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.
Thanks for your post Music. I am pleased you are going to university.
I would shout at your critic and say how much you have achieved. tell critic you are making a plan for a good routine. just keep taking one step at a time and try ignoring or sing. I sometimes sing loudly to drown out negative thoughts.
All the best
I've got a bit of a potty mouth, always have had. I was always getting caught swearing at my catholic all girls high school and told it wasn't lady like - pfft! I don't drink, smoke, gamble etc. so if swearing is it, so be it.
I'm currently fighting the urge to crawl back into bed and hiding...we'll see if I win...
Hi Quirky (and hello to MF and anyone reading along),
Ah criticism. Do you find that seeing as you're your own worst critic when someone criticises you it becomes this enormous snowball of self doubt and loathing? Or maybe that's just me.
Quirky is it because you care what they think that it's cut deep?can we help?
I thought my inner critic was asleep this morning after taking the new meds. Even put on makeup. While the kids were in Polish school I decided to go to the op shop nearby and actually bought a few things. Felt good. Was chatting to people. I could look in the mirror and the critic was quiet. Unheard of.
Normally I wouldn't make eye contact with anyone. Asking a question at a counter is something I don't do. Today I did. The centre opposite the school is having a mental health seminar this week I have been looking at the listing in blueVoices for ages. I went and asked. Then sent an email to check if there are spaces left. Walking out I wondered why that was difficult usually. The critic inside told me you are not worthy of their time. It stopped me. But today I am? Nothing has changed. I'm still me. Just less nervous. She was quiet again.
Then as the day went on hubby asked me if I would like to buy a jacket for a trip coming up. I saw one immediately. Red. Lovely. I had tried one identical at the op shop but it was a little small. And then I looked in the mirror. Where had she gone? Disgusting. Welcome back critic. I didn't bother looking again. I bought the damn jacket because earlier I had been happy with it. A little stuff you to the critic.
I think our critics are always there Quirky. They just wait until we are vulnerable.
That's what made me ask if we can help. What upset you? Is it something we have enough understanding to act as neutral third party who can give you another point of view.
When I walked outside I put on my jacket and spun around slowly. Hubby said he likes it just not with my busted up old sneakers. That's enough confirmation for me.
Thanks Nat for your kind and thoughtful response.
The inner critic maybe there all the time but does it pounce when we are vulnerable or we allow it to be heard when we feel fragile?
I think you will look great in the red jacket. I always wanted a red pair of shoes but always talked myself out of them!
My problem is I instantly react when people say something I prerceive as less than positive. However if I analyse the words and the intention I know sometimes it was said with good intentions. the person this time has a heraing impairment and I this affects her tone of voice so sometimes it comes across as critical when it is really meant as friendly.
I need to learn to not fall apart when people make comments to me as I immediately see it is a critical and then that fat feeds the inner critic who says I told you so, you are hopeless.
Does that make sense, see what I mean about rambling.
When people are really critical of course that upsets me too and I apologise profusely as I always think things are my fault. the inner critic stays silent as it knows I am doing its work all by myself!!
I think handling negative feedback maybe a topic in itself.
I just wanted to throw in here, for what its worth...that I honestly don't have people saying critical or hurtful things to me much...if ever...at all.
99% of the time the people I know, the ones I interact with say positive good things to me....(of course I don't know what they say behind my back, as none of us really do after all, do we?) but I don't find others saying negative stuff to me. just sayin'
Moon I recall you saying this before and that is great . Maybe some families are more prone to being criticl than others. My family is loving but can be critical. Of course people say I am too sensitives so I do examine what people say to see if it was meant with good intentions or not.
I don't mean people are critical or I see them as being critical a lot maybe not that often but when it happens it does hurt or I let it hurt me.
Moon, can you think why yo don't get any criticism form your friends and family? It would be interesting to find out.
To be fair many people would see themselves as being negative to me but that I was over reacting.