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Forums / Staying well / Talking to your inner critic, can it be tamed?

Topic: Talking to your inner critic, can it be tamed?

  1. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    28 July 2018 in reply to CMF

    hi all,

    Thanks CMF formyour thiughts.

    I think the first trick is to start challenging critical comments when they first happen and not let them grow and fester.
    The next trick is to work out what the trick is to first trick.
    Quirky

    3 people found this helpful
  2. CMF
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    28 July 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hey Quirky,

    when I read your first suggestion I was hoping the second was going to tell me how lol.

    i guess when we figure it we must be sure to share it.

    cmf x

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  3. Quercus
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    29 July 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky and CMF and Moon and everyone else reading,

    I like your idea of challenging critical comments Quirky. I started thinking about what CMF wrote about wondering HOW to do this.

    I'm slowly learning the "how" involves being able to recognise something negative happening within. By slowing down. Giving myself time. Rather than plowing on with the day unsure of why I suddenly feel "yuck" I stop and think. Give myself the time to realise I am upset or angry or triggered and to figure out why I am upset.

    Once you can recognise in yourself that something has set you off you can think about what and why you don't feel good. And this lets you identify the problem and confront it before it snowballs.

    Probably makes no sense.

    My critic is noisy again. I've just been telling her I've got bigger issues to deal with than whether I'm a crappy human being. That put down is just going to have to wait till I have time to give a damn about it. At this stage maybe I'll starve the critic with lack of attention.

    I've missed you all. In case your critic is explaining my absence as rejection it's important to me you know that is false. I'm drained and overwhelmed and isolating myself to cope until I find my feet again.

    ❤ Nat

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  4. CMF
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    29 July 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Dear Nat,

    i love the idea of starving the critic. It is true, what we give attention to grows. Thank you for pointing that out. I too am realising that when I focus on negatives they control, especially at work. It doesn't matter about others, I need to refocus and just worry about what I am doing. Common knowledge/sense, I know but I am sometimes es consumed with fighting a battle that doesn't need to be there. I guess it's a battle within myself.

    on the subject of rejection, Nat, I'm sure I can speak for all of us, we don't feel rejected. You are allowed to take time for yourself, to heal and feel better. I think your IC is making you think we may feel rejected. It's not the case at all.

    Cmf x

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  5. quirkywords
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    29 July 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Nat,

    I amazed you give the attention you do to the forum knowing how overwhelmed you are.

    My critic says I am not being understanding of you enough and sees my giving you space and time as not being supportive

    However I am feeding my critic on Positives and have explained how this is what you need and you know I and we are all here supporting you and will,offer more when needed.

    CMF I wish I had thought of Nats answer, I squally lock my critic away and ignore it.

    My problem is I am sometimes teary so the least comment from another even if it is helpful or meant as helpful can open up the tear flow.

    thanks Nat , can you please remove crappy from your adjectives describing yourself ,and CMF.

    Quirky

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  6. quirkywords
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    14 September 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Hello everyone,especially people reading for first time a big welcome and a welcome for returning readers,

    How is everyone,s inner critic , quiet I hope.

    i was wondering about what Nat said about starving ones inner critic and I wrote last time I was feeding mine with positives but I wonder is that enough..

    Is it it enough just to be positive and infomercial all the negative sthat buildmupmor do we really need to try and stop the negatives from getting to us.

    i know when I hear l friends say negatives about themselves I can counteract and tell them they are wrong and give them evidence of many positives.

    With myself I find that harder and while I can think of positives, stopping the negatives piercing my thick skin seems hard.

    Anyone have ideas of how to stop the negatives affecting us or how to develop such a resilient skin that they bounce off??

    Quirky

  7. Music_Freak
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    14 September 2018 in reply to quirkywords
    My critic has been whispering in my ear for the last 8 weeks or so...all about uni and how I'm struggling with it. I've been fighting the urge to drop out for weeks, but am trying to think of the end result of possibly getting a job and getting my life how I want it...doesn't always work...
  8. quirkywords
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    14 September 2018 in reply to Music_Freak

    Hello everyone

    Music_Freak, please ignore your inner critic , and yes focus on the end result. It is hard but if you can ignore and focus on the future and what you have achieved so far. I am so proud of what you have done.

    You have come a long way.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  9. lexy_r
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    20 September 2018

    I currently only have an inner critic, even my attempts to talk positively with myself are met with cynicism.

    I have taken back up midefulness practice, it’s very early days but I’m hoping at least I will be able to distance myself from my inner critic.

    Does anyone have other suggestions?

  10. quirkywords
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    21 September 2018 in reply to lexy_r

    Hello everyone

    Lexs, welcome to this thread and thanks for your reply.

    If you look back at my first post and other posts people and myself have tried to have a conversation with their inner critic. If you write down questions for your inner critic and answer them it can help you to think about what your inner critic is up to. just a thought.

    Good luck with mindfulness.

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  11. quirkywords
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    30 September 2018 in reply to lexy_r

    hello everyone.

    I wonder has anyone had a loud inner critic that they have not heard from for a year or more. If so what did you do so inner critic went away.

    I think the longest period my inner critic has left me alone foe was a couple of months. I am not sure why and would like others to share their experience.

    Quirky

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  12. Moonstruck
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    2 October 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Quirky...I don't know if it's been a year...but to silence my inner critic, I enlisted the help of my gentle critic,and wrote down her messages when she talked to me...stuck quite a few of them up in the house inside doors etc....(I gave an example on forum a few months ago).

    All I have to do is open a cupboard door and there are the uplifting words from Gentle Critic......the other Inner Critic that is so nasty doesn't get a say any more.....it doesn't have any notes stuck over the house at all, not a single one...fancy that!

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  13. quirkywords
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    3 October 2018 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hello everyone

    Moon yes I remember your gentle critics kind words and your post it words around the house. I have tried that before but post it notes tend to fall down but I may try it with a magnet on the fridge.

    i suppose my gentle critics words would need to be realistic.

    It is a lovely idea and I wonder who else has tried it. I wonder if the gentle critics words are like affirmations.

    Thanks Moon for this contribution.

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  14. Moonstruck
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    4 October 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    I think I'd better go and read one of "her" messages on my door right now actually. I just counted, not exaggerating....and I am dealing with six...6...issues, happenings, after-effects , things that would be regarded as stressors.....all at once! the six includes a death , oh and also a relationship breakdown..that would usually be enough to cope with...but I easily counted 4 more, all of varying degrees of course...but there to be dealt with nevertheless.

    Or.....I could do what my body and mind is screaming at me for do...i.e. to lie down and rest..just rest...would it be wasting time and the beautiful spring weather today...if I allowed myself to rest, for even 30 minutes??

    why do I need anyone's permission? I MUST look after myself first, why didn't someone give me this message years and years ago?? and yes I feel guilty just considering the "lie down and rest"....oh God..

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  15. quirkywords
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    4 October 2018 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hello everyone but ignoring all the inner critics.

    Moon,

    I would listen to Aunty Quirky and have a rest, do what you want to do, be kind to yourself, shout or scream , listen to music, write, go for a walk, there is no way to cope with all your stressors, just do what feels right and keep reading the kind messages.

    hy do we having a well deserved rest as being lazy and then we feel guilty. I am the same.

    Many many years ago, I had my mum die, a good friend die, marriage break up, moving house , and other issues all within a 6 week period. At the time I told everyone I was fine, and I was but 6 months later I started falling apart and my inner critic had a field day making me feel worthless. I kept denying anything was wrong for so long.

    Moon sending you a big hug.

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  16. quirkywords
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    11 October 2018 in reply to Moonstruck

    Greetings everyone,

    What would happen if your inner critic was true? what would you do then?

    What if you write down the critics words as You are very disorganised, rather than I am disorganised, etc ?

    Quirky

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  17. Elizabeth CP
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    12 October 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Usually there is some truth in what the inner critic says otherwise we wouldn't listen to it!!!

    I think we need to ask 'So what!'

    Does it really matter For example I'm so bad at running my grandson can beat me & make fun of me for being so slow. It doesn't matter I need to remind myself that I've managed fine all my life without being able to run & I really don't care. In this case I need to answer my IC with 'Who cares!!!'

    In some cases it does matter. For example I haven't been very good with my diet lately & need to lose weight. When my IC reminds me I have no self control I need to answer I have had the self control to lose weight in the past &know an effective healthy diet which suits my body so I need to motivate myself to start again. Instead of listening to the negative comments I need to remind myself of what I can do & the benefits of it.

    I sometimes feel disorganised but I need to remind myself of the stresses & competing demands I've been under recently & then work out what I can do about it without putting too much pressure on myself.

    I wish I was better at following my own advice!!!!

    2 people found this helpful
  18. Nance
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    13 October 2018

    Hi all, this topic fascinates me. I find the inner critic is often the parental voices that we heard as children, which becomes internalised into the ways we think about ourselves, such as, whether we feel we are good enough or not. It can shape the way we see ourselves, but may not reflect who we really are and gets in the way of the real self emerging. When we hold onto negative feelings or views about ourselves, this can cause us to give up in life and not feel we are worth anything. This then perpetuates the belief that we are worthless and so the feelings then dictate your behaviour and outlook on life. We may project these feelings outside ourselves into work, life and so forth. It is easy to think that everyone is critical of you or judging you, when you are critical of yourself and harsh towards yourself.

     

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  19. quirkywords
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    13 October 2018 in reply to Nance

    Welcome to the forum Nance.

    Thanks for choosing to write your first post on my thread.

    Your words are very true and very well written with understanding and care.

    . The trouble is knowing what I am doing does not stop that inner critic from bringing our self esteem down.

    You are welcome to post on any thread you like and I welcome your contributions here.

    If however you want to start your own thread feel free to do so.

    Elizabeth

    I agree when you wrote I wish I was better at taking my own advice- story of my life.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  20. quirkywords
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    20 October 2018 in reply to Nance

    Hello all,

    I wonder if others feel their inner critic has power over them when they are feeling low or unwell but when well and full of energy the inner critic has little control over them.

    I do hope everyone is keeping their inner critic in control and looking for the positives they have in abundance.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  21. quirkywords
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    13 November 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello everyone

    I am wondering if people can share their strategies for taming their inner critic?

    New posters very welcome as are all posters.

    Quirky

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  22. Quercus
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    13 November 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    I'm glad you started this post again. I need a refresher course in ignoring the critic in my head. Perhaps new members will have some ideas to share.

    At the moment I'm going with chocolate and music. Critic is calling me fat and lazy but I can't bring myself to care.

    Maybe that is the way Quirky... Feel too tired to care?

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  23. quirkywords
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    14 November 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Greetings all

    Quercus,

    I need a refresher course in dealing with inner critic and in life!!

    Chocolate and music sounds good to me. Sometimes using humour helps too but that can easily turn to sarcasm and sarcastic Quirky is not a nice person!

    i am not sure about feeling too tired to care because in my experience when I say I don’t care I still do but I hope if If I say I dont it won’t hurt as much.

    people tell me ignore inner critic ignore negative feedback and I wish I could ..

    In reality I can’t stop caring as that is me but I can tell my inner critic to go away and stand up to that voice. you taught me that Quercus.

    Please post any ideas to help with taming the inner critic.

    Quirky

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  24. startingnew
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    14 November 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky, Nat and all

    Quirky- Going back to your post in October, Yes i do find that when im unwell or low my IC really overpowers everything, but when im going ok its usually abit quiter or a little easier to manage/or ignore.

    As for tips, lately im doing the same as Nat chocolate and drowning them out with music. Sometimes i find i need to be productive or do something that makes me concentrate on something else, so my studies or artwork seem to work well.

    Im not sure if you guys are the same, but i find the more i try to reason with my IC or argue with it the louder it gets. Im really not sure where my brain thinks of all the things it says and brings up :-/ I end up shutting down more often then i win...

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  25. Music_Freak
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    14 November 2018 in reply to startingnew

    It's uni exam time, so my inner critic has been ripping into me at almost every opportunity. Telling me I'm going to fail and that I was never smart enough for uni etc. etc...

    I find I have to keep busy and distracted like others have mentioned, I even have background music going while I'm revising (before I make a recording to listen to for a few days, from my notes).

    Even taking my cat outside seems to help a little, he is something to smile/laugh at.

    I have a whole to do list ready for the holidays, so hopefully that keeps my IC away/quiet

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  26. quirkywords
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    14 November 2018 in reply to Music_Freak

    Hello everyone,

    Starting New,

    I agree the more I argue with my inner critic the louder it gets.

    Music_Freak

    I am glad you are learning ways to tame your inner critic. Taking a cat outside sounds like a good way to distract your mind. I find just working out side can help me if I am getting full of negative comments.

    I like the way you are looking forward. You seem to be confident in your approach to your exams. You have come a long way this year.

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  27. quirkywords
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    23 November 2018 in reply to Music_Freak

    Hello everyone,

    I have been reading past posts and I wonder if you find that the more you know about how your inner critic acts , heaves and respons the more you can start to tame and lessen its noise.

    I also want to know if others like Starting New find the more they try to reason where their inner critic the louder their inner critic gets?

    I have found that happens sometimes but I also find if I challenge the negative statements with what is really happening in reality that can help to quietness the inner critics voice.

    I hope Everyone is learning new ways of how to tame their inner critic and if you feel like it can share with with others.

    Quriky

    2 people found this helpful
  28. quirkywords
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    23 November 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello again

    Why do see my typos just after I hit send button.

    I told my inner critic I am not hopeless because I make typos. I just have chubby fingers and don’t proofread very carefully. Inner critic did not know what to say.

    Quirky

    3 people found this helpful
  29. Music_Freak
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    23 November 2018 in reply to quirkywords
    My inner critic won't shut up today, my final uni exam of the semester is this afternoon...I just want to cry...
    1 person found this helpful
  30. quirkywords
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    23 November 2018 in reply to Music_Freak

    Hello all.

    Music I am sure you are prepared for your exam. Keep telling your sell you have studied all you can, you will be calm, and you can cope with the exam.

    Try whatever helps, going for a walk, stroking your cat or deep breathing.

    You are amazing in what you have achieved this semester, just look far you have come.

    Quirky

    3 people found this helpful

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