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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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    2 December 2018 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hello everyone,

    The idea of someone looking over my shoulder would freak me as I dislike it when people do that.

    Moon, I really hoped your name was Moon. I sometimes forget and type my emails as Quirky and confuse my friends!!

    I suppose my IC is in my head not so much a voice but thoughts to undermine me.

    Let us know if that note helps.

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  2. asdff
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    2 December 2018 in reply to Moonstruck
    Moonstruck same. I have been told by my psychologist that I have very high standards for myself. When I fall down into a heap, as I do time and time again. I cry why do have to be so perfect? Sometimes I wish I was one of these people who didn't fold thier laundry, who kept their house, their car in a mess. Alas I am not.
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  3. quirkywords
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    3 December 2018 in reply to asdff

    Hello everyone,

    asdff

    That is interesting what younwrite in your post.

    I am disorganised and messy , yet I am often annoyed that I am not more .organised and wish I could fold my laundry be neater and more organised like other people.

    yet is it the same thing as too high a standard but I am at other end and often feel I am not good enough.?

    Quirky

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  4. asdff
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    3 December 2018 in reply to quirkywords
    So Quirky perhaps a middle ground? Where we are happy with how we are? I was asked yesterday what would you like for Christmas? My response was baby sitting, I have 7 weeks of school holidays to get through soon. I also thought as I brushed my teeth to not have a mental healt illness. That is not going to happen!!!!!
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  5. quirkywords
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    4 December 2018 in reply to asdff

    Hello everyone,

    That’s why I started a thread Be Yourself who am ?

    People often say be yourself be happy with who you are and the in the next breath they tell you how to change and be calmer, tidier , more organised, more patient etc.

    Then my IC adds to the “advice” from others , and the circle continues.

    I think practical presents are the best.

    Question for everyone. Does your IC apear around Christmas are are you too busy to notice?

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  6. quirkywords
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    11 December 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello everyone,

    Are you too busy to hear your inner critc.?

    Is anyone's inner critic making it hard for them at this time of year as you have to socialise and ,maybe host the family.

    Does anyone wonder where 2018 went? My critic is trying to tell me I have done thing this year so I am trying to ignore it. ?

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  7. quirkywords
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    14 December 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello everyone waves to all,

    I often read about people who are struggling with an inner voice that says they are worthless, hopeless or useless, Why don’t we eliminate those words from our vocabulary that is negative and end sin less.

    Do you think you could try and we could say look Ic I am not going to listen to your negative words.

    I can be wonderful, hopeful and useful.

    Whi wants to try?

    Quirkyn

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  8. Quercus
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    15 December 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    I'll join you and keep on trying to keep the critic inside at bay.

    Christmas is a difficult time of year for me too.

    It is an easy attack for my critic to target our financial difficulties and the gifts and plans I have organised.

    Logically I know what I'm doing is absolutely fine... but emotionally I feel a failure.

    What is helping me is making an effort to ignore the advertising and focus on what I feel matter not what everyone else is doing.

  9. quirkywords
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    15 December 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Hello all

    Quercus I am sad that true meaning of. Hristmas has caused lovely kind people like you to be made to feel that are not doing enough as the commercial side has reared its ugly head.

    Bah humbug to any inner critic or person who makes anyone feel inadequate at this time.

    Peace to all.

    Quirky

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  10. Ggrand
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    15 December 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello Quirky, Quercus, asdff,

    I think it’s about time that the people making these Christmas commercials realises that Christmas can also be a very sad, depressed, stressful, horrid time for a lot of people, and should try and take that into consideration, because not everyone has a Merry Christmas..commercials with happy family gatherings with laughing, opening expensive presents, and being so full of laughter, dressed like their going to some big Christmas function...to me is all false...It pulls me down....I wished the commercial producers and tv stations realise that Christmas also brings sadness to many...

    Grandy.

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  11. Moonstruck
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    15 December 2018 in reply to Ggrand

    Grandy....I couldn't agree with you more. When...when...are these people who make these decisions going to realise the mental and emotional harm, damage, despair, pain, torment that this over emphasis on "happy" Christmas hype.....does to such a lot, I repeat, so many... (and there are a lot, they just suffer in silent distress)

    Of course, if this time of year means a lot to you, and your family...go for it. that's great...of course it's lovely to put decorations on your house and wear special T shirts, earrings and buy lots of delicious festive food....but please, please, don't ram your preferences and personal celebrations down everyone else's necks!!!

    If I had plenty of money, heaps of luxurious cars, clothes, diamonds, servants, butlers, etc....I certainly wouldn't shout it from the rooftops and draw excessive attention to my good fortune to the rest of society!!! Particularly those who were poor and had nothing!...yet those who plan and enjoy a wonderful Christmas with people they love and who love them keep ramming it home to those who are without.

    ....sorry folks, this topic just really gets me angry...so cruel.

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  12. quirkywords
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    15 December 2018 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hello moonstruck and Grandy,

    Grandy,

    These pressures have always been here so maybe we need to find meaning.This time of year and not be distracted by the commercialisation. as children we would accompany our dad taking Smith family hampers to people in need.

    We can do acts of kindness and teach our children the meaning.

    moonstruck, I agree that families should celebrate how they like.

    Quirky

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  13. Moonstruck
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    16 December 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    I have to apologise for my last post...a bit over the top. I was in the middle of severe anxiety and it just kept pouring out of me...I am sorry. I got carried away. Please make allowances for my raving and if I have offended anyone.... Quirky I know this is about our Inner Critic, not Christmas and I lost the plot a bit.....

  14. quirkywords
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    16 December 2018 in reply to Moonstruck

    Hello all,

    Moon no need to apologise, your post made a lot of sense.

    i feel my inner critic is influenced vex by social media, advertisements etc and tries to make me feel bad.

    you were right on topic. thanks moon.

    Quirky

  15. White Rose
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    16 December 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    I remember Christmas when I was a child. So much magic, so much joy. Snowballs and turkey, presents and Father Christmas in the shops with family getting together. I suppose w cannot blame the shops etc. They want to make a few dollars we go along with it buying what we cannot afford at times to please others and to be seen as giving as everyone else.

    We can protest by only buying what we need and not what social pressure dictates. You never know, it may catch on.

    Christmas is sad for many people because they are alone or remember that last Christmas they had a loved one with them. The homeless would love to celebrate in a home of their home but make do by having Christmas day lunch with one of the local groups who give up part of their Christmas to give a lift to others.

    My mom died on Christmas day and it was pretty horrid. Why does it seem worse because it was Christmas? My mom's death was heartbreaking and will be so regardless of the season. I miss her very much.

    Lets leave Christmas to those who can enjoy huge celebrations and we will enjoy ourselves in the way we like best.

    Mary

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  16. quirkywords
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    16 December 2018 in reply to White Rose

    hello everyone

    Mary thatwas sad about your mum dying on Christmas Day. my mum died on mother’s day.

    Infeel we letnour in er critic or nagging voice of self doubt u dermine us when we feel we do not really matter so the voice feeds our insecurities and we start being menare tomourselve sthan our critic is.

    Do others agree?

    Quirky

  17. Elizabeth CP
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    17 December 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    I think we need to remember where Christmas came from. It is the celebration of the birth of Christ. I remember explaining this to my children & explained that our present to him should be doing things which makes others happy because that is what he would want. Unfortunately our society & the media gives the impression that we should fit in with some set idea of what being happy looks like. Those of us who enjoy spending time sharing a traditional Christmas meal & traditions with our family should do so as long as everyone else is happy with that but if you prefer to spend time alone or with a partner then do so but don't let out critics tell us we shouldn't.

    I remember the Christmas shortly after my dad died we continued with the normal traditions. Half way through the meal I was missing my dad so badly I left the table & found somewhere to be alone so I didn't spoil it for the others. My brother came looking for me & I explained how I felt & he admitted the same feelings so he went back collected both our plates & we sat together sharing our grief but knowing our spouses & children were still able to enjoy themselves. Looking back I am glad I had the courage to break with tradition on that occasion & had the chance to be at peace doing what I needed at that time.

    When someone wishes you a happy Christmas let us take that as an invitation to switch off our critics & do whatever feels right for us as an individual no matter how different it is to societies portrait of a happy Christmas. Let us also reach out to others who are struggling & make them feel a bit more encouraged or happier without them feeling forced to comply with others expectations.

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  18. White Rose
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    19 December 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello Elizabeth

    Great post and so true. I know that Christmas is about the birth of Christ but it's a bit difficult to write much about this here. Well it's my decision to go to church on Christmas morning, and to services all year. Ad to remember what Christmas is all about. Thanks for helping me to say that.

    Mary

  19. ChrissyStar
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    19 December 2018
    My inner critic can be good & it can be bad. Often, I'm able to track back to where it came from and whether or not it is valid. Was it an opinion my Mother gave me (a common source) & do I agree with it. Why does it have this power over me (is that really that important?) and how can I amend it (the trauma I feel because of it)? What use are these thoughts to me - can they highlight something important, help me work through something that's holding me down (ie. set me free) or am I still bound -why? Sometimes it works (disappears) & sometimes it doesn't. I feel that once I get over one, another will take it's place. I'm still trying to figure that out - I suspect I may suffer from heriditary anxiety...and that this was a result of my G'mother in England during the last World War. I suffer pretty heavily - to the point that I hate my life and wish I wasn't burdened with it. Something I remember my father expressing when I was a kid - although he blamed us kids for the suffering. So this tells me my Father also suffered in this way (yes, I remember his depression(?) clearly. So it's just something that happens. Doesn't make it easier to know there things. Or does it? That's why I share here, isn't it? To make it easier? My intention was actually to help others and through this, help myself. I hope I have done this for you today - made it easier.
  20. quirkywords
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    19 December 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    hello everyone

    Thanks Elizabeth for a great post.

    I agree with the sentiment behind this sentence.

    Let us also reach out to others who are struggling & make them feel a bit more encouraged or happier without them feeling forced to comply with others expectations.

    Also lets remember not everyone celebrates Christmas and let us all respect each others beliefs and practise tolerance at this time and through out the year.

    Quirky

  21. quirkywords
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    5 January 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Waves at everyone reading and thinking,

    I just want to check how inner critics are, quiet I hope and having a rest.

    I find when I am very tired I find my inner critic starts nagging me and I do try to use all the strategies I have mentioned on this thread but somehow it is so much easier to help others but so much harder to help oneself.

    I am ok and I suppose the trick is not to make yourself vulnerable for negatives messages from your critic by not getting so tired from lack of sleep, or letting external events that you have no control over upset you.

    I think I am ranting here, can anyone relate?

    Quirky

  22. White Rose
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    5 January 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello Quirky

    I don't think you are ranting but I can relate to wanting to do so at times.

    Not sure if these are the same thing. I was talking to my psych about a flashback I often get when on a train and how I keep distracting activities at hand to stop the flashback from unfolding repeatedly. Is this also my IC? I'm not sure if it is something different. In both cases I get the message about my unworthiness and intrinsic badness so I feel they are the sides of the same coin. However my IC tells me I am useless and produces 'evidence' to back up the accusation, while in a flashback it's about the unwelcome reminder of an event that happened and I wish I could change. It usually results in anger about the incident plus lots of shame and hurt and many 'I should have done ...' even while knowing I cannot change the past.

    My response to both has been to use diversion to allow me to concentrate on something else far less destructive. e.g. having a book of crossword puzzles or playing solitaire on my phone. However, when I was talking to the psych she commented that diversion was doing more to keep me going back to these occasions instead of allowing it to lose its power. So all my great ideas about removing things of this nature from my thoughts have crashed big time.

    Instead she suggested I comfort myself about the event in much the same way as I wrote in here to comfort others. My take on this is to wonder if allowing these things to slide into our consciousness and giving ourselves some comfort will decrease the really horrible power it has to have me in the metaphorical heap on the floor. Is it as though being exposed to these things will build up a resilience to a very distressing event? We may never forget the event but it will lose most of its power to hurt.

    And of course is it a manifestation of the IC or something different? Love to know what everyone thinks.

    Mary

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  23. Elizabeth CP
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    5 January 2019 in reply to White Rose

    I think the flashbacks are different to IC. Mary mentioned the psych recommending avoiding distractions from the flashbacks. I moved OS for a year shortly after Black Saturday. This was planned prior to the fires soI wasn't deliberately escaping but on returning in the autumn after missing a complete fire season i was shocked to find myself triggered by things related to fires but that had never been a trigger before Knowing logically that I was completely safe made no difference. According to my psych he believed that the time away acted in the same way as deliberately avoiding the situation & made things far worse when I returned. Maybe by deliberately distracting yourself it is acting in the same way as my unintentional avoidance.

    Quirky I also find tiredness increases my anxiety, depression & my IC. I have just returned from 2 nights at a friends which was nice & relaxing giving me a break from my normal life. Prior to that I was over tired & really struggling but while away my iC didn't get much time to annoy me. I feel better after the break.

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  24. Quercus
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    6 January 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Your post was facinating to me Elizabeth CP... Reading Mary's post I felt the opposite to you. That the IC is a powerful part of the distress we feel in flashbacks.

    What I find so hard about remembering certain things is being overwhelmed by feelings of guilt/shame/regret/embarrassment.

    It is hard to allow ourselves to be as forgiving and kind to ourselves as we would be of others. For me a lot of it has to do with my critic stomping my confidence and self worth to bits.

    That said I totally agree avoidance makes it all worse. Part of going to psychotherapy was dragging out the awful memories every single week. Discussing. Probing. Questioning. Asking for feedback. Looking with another's neutral support. And my goodness did it hurt.

    But eventually those memories weren't as powerful anymore.

    I like your idea Mary of comforting yourself. Perhaps when you think of the train event you can pause and imagine you are a spectator. If that was me or Elizabeth or Quirky and you were standing by would you judge us as harshly as you judge yourself? I doubt it.

    Quirky is right... We forgive others and judge ourselves. I am my own worst enemy.

    Love Nat

  25. quirkywords
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    6 January 2019 in reply to Quercus

    Hello everyone,

    thanks Mary, Elizabeth and Nat for your thought provoking responses . THats what i like about this forum you can pose a simple idea and then people respond in different ways which adds more layers to the original idea.

    Mary, I found your post gave me so much to think about. I had not really thought about flashbacks as being part of IC but if they make us feel bad about ourselves then maybe they have something to with inner critic.

    I do know when I think of the past it is usually things I have done wrong and regretted and when I can’t sleep I can lay awake for hours going through all my past mistakes!! it is funny ai did not think of this as my inner critic but as me ruminating over the ast and not being able to move forward.

    I too have used diversion , and the idea of comfort is one I will try because anything to take the power away from past events is worth a try.

    Elizabeth I found your example about the fire and your response made much sense. I can see why it can been seen as avoidance but I would never have seen that myself.

    Nat, there was a radio interview recently with a man who had written a book about shame and that he felt so many other feelings we have to back to the feeling of shame.

    I agree I can tell others to be kinder to themselves and treat themselves as a good friend but I find that very hard to do myself.u

    i am pleased that all,of you Mary Elizabeth and Nat have found a psych you can trust and wonder if I should try again but as there is not much choice where I live i have never found someone I could relate to.

    Quirky

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  26. Elizabeth CP
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    6 January 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Reading Mary, Quercus & Quirky's responses shows how we are all different because the original problem is different for each of us but despite this we can still learn from each other. I certainly do. For me that intense fear & anxiety I get when triggered is not my IC but my IC then gets in on the action saying things like 'Your silly there is nothing wrong. Noone else would worry in this situation. Why can't I deal better than it." The logical thinking required to remind myself I'm safe adds ammunition to the IC.

    I've noticed that my desire to return to England to escape increases each summer. Remembering how safe I felt there has become an incentive to go rather than wanting to visit family etc. This isn't helpful as I can't go there now in our summer as it is too cold for my husband in their winter

  27. quirkywords
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    6 January 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello all

    I too learn so much from these forums and this thread is one I go to when I feel stuck emotionally.

    Elizabeth I can relate to your concept of remembering that feeling of being safe. I think for me is going back to a place when I felt special as I have felt a bit weird. on the outer but never special but is more a period of about a month when I was in primary school.

    I can't go back in time so I know the feeling wont come back again and my ic keeps telling me that was a fluke. A safe place sounds good but I am lucky that I have often felt safe.

    I wonder you other people reading this have a safe or a comforting place they go that is free from their IC?

    Thanks Elizabeth and everyone.

    Quirky

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  28. quirkywords
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    11 January 2019 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello everyone

    I have a question for you wonderful people .

    What is the difference between having self doubt and having an inner critic. I have a relative who said he has some self doubt but no inner critic.

    To me they are one and the same thing . I wonder what other people think?

    Quirky

  29. Music_Freak
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    11 January 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    I would say that your inner critic is the voice of self doubt, or it feeds self doubt.

    Not sure whether that makes them the same thing, but maybe that you don't have one without the other.

  30. Happygoluckymiss
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    11 January 2019 in reply to quirkywords

    Hey there

    I’ve been pondering this all day.

    Self doubt to me is decision based on everyday things and not being confident in the decision that I am making or made.

    Inner critic is after the fact and the loathing that comes after this.

    Self doubt to me, can lead to the inner critic.

    They are invariably and inevitably linked.

    Just a thought, but open to other explanations

    - xo

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