Online forums

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please complete your profile

Complete your profile

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community.

Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

Join the online community Community rules Coping during the Coronavirus outbreak

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

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

  1. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14686 posts
    6 July 2020 in reply to Gambit87

    Hello everyone

    Gambit I am pleased to know inner critic is getting less shouty.

    Grandy I have noticed that my inner critic did not notice that I was doing good things so I would write down a list of things I was proud of. Then when shouty critic started saying how awful I was I would read out the list. Ok it doesnt always work but it worth a try and it stops me being as hard on my myself.

    I am interested on what others inner critic's voice sounds like?

  2. Catie 08
    Catie 08 avatar
    451 posts
    7 July 2020
    If anyone finds the key to turning my inner critic off (even if it's just for a little while) I would love to know the secret.
    When mine gets going it's kind of manic running at 100mph 🥴
  3. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14686 posts
    7 July 2020 in reply to Catie 08

    Cate

    I dont have a key but as I wrote above I tried writing down good things when they happen that I can read out so it quitens my inner critic.

    The other thing is writing it a letter or challenging it. if you read previous posts some of the strategies people have written.

    1 person found this helpful
  4. Nevergoodenough
    Nevergoodenough avatar
    29 posts
    12 July 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello all, I’ve been experiencing my inner critic (The Voice) since I was about 10 years old. Unfortunately in more than 40 years of almost constant denigration, sarcasm and contempt directed solely at me without any serious opposition, it has has become stronger and stronger and dominates many of my thought process.

    Realistically, The Voice has also been exhorting me to take my own life from when I was about 20 years old. I just hate it so much and have no ammunition to slow or stops its progress. Outside of my small family It’s also much harder because I don’t have any social network or friends and will never be able to meet any because I am extremely distrustful of people and I have severe social anxiety .

  5. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6818 posts
    12 July 2020 in reply to Nevergoodenough
    Hi Nevergoodenough,

    Welcome back to the forums. We're sorry to hear that you've been struggling with The Voice for so long. We understand that this almost constant thought process must be quite distressing to experience. Please know that help is available to you. We are reaching out to you privately to offer some extra support.

    We would strongly urge that in overwhelming moments you get in touch with our friends at Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467), and if you ever find yourself in immediate danger, please contact 000 (triple zero).

    If you think that it's something you can manage, it might be helpful to join a support group to try and build a social network in your area.​​​ You can find information on support groups is available on the Black Dog Institute site here - https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/resources-support/support-groups/

    You might also find it useful to read through some Beyond Blue resources on social anxiety:

    If you'd like to seek some support from the community, we'd recommend that you write a post about how you've been feeling lately either in one of your existing threads, or create a new thread as it's been awhile since you have been on the forums.
  6. Nevergoodenough
    Nevergoodenough avatar
    29 posts
    12 July 2020 in reply to Sophie_M
    Thanks Sophie for your thoughtful and caring reply. I have read through the attached links you attached and unfortunately I completely familiar with what I’m supposed to do to keep my avoidant personality at bay however my feelings of discomfort are so intense that I can’t even start these exercises at all. I would never be able to join a group.
  7. Nevergoodenough
    Nevergoodenough avatar
    29 posts
    12 July 2020 in reply to Nevergoodenough
    I’m really sorry Sophie, I didn’t mean to come across rudely. What I meant to say is that I’ve been to many presentations about getting well, strategies to cope with mdd etc when I’ve been an impatient at psych hospital. I haven’t been able to successfully use any of these strategies to improve my depression and anxiety. It’s very hard to try and be nice to myself because I really despise the person that I am. It’s also really hard to do these things when your head is spinning like a blender most of the time.
  8. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14686 posts
    12 July 2020 in reply to Nevergoodenough

    Never good enough,

    I am sorry you really despise yourself,

    Many people reading your posts will relate to your words . Your honesty will hel others.

    i too have truedstrategies thatcint work and felt hopeless.
    I try to ignore my inner critic which I know is vey difficut.

    is there anytime when your head is no pt spinning.
    yiou are not alone here and there is support. Keep on posting here if you want.

    i would like to dis uss with you further,

  9. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    11398 posts
    13 July 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky

    I have bumped up the Beyond Blue Bushfire thread just so people can have their say on how its effected them...Apologies for my posts being all over the place yesterday...broken PC and me trying to post on a mobile

    my kindest always

    Paul

  10. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    11398 posts
    13 July 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky

    thanks for being patient with me yesterday as my ancient PC is failing and I am shocking at using a mobile phone to post so my replys were all over the place...

    Anyhow...just to let you know that the Bushfire thread is back up....and there is a new 0-10 status for people that have been through the catastrophic wildfires...similar to the Covid-19 Impact thread that you have been providing support on

    be well....Paul

  11. Guest_5432
    Guest_5432 avatar
    188 posts
    13 July 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Hi Quirky.

    I only saw Your thread "Talking to your inner critic, can it be tamed?" after I had posted to you on blondguys thread -"do you like yourself?"

    They both go hand in hand. In the field of Psychology & Psychiatry both use similar techniques to teach a patient of how they view themselves in an honest self analysis way.

    I've much to say & teach you on that very topic about liking yourself, how to stop it, so on..

    I'm fully aware that BB Forums were designed for many needing support from from each other without Professionals from the Mental Health so I'm limited what I can & can not write.

    I'm no longer practicing Psychiatrist/Psychologist.

    That's was well over 20 years ago. In the medical field Psychology/Psychiatry the same principles of teaching advising an individual still applies today.

    Occassionally, I will use the same techniques on myself when that inner critics surfaces again. It does help.

    The BB Forums are virtual so to get extra support it's still best to see an practising Psychologist/ Psychiatrist who's registered with the Australian Medical Board. Each state in Australia is listed under a different name.

    Take care & have a peaceful day.

    "-the rose, the ole chook"

  12. Nevergoodenough
    Nevergoodenough avatar
    29 posts
    13 July 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Thank you quirky, I made a few posts possibly a year ago when I was very low and then didn’t look here at BB for ages. It’s hard seeing it like this with the posts because you make the inevitable comparison that here you are more than 12 months down the track and you’re still quite unwell.......and why??????? It’s been more than 4 years with little relief.

    Realistically I should probably avoid reading posts on this website because it makes me think about my own situation, with rapidly escalating feelings of shame because I’ve been unable to make any serious progress and further reinforcing my feelings that none of this is ever gonna go away.

  13. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6818 posts
    13 July 2020 in reply to Nevergoodenough
    Hi Nevergoodenough,

    Thanks for reaching out tonight. There is no need to apologise, your words were not interpreted rudely. We always assume the best intentions of one another in this community, so that this is a safe space and you can communicate openly.

    We're sorry to hear that reading the posts of others is triggering for you, we would urge you to only engage in a way that you're comfortable with. We understand it can be really frustrating and upsetting to feel that you aren't progressing and to not have found strategies that have worked for you. These experiences of seeking help and not feeling an improvement in your mental health may have discouraged you from doing so again. We always urge people like yourself not to be put off by one or even a couple of negative or unhelpful experiences, as what works is different for everyone and things can always improve with the right treatment and support. If you can, we'd suggest reaching out to one of the supports we mentioned who can hopefully get you on the road to recovery: Lifeline (13 11 14) or the Suicide Call Back Service (1300 659 467), and if you ever find yourself in immediate danger, please contact 000 (triple zero).

    Please feel free to reach out here whenever you feel up to it.
  14. Nevergoodenough
    Nevergoodenough avatar
    29 posts
    14 July 2020 in reply to Sophie_M

    Hi Sophie, thanks for your kind words. I wouldn’t say that reading other people‘s posts is particularly triggering in itself but it’s extremely difficult for me scrolling through other posts and reading about different treatment options and exercises, courses like DBT, ACT to help with mental strength because basically I’ve tried them all unsuccessfully. I’ve had ect, tms, trialled more than 30 meds and 5 hospital stays of a month or more, 200 hours psychiatric talk therapy etc etc.... so no one can say I haven’t tried. My psychiatrist is very frustrated too as I’ve had very little response to meds over these past years and accordingly categorises my illness as severely treatment resistant mdd.

    The Voice just taunts me that I’ll never get better and it’s my fault too......it’s pretty hard to see any upside from that. It’s also pretty hard to disagree with The Voice in view of what has happened.

    Thanks for your suggestion about lifeline and the suicide watch phone numbers, I’ll put them into my phone and think about calling next time on feeling really low.

  15. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14686 posts
    14 July 2020 in reply to Nevergoodenough

    Thanks Nevergoodenough for letting us know how you are.

    I understand how you have tried a lot of strategies and how you are reaching out. I think I give my inner critic power when I feel I have made a mistake or hurt a loved one. We are human we re allowed to make mistakes.

    Have you ever written to your inner critic?

    Sounds silly but it did help me realise when my inner critic was at its loudest.

    Your writing here so personally and honesty has helped others reading it , to know they are not alone. That is a very valuable thing you are doing.

    1 person found this helpful
  16. blondguy
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    11398 posts
    14 July 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky...and a wave to Nevergoodenough and Sophie_M

    In a possibly awkward yet helpful way I find the term 'Inner Critic' too 'self judgemental' to use where my own recovery from depression/anxiety is concerned

    Just where my own well being is concerned....I dont have an 'inner critic' as it has a feeling of permanence to it

    Of course everyone is an individual....yet I have found that having a GP or Counsellor to frequently talk to can take so much weight off our shoulders and provide us with some peace of mind

    Hi Nevergoodenough....I have just read your post and you are stronger than you think.....Our brain can be a pain sometimes..and finding peace is difficult for sure...This is my 38th year with depression and chronic anxiety attacks..ugh! I find you a strong person because you have determination....even by posting on these forums takes huge strength and good on you! I have a relative that has refused counselling for a few decades and wont post on the forums as she doesnt have your strength because she is too proud...My relative doesnt understand that pride is a poor substitute for intelligence....I really hope you can stick around the forums as you are more than good enough..my best to you!

    anyhow....just having a cuppa and doing my best to provide support...Excuse I for the long post Quirky..oops!

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  17. broken568
    broken568 avatar
    55 posts
    14 July 2020 in reply to quirkywords
    Thanx for the idea Quirky... I’m going to try writing to my inner critic. She’s a real b!$&h sometimes...
  18. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14686 posts
    15 July 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Paul when I started this thread some time ago I felt a need to talk about the inner critic. Beyond Blue also has a section on inner critic.

    I suppose I feel it clearly defines what it describes. Of course some people may not like the word critic but for me that wouldn't be honest if I didn't use the word critic.

    I am glad you don't use the words but for many like me acknowledging we sometimes are criticial of our selves helps us tame our critic. The second half of the title so for me it shows we can control our negative thoughts or share ideas to. So for me it does not imply permanence ,

    Thanks for your input Paul which is always appreciated.

  19. Nevergoodenough
    Nevergoodenough avatar
    29 posts
    15 July 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    High quirky,

    I wish it was just some of the time that my negative inner voice gave me a hard time. Unfortunately it’s mostly all the time loud in my head except for bits of the time when I’m at the gym, concentrating with colouring or when I’m diving and under the water ( but only once a month). The problem is I get no incremental improvements after having 1-2 better days, my brain just resets to the same hideous place and it’s as though the better days never happened.

    I wish it wasn’t there at all but I cant deny it’s most always there. Probably powered in part by my blender brain....soooo difficult to slow down or ignore the despicable content that makes me feel disgusting for having the thoughts in the first place.

  20. Balance
    Balance avatar
    27 posts
    16 July 2020

    Hi everybody,

    The term I use is "unhelpful thinking style". When those unhelpful thoughts come up,

    I notice how they make me feel ... I then stop and take a breath.

    After that I choose to think of all the good things I have already done in the day, even the smallest

    thing. I pat myself on my back for having done them ... and you will surprise yourself

    at how many good things you will have done already. Posting on BB deserves a HUGE pat on your back.

    Next step ... be grateful for even the littlest thing in your day so far ... and then those feelings

    take over from worrying.

    You can't be grateful and worry at the same time - try.

    Have a really good Thursday ... and be full of praise for yourself all day.

    Warm regards

    B

    2 people found this helpful
  21. Nevergoodenough
    Nevergoodenough avatar
    29 posts
    16 July 2020 in reply to Balance

    Thanks Balance,

    I think it’s amazing that you have such discipline and positivity inside you. I’m envious in the nicest of ways. I would love to learn how to change the way that I think but it’s very difficult when a fundamental part of my personality has a very strong negative schema. I’ve been enduring it all my life.

  22. Balance
    Balance avatar
    27 posts
    16 July 2020 in reply to Nevergoodenough

    Hello Always Good Enough!

    Often life changes when we let go of an ... "enduring thinking pattern you describe as having had all your life".

    You can outgrow the thinking pattern just like a T-Shirt which lost it's shape.

    When you get up tomorrow you could "update" the picture you have of yourself from "a part of your personality

    having a very strong negative schema" to "I am Complete"... just like that!!!

    Everything starts with one single thought.

    Tomorrow is a new day, yesterday has NO POWER OVER YOU.

    Look forward to tomorrow, because tomorrow will bring change.

    With my best wishes

    B

  23. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14686 posts
    16 July 2020 in reply to Nevergoodenough

    Nevergoodenough

    self croticism asks

    are you good enough

    self compassion asks

    wjhats good for you?

    Could you try just once what is good for you instead of those voices saying you are not good enough.

    Is it good for you to have aa strong negatove schema?

    what would be good, replacing it with a more positive one.

    I know it hard as I have felt the same and struggle to be positive about myself.

    There are supportive people here willing to help you.

    Take one step at a time.

  24. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14686 posts
    18 July 2020 in reply to Nevergoodenough

    Goodenough as I believe you are,

    How are you going? feel free to post if you like.

    I hope everyone is tring to control their inner critic and be gnetle amd kind to yourself.

    I know this is a cliche now but if we treat ourselves lik we do a friend, we would not be so critical and we would feel comfortable with ourselves.

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Guest_5432
    Guest_5432 avatar
    188 posts
    19 July 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Everyone & hope you're all keeping well as can be

    Try to keep positive as difficult as it may be with your inner critic. You're a worthy person/persons though inner critic says otherwise.

    Enjoy your day & take care. The Rose

  26. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14686 posts
    19 July 2020 in reply to Guest_5432

    Hello all. Thanks the rose.

    some people are to used being positive after years if others making them feel un worthy.

    it is so hard to change old habits but worth all the effort,

  27. Nevergoodenough
    Nevergoodenough avatar
    29 posts
    19 July 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    thanks quirky, realistically I don’t really know how to be kind to myself because I’ve always felt substandard, defective and shameful. I wasn’t sexually abused or anything really reprehensible and had a white middle class background but I never felt loved or protected.....as kids we were expected to be seen and not heard.

    Unfortunately I have a phenomenal long-term memory and so I have an enormous list in my head of what I see as good and bad going back nearly 50 years....things that most people would forget, but I remember every bad thing....being bullied, made fun of, being physically scared, having no friends, feeling alone and alienated etc etc. So my bad list is huge and I blame myself for almost all of it...(if you hadn’t done this you *** this would not have happened) and like the butterfly effect I often scale it outwards to imagine a very different life... without depression, anxiety, AvPD etc.

    The Voice constantly reminds me what a loser I am and presents all the evidence from the bad list and I don’t really have the evidence to counter these arguments. You mentioned a bit negative schemas but this is not something that I choose. It’s just another part of me that I absolutely despise because of my horrible negative outlook on everything. I don’t scan the contents of my head if someone has said something and think to myself what’s the most unpleasant thing that I can say in this circumstance. It’s not something that I choose, it is part of my dna and I really really HATE it and myself for being this way.

    I have spent so many years in therapy of different types, following the medicalised route with piles of medication, ect and tms, numerous hospitalisations but none of this has helped me accept or even barely tolerate myself. The Voice will never let me.

    I have really squandered my life and I cant have another go. I have to accept this is my life but I cant forget my past. I can’t destroy my family’s life because they are all I have and I love them so much. 

    1 person found this helpful
  28. Guest_5432
    Guest_5432 avatar
    188 posts
    20 July 2020 in reply to Nevergoodenough

    Hi Quirky.

    Any change to be made whatever in life requires hard ongoing self disciplined work.

    Your inner critic is extremely hard ongoing work to reverse it to a positive. It's a Big fight against the inner critic voice. You CAN do it. Don't give in no matter what or who ever throws any sarcastic words at you. taming your inner critic CAN be done.

    It requires a lot of self discipline to keep telling yourself "I'm a worthy person"

    It never came natural to me. It took years of self discipline with hard work on my part. Those negative inner voices is our enemy & we're at war to win with positive affirmations about ourselves.

    Regards the Rose

  29. quirkywords
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    14686 posts
    22 July 2020 in reply to Guest_5432

    Hello everyone,

    Thanks never good enough and the rose for your thoughts,

    Nevergoodenough I wonder do ever have even a few minutes in the day when you are thankful for things like your family, many peopl reading your post will have pasts they want to forget,

    Maya Angelou 'I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.'

    the rise, I am pleased that self discipline worked for you, Everyone is different and tries to find a way to tame their inner critic,

    self doubt is something most people live with ,

    big wave to anyone reading fir first time, Comments welcome all the time,

    1 person found this helpful
  30. Ggrand
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Ggrand avatar
    10015 posts
    22 July 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello Quirky..

    I like the quote you wrote here...

    Maya Angelou....l 'I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.'

    Nevergoodenough....Like you my past has a voice that constantly talk to me and reminds me of how weak I was..and all the bad I went through...I though the same..My voice will never leave me...and it still hasn’t..I’m learning to accept I done my best in the past..because if I could have done better back in my past I would have..

    Its only now..that years have past..that my inner critic is bombarding with its voice to pick on me about my weaknesses...back while all my crap was happening, inner critic said nothing to me it was quiet...That’s because at the time I was doing my best..I think as time goes past, and our thoughts or triggers take us back into our past..we start doing ourselves..Why?...because we have grown, learnt new things, new ways we could have managed the situation of our past better...That when our inner comes with its loud voice causing us to feel bad about ourselves...

    It hard to do Nevergoodenough...To accept we done our best at that time..but you, me, everyone did..and we need to tell our inner critics that we are good enough, we did our best..we’ve learnt from the past and we all are the best person we can be..back in the past and now in the present...Tomorrow isn’t here yet..when it comes along.,we will do the best we can..

    Kind thoughts, and caring hugs..

    Grandy....

    2 people found this helpful

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.


Sign me up