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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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    31 December 2017 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello everyone

    I am hoping your inner critic takes a holiday for a few days.

    Do you find if you are on holiday or relaxing that your inner critic is silent ?

    I find that even when things are going well my inner critic will question what I am doing- not all the time . I suppose i feel insecure even when things are going well as I worry they won't last.

    So I am interested to know when your inner critic is the quietest?

    Quirky

  2. CMF
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    31 December 2017 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    my critic is quiet when no one is putting pressure on me or no external pressures. Lately I have been trying change habits and my good critic is telling me I'm doing good. Last night my son was complaining of no food in the house (typical teenage boy) and my critic started telling me I'm useless, let my kids down, not good enough.

    when I see progress in what I am trying to achieve my IC quietness down. I guess it's also when my anxiety is not playing up.

    cmf

  3. Moonstruck
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    31 December 2017 in reply to CMF

    My inner critic is at its worst when I am relaxing, taking it easy, at peace, just sitting or lying quietly breathing in and out - telling me I am wasting time..life is only short.....do something useful....get out more, etc etc etc.

    when I am doing nothing much, but also not bothering anyone, nor letting anyone down,....my inner critic yells at me that I am lazy, comparing me to other mature aged ladies who are busy busy busy all the time, in various clubs and playing bridge and taking the chance to "travel". (not everyone can afford travel you know)

    My inner critic spoils everything whenever I take time out for "me".

    1 person found this helpful
  4. quirkywords
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    31 December 2017 in reply to CMF

    Hello everyone

    CMF

    thanks for your reply.

    when I see progress in what I am trying to achieve my IC quietness down. I guess it's also when my anxiety is not playing up. That is a very insightful observation.

    Moon, Thanks for your comment. Why do you think that your inner critic spoiled everything whenever you take time out for yourself? Are they messages you heard while growing up?

    I can relate to what you wrote. I know when I rest after I have worked all day I do feel guilty and my critic tells me I should be doing more and why am I so lazy.

    Quirky

  5. quirkywords
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    1 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    I wonder as a few people have suggested is it possible to just listen tour critic and not take notice, or find our kind critic. Will some of us always have the inner critic questioning everything we do.

    Quirky

  6. Quercus
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    1 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky and everyone,

    My critic is never quiet.

    If I'm relaxing... Lazy. If I'm being shown care... You don't deserve it. If I'm trying... You're useless.

    I think I'm so used to hearing my critic I've started to ignore it.

    How? Slowing down. Take the time to stop. Examine how I'm feeling. Make sense of the chaos. Write it out. Work out the why and the what behind the feeling.

    Then looking at the reactions and the thoughts. Are they unhelpful thoughts? Are they accurate? Am I overreacting or panicking or being harder on myself than I would to others?

    It has taken time. And it doesn't always work. Sometimes people are demanding my time and I don't get the space I need to work out how I am feeling.

    Then I started to notice patterns. When this happens I feel like this. Or when this happens I catastrophise. Overreact. It has helped me to work out the difference between my voice and the voice of my critic.

    So when I recognise the critic. I stop if I can. Take a minute to challenge. Is this helpful to me? Is this realistic? Can I speak up calmly and stop what is happening? Can I walk away and take time to myself?

    Ignoring might be the wrong word to explain. More accurately I suppose I recognise and analyse and challenge or push the thought away.

    It doesn't always work. Sometimes the self hate is too strong. But I keep trying. Does that help Quirky?

    Happy New Year to you all.

    ❤Nat

  7. quirkywords
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    2 January 2018 in reply to Quercus

    Nat and everyone,

    Nat, Thanks Your analysis into your inner critic is thorough and insightful.

    It was very useful. My trouble is I have plans of how I will think and behave but then I just act impulsively and forget about my plans.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Moonstruck
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    2 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Just wanted to tell you Quirky, that for once my "Kind Voice or Gentle Critic" is speaking up louder than the other Inner Critic who is so harsh on me and really giving her heaps!

    these past couple of days she has been telling me how fantastic I am, how hard I've worked to get this far and reminding me out of the blue every now and then "Hey Moonstruck, do it for YOU. time to put yourself first - just look at what you've done, you're much stronger than you think, time to be as gentle and forgiving of yourself as you are of others. I'm here, I'm with you, I've got you...I'm holding you...if you get tired, I'll do it for you....we're nearly there".

    The inner critic has shut up for once. I wish she would stay that way!!

    3 people found this helpful
  9. CMF
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    2 January 2018 in reply to Moonstruck

    Moon,

    maybe now that you're out of that toxic work environment the inner critic has calmed down a little? Work gave you anxiety, anxiety unleashes the inner critic. Maybe it's the new year, the '2' year?

    whateverbit is, I hope it continues for you.

    cmf x

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  10. quirkywords
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    3 January 2018 in reply to Moonstruck

    Moon and everyone ,

    Moon that is fantastic to hear, I am so pleased for you. Go kind critic. It is about time.

    Maybe CMF is right about being put of work environment.

    I wish we could work out why things are going well and keep them that way. For me I take the good times for granted and then before I know it inner critic has said I told you so and it is back in control.

    I am cheering your kind critic and giving her lots of support. Fantastic. So pleased you shared that with us all.

    Quirky

    Quirky

    2 people found this helpful
  11. quirkywords
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    4 January 2018 in reply to CMF

    I often say that I would never talk to a friend the way I talk to myself.

    Lately I have thought would I let some one talk to me the way my inner critic does.

    I wonder if someone were actually standing near me and starting putting me down , what would I do?

    I would probably wonder why they were being so mean for no reason and I would leave I would stand around to be verbally attacked. What would you do?

    I wonder why the only person I let consistently put me down, is me. That makes no sense.

    Is it possible to rationalise away my inner critic. I will give it a try and let you know.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  12. Sad_Mushroom
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    4 January 2018 in reply to Moonstruck

    HI all,

    Way to go Moon that is fantastic. Fingers crossed for you, that your IC starts to learn that it doesn't rule the roost anymore. Remember to praise your Kind Critic and thank her for being there. The more you acknowledge her the more power you will give her and the stronger you will become.

    Just thought, wonder why I assume the Kind Critic to be female.

    SM

  13. Moonstruck
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    4 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    "You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars.

    You have a right to be here"

    1 person found this helpful
  14. quirkywords
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    4 January 2018 in reply to Sad_Mushroom

    SM

    Maybe you see moon's inner critic as female as moon is.

    I have referred to my inner critic as an it so I don't give it any human gender.

    Moon do you remember when everyone had a poster of the desiderata in the bedroom or bathroom.

    Thanks everyone for reading and contributing to this discussion.

    Quirky

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  15. Moonstruck
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    4 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Yes I remember. I still have one on my bedroom door. I remember the first time I saw it too...in a Readers Digest when I was a young teen. It was the most amazing thing I'd ever read so cut it out to keep.

    Later when it was recorded by Les Crane I had just moved to our capital city and feeling lost, young, alone and scared. I was going up an escalator in a crowded store when I heard familiar words.....Desiderata was being played over the store intercom and these words stood out to me, feeling so lost among all the sophisticates of the Big City....."You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here"

  16. CMF
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    4 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Quirky,

    I have had someone put me down and talk to me in a horrible way. I try not to have too much to do with him. I have a low opinion of him and made a decision last year I would not tolerate it anymore, I'm not doormat.

    Interesting...

  17. quirkywords
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    4 January 2018 in reply to CMF

    CMF and everyone.

    It is interesting as most us dont like to be put down by others but we let that negative

    doubting voice in our head undermine us? Why and shouldn't we be as assertive with our own inner critic as we are with others?

    Would like to hear your ideas and thoughts?

    Quirky

  18. Sad_Mushroom
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    5 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky and all,

    Maybe it is the closeness and tenure of our inner critic that we allow it to undermine us.

    Think of all the abused partners who allow this from their partners and even parents who have learnt to take it from their own children. Even adults who grew up with this from their parents etc and allow it to continue into adulthood.

    Most abused partners say they cannot leave an abusive relationship for fear of being alone, as they have become convinced that they are useless, ugly, horrible and could not survive without the partner. Similar to naughty kids who keep being naughty because "any attention, even bad attention, is better than no attention at all"

    Maybe we allow this from our IC as most of us feel alone and useless so any attention, even the bad attention from our IC, seems better than no attention at all.

    For many, the nagging IC is the only one there talking to us and rather than be completely alone, we listen.

    Just a thought!

    SM

    2 people found this helpful
  19. quirkywords
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    5 January 2018 in reply to Sad_Mushroom

    Sad mushroom,

    Thanks so much for your reply. You have given me lots to think about.

    I am not lonely I just have give inner critic lots of authority and I don't stand up or question- until now.

    If people say nice things I tend not to believe them.

    Abusive relationship are complex . I had friend who would not leave as she was frightened the abuse would escalate.

    That's my thoughts.

    Quirky

    1 person found this helpful
  20. Sad_Mushroom
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    5 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky,

    I should clarify. When I said abusive relationships I meant verbal rather than physical.

    My main thought was when I read or talk to people about the IC, most say the IC has been there for as long as they can remember. Some say the IC wasn't loud or persistent until 'something' happened that triggered it but most say they remember it being there beforehand.

    Maybe the IC has been there with us, for so long, and for some reason, it just took over. Maybe that is why it is so hard to shut it up.

    I believe everyone has an IC but for some, they can keep it under control.

    SM

    1 person found this helpful
  21. quirkywords
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    6 January 2018 in reply to Sad_Mushroom

    SM,

    Thanks for clarifying that and sharing your thoughts.

    I think the role the IC plays is different for everyone but for some it has been around for so long it seems hard to remember a time with out it.

    As a child I can remember my IC telling me I was no good at sports so why try, that I was messy and would never change. Two things that are still true today!

    I am wondering if anyone can remember the first time their Inner Critic came into their lives and if there was a reason and what the IC said to them.

    Quirky

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  22. Elizabeth CP
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    6 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords
    I think the IC is part of us which in a healthy person helps to identify what we are doing right or wrong & what we are good or bad at so we can make choices in our life. The problem is when the IC morphes into HC (harsh critic which focuses solely on the bad. For example my IC told me I was hopeless at sport. As a result I avoided sport as far as possible. I prefer to think that was my IC recognising my weakness so I could accept it & move on. I focused on things I enjoyed such as walking & later skiing & other adventurous activities so I didn't miss out. My HC was alive & well by the time I was 8. I remember starting a new school with lovely children. (I am now crying at the memory) I loved being there except my HC would tell me that the children were only nice to me because they were too nice to say what they really thought. My HC had been well schooled by the bullies at my previous school & constantly told me that I was unlikeable. I sometimes wonder if the HC would have eventually be drowned out if I'd stayed long enough. We were forced to move 18mths later after being caught in a bushfire. The first couple of years of high school just refueled my HC with further ammunition so I still struggle today due to my HC reminding me of how no-one likes me!!!
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  23. quirkywords
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    6 January 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Elizabeth

    Thanks for your moving words and sharing your memories.

    I am teary now reading your words. That is so sad. It is sad that HC took over from the bullies and made your school life so difficult.

    To me there is no difference between my HC and my IC , my IC is very harsh .

    Quirky

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  24. Elizabeth CP
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    6 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords
    I am choosing to use HC to remind me of its purpose to put me down Just like bullies put people down to build themselves up. It has no positive purpose. Don't be fooled it is not there to help you improve unlike the KC which tells the truth & encourages.
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  25. quirkywords
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    6 January 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Elizabeth,

    thanks for your timely reminder.

    HC see as never been my friend and I haver seen any positive points from my HC.

    Quirky

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  26. Quercus
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    7 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky and Elizabeth and anyone else reading too.

    I still struggle today due to my HC reminding me of how no-one likes me!!!

    well that is an easy statement to reply to really...

    Hi Elizabeth 😊

    Please tell your critic they're wrong.

    I like you.

    I see your name on threads and nod and think yes this will be a helpful reply.

    So maybe I'm a stranger really but so what. I like you. That's my choice not the critic's.

    ❤ Nat

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  27. quirkywords
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    7 January 2018 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello everyone

    Elziabeth,

    I agree with Nat. When I see your name I know I will read something intelligent and thought provoking.

    Nat, that was such a kind letter.Now I hope you can tell your HC the same thing or I will!!

    Quirky

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  28. Doolhof
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    7 January 2018 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Everyone,

    I've had a bit of look back over the last few posts, but am still confused. Can someone please tell me what HC stands for?

    My Inner Critic is becoming more mouthy again so I need to sort it out!

    Cheers from Dools

  29. Moonstruck
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    7 January 2018 in reply to Doolhof

    It's Harsh Critic I think Mrs Dools. someone correct me if wrong.

    Mine has been curiously quiet these past few days. I wonder if its because I've been through very busy, stressful, full=on time running back and forth with changing internet providers, computer set ups, untangling cords, changing office furniture, notifying change of email and on and on. If the Inner Critic, the Harsh One had started up I would have fallen apart.

    thankfully my Gentle Critic was to the fore and supported me all the way, even letting me cry when I was on my own and things got on top of me. She was great....encouraging me, soothing me, telling me how well I had done, "nearly there now" - that sort of thing! I am not sure how we both managed to shut up the Inner Harsh Critic for at least a while.. but she can stay away as long as she likes...we don't want her any more!! Love to all struggling with their HCs.....I do know how it feels....xo

  30. Guest8901
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    7 January 2018 in reply to Moonstruck

    Ah okay, thanks for the clarification there Moonstruck. Like Dools I was wondering.

    When it comes to the HC, well its been running riot for me lately. Its so hard to keep this Harsh Inner Critic at bay. I certainly have not learned the art as yet.

    Moonstruck I'm really happy that you've discovered a more Gentle version of inner critic. May she reign supreme! And please send a version of her to me, if you will. Or better still, bottle her and make a fortune by selling her to all those others who struggle with the Harsh inner critic.

    Amanda

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