is a part of my brain that does not function and empathy is one of the parts. My brain does not produce serotonin but makes extra adrenaline. So I get excited but have no idea when to stop.
Anyone telling me to stop causes issues. Yet I can if my kids are there. So I must have some control.
My anxiety was caused
Sadmushroom, thanks for your comment. You are not odd, everyone does things differently.
Elizabeth, I like your words- If we realise someone has misinterpreted our words and actions do our best to explain ourselves and apologise for the unintentional hurt caused.
I keep thinking about the power I give my harsh critic.
a friend had not replied to my emails or texts or calls for a while and I started to think maybe I had upset her, maybe she did not want to stay in contact.
It turned out she had change email address and phone number but forgot to tell me.
I rushed to the wrong conclusion instead of thinking logically.
Why do I listen the inner critic instead of a logical answer? Does anyone else do this?
It occurred to me Quirky that my "inner critic" isn't ALL "my"inner critic -but made-up of smatterings of other people's actual critical comments and well meaning "advice" over probably many years.. e.g. just now tests show I am anaemic (not the first time) very low blood pressure, made worse by the extreme heat. I am so very tired all the time and want to lie down and read, or rest, or listen to tapes.
Realised my inner critic is not only having a go herself, but repeating things that have actually been said to me in the past ...things like...."You need to get out of the house more - keep busy, that is the best thing to do - don't waste the day away - clean up the house for a start, that'll make you feel better - go for a walk you'll feel better". So I feel guilty if I rest, when that is what my body is telling me to do. My inner critic says I am being lazy and non-productive if I do.
Thanks for sharing that insight.
I think our inner critics are a mixture of thoughts we believe about ourselves and our insecurities and as you say, sayings that other people have said over the years and have remembered.
I know my parents use to say how clumsy I am (and would also say how creative I was etc) so that if I drop something now I just here on repeat tape how clumsy I am and how I always break things and should only be given plastic. It is so entrenched I now feel it is my personal belief and it is how I describe myself.
Also with my medication I have a light tremor so I do drop things.
Moon, can you now that you understand where these sayings come from, tell yourself you are unwell and need to rest? Or do you see yourself as being lazy?