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Talking to your inner critic, can it be tamed?

quirkywords
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.

Quirky


735 Replies 735

Hi Quirky,

As you and some others on the forum may be aware, I have been in a very dark place for a while. I will admit I have not enjoyed it all that much to say the least.

In the darkness I have been able to consider what is not working for me and what I need to change, what I can change and how I might go about that.

Our inner critic, negative thoughts or what ever you want to call it can dominate if we allow it to.

I don't want to go back to that dark place, so if I can glean even a glimmer of hope each day, I will strive for that. That is part of the "learn creative ways to overcome the negative and create a stronger self".

There will be moments when I do not cope at all well, that is okay. Not every day is sunshine without clouds. The best we can do is to try, to consider our thoughts in a different perspective and see if we can find any good and a bit of hope each day.

If you can't find any positives, I believe that is okay as well. Don't give up, try again later or the next day and see what you come up with.

Cheers all from Mrs. Dools

quirkywords
Community Champion
Community Champion

Mrs Dools,

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.

I found this sentence so moving and helpful.

In the darkness I have been able to consider what is not working for me and what I need to change, what I can change and how I might go about that.

I found that so helpful as often in the darkness we can feel there is little hope and chance to change,

You wrote

I don't want to go back to that dark place, so if I can glean even a glimmer of hope each day, I will strive for that.

I wonder what people reading this have found is a glimmer of hope they can use against the inner critic and negative thoughts.

sometimes it can be something so small .

I know I find Dools 3 things to be thankful for thread to be helpful . Sometimes I have trouble finding three because I am thinking too big.

Thanks again Mrs Dool for sharing your thoughts.

Quirky

Hello everyone,

Last year I was talking to a neighbour about my inner critic and he could not understand the concept of an inner critic.

I tried to explain how there is this inner voice and he kept saying but that is your voice, so why do you say things like that. It is hard to explain and I know it sounds ridiculous.

The trouble is that self doubt is very real for me and others at times. It is hard to tell someone who has never had an inner critic or suffered from self doubt.

So how do you explain your inner critic to people who don't understand or do you keep it a secret?.

Quirky

I need to spend some time reading this thread.

Doolhof
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi asdff,

Welcome to this thread. If you have not read anything here before, you will come across a lot of information and thoughts people have expressed about their inner critic, their self or what ever you want to call that voice that is inside of us.

Please know you and all people dropping by are welcome to make comment, contribute, participate or just read.

Cheers to you from Dools

Hi Quirky and All,

In regard to your question, maybe an explanation might work for some people and others may never be able to comprehend what it is like to have an inner voice, especially a negative one.

I find that is a bit like mental health in general, some people just don't get it even if they have been diagnosed with a mental health condition.

I also think in conversation we know who we can share with and who is just not into trying to understand what we are saying.

It can be rewarding almost when a person with no concept of mental health issues is willing to listen and learn.

In saying that, I think we can always learn how to manage, improve, deal with, accept and live with our mental health issues.

Cheers from Dools

I often refer to my inner critic as Nancy, as in Negative Nancy. My counsellor asked me how I speak to her and I said I often tell her to shut up and we agreed that doesn’t work. Now when I have the energy I say thank you for your concern Nancy, but I’ve got this and you aren’t needed here. When I don’t have the energy I give in and agree with her and I’m in a worse position. Nancy tells me I have no friends, that everyone thinks I’m a failure, that everyone is laughing at me etc etc etc. She’s who tells me no one cares about me and I’m worthless. I need to work on my mental strength in the same way I work on my physical strength. Like I don’t know... I have grit and determination, but not the energy to fight Nancy.

That's one of the best things I've read on this subject Georgie7......I saw something similar about talking to our "inner critic" or when "anxiety is talking"...instead of "fighting" Nancy...say instead. "thanks for dropping by but I've got this...no lions or tigers chasing me just now...so I'll manage without you".....I think the person I saw interviewed called her critic "Frank"...

.

Thanks Mrs Dools and Georgie,

I found your posts to be very understanding and informative and helpful.

I have never labelled my critic but I like the idea. Georgie I am so sorry that at times you have little energy to argue and confront negative Nancy with.

Quercus wrote an early post on here about how she challenges her inner critic .

I think if you can take one statement, like that you are failure, ask what does failure mean, you are writing posts to this forum, that is a big deal, you are honest and you have insights.

I don't like the word failure and I try to remove it from my language. You are strong , and you can beat these thoughts.

Quirky

Has anyone seen the video on you tube called the passengers on the bus.

It is about the passengers we have and they can be be critics or peacemakers or something in between.

.Instead of kicking these passengers of the bus , we are the driver of the bus so we decide where we go and we are in control.

Thats the metaphor. So instead of getting rid of our critics they are here for the ride but we are driving and in control.

I am wondering what others feel about this metaphor.

Quirky