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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. White Rose
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    White Rose avatar
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    22 July 2020 in reply to Nevergoodenough

    Hello Nevergoodenough

    I want to pick up on a point you wrote. I wasn’t sexually abused or anything really reprehensible and had a white middle class background but I never felt loved or protected.. You also said. 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.

    When you were a child you had a right to be protected and loved. Bad parenting is as detrimental to someone as sexual abuse. In some ways it's worse because it's so hard to explain or fight. So we end up blaming ourselves because you cannot point to one person or action that is to blame for the way you feel. What general abuse does is to make you feel everything that is wrong or hateful is your fault because you should have known/done better.

    How could you know this as a child? By the time you were old enough to try and be confident the damage was done and you have carried the burden throughout your life. It is most definitely the fault of those who were supposed to cherish you, love and protect you. Missing out on that has resulted in your fears and self loathing and that is by far worse than other abuse. These people did not love you.

    One more quote. I can’t destroy my family’s life because they are all I have and I love them so much. They have not loved you. Instead they have made you believe you are the person in the wrong and you can only make amends by loving and protecting them.

    Many women are bullied and abused by their partners. Some manage to leave the situation which is great but the brain washing they have endured tells them they cannot manage on their and they return to the abuse. Often they will say, "Oh but he loves me really and only hits me because I have done something wrong. It's my own fault". Often adding that they deserved it. In other words it is the woman who has in effect caused the abuse for themselves. I'm sure you can see how wrong this is.

    I really believe this is the situation children are in when they are left unprotected. Please think about this.

    Mary

    2 people found this helpful
  2. Elizabeth CP
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    23 July 2020 in reply to White Rose

    I think we need to be careful of blaming parents for what happened without knowing the whole story. I was badly bullied as a child & this has had a very negative impact on my life & sense of worth but it was not my parents fault. I never told them what happened. I'm not sure why. It may be I felt safe at home so I didn't want to spoil this be sharing what was happening. I remember my brother telling me something he believed our parents said but it was totally untrue. I imagine they said something & he misunderstood but without questioning them he never learnt the truth until my dad died.

    This is not the fault of the child but we are all human & sometimes say things which are misunderstood & visa versa.

  3. quirkywords
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    2 August 2020 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Thanks Mary and Elizabeth

    your posts help the discussion out why some of us have an inner critic, t

    I think inner critics have different origins and maybe knowing that can help but often being in the present and learning to know our inner critics helps too.

    i know I control my inner critic but at times I give up as it gets too much.
    thanks for everyone’s input,

    ,

  4. quirkywords
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    15 August 2020 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    hello everyone

    Is the inner critic all about our self doubt?

    What if we were secure and confident would our inner critic have a chance through our thick skin of positivity!!

    What if you hear two voices one saying you tried and that when well, the other shouts you messed tha up why do you bother? etc

    Which one will you listen to??

  5. quirkywords
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    28 August 2020 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Hello all

    i know people often talk about being positive but sometimes or is not easy.

    at time I have a conversation with my inner critic who wants to doubt me.

    i challenge critic and show critic how I am competent.

    How do you challenge your inner critic. .?

    quirky

  6. Gambit87
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    31 August 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    My inner critic is the most vocal when im going something competitive.

    When im sparring in taekwondo and get hit because I didn't move in time or had my guard wrong, my inner critic tells me I suck, im a failure, I should just quit etc. I challenge it by going uh - its sparring... i'm going to get hit... it happens - I know what to do for next time and I 'move on'

    Same goes when im playing COD (call of duty) when I constantly get shot or have a bad game 'you suck, you suck, just quit because youre a failure'. I say kinda laugh to myself and challenge the thoughts by saying 'I do suck - but I dont care because I enjoy the game... I have good games and bad games, I win some I loose some - its a game - move on.

    when Im playing poker - as soon as I feel the inner critic starting to arch up - I flat out say to myself 'uh thats poker...'

    Before seeking help, Id always let the critic and negative thoughts take over. This would always make me feel depressed and withdrawn - like I didn't want to do these things any more. With help and using the tools ive learnt ive been able to challenge these negative thoughts as they come in.

    1 person found this helpful
  7. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    31 August 2020 in reply to Gambit87

    Gambit,
    thanks for your post.
    You write “With help and using the tools ive learnt ive been able to challenge these negative thoughts as they come in.“

    I am glad you had help in quite ing your inner critic

  8. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    3 September 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello all

    I read recently that having a chat with your inner critical help you from being dominated by negative thoughts.

    Has anyone tried this out?

  9. quirkywords
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    30 September 2020 in reply to Gambit87

    Just saying hello to see how your inner critic is treating you at this difficult.

    I have found challenging my critic when it tells me I am not trying, I am lazy and I mention my good points. It helps a bit.

  10. blondguy
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    2 October 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky

    I hope you are doing well! I havent posted on your thread for a while. You mentioned on another thread topic that people shouldn't shout at us when we make a mistake. I understand you loud and clear there Quirky!

    Its not a good place to be in for sure

  11. quirkywords
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    3 October 2020 in reply to blondguy
    Thanks Paul. I think we need to learn not to shout and criticise ourselves when we make mistakes. We are often our own worst critics. Your thread do you like yourself talks about such issues as being kind to ourselves
  12. quirkywords
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    18 October 2020 in reply to blondguy

    Hello,all

    just checking in how everyone’s inner critic is behaving.. ?

    Can you tame it?

    I know people who don’t have an inner critic who don’t self doubt who like themselves all the time and what they do. One person a cousin, told me there were other people in his life giving him feedback that wasn’t helpful so why should he do the same.

    He decided to be positive and gentle and if he made a mistake he would look at what happened without blaming himself and putting himself down.

    I know it is not easy but I think if others are being critical of me why should I add to that.
    Take care

  13. Ggrand
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    20 December 2020 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello Quirky and everyone...

    I just had a wild argument with my inner critic..and it won..

    IC....I have to get up and do something, instead of sitting here all day..

    Me...yes I know..

    IC..then do it..

    Me..yes, yes, I will...soon..

    IC...ha you’re to lazy to get up...

    Me...No..I’m just to tired, couldn’t be bothered..

    IC..No one visits you..you don’t need to do anything..

    Me..yes I do..my house needs a clean.i need to move around a bit..

    IC...You move around., ha ha tell me another joke..

    Me..I’m serious, not joking..I need to move around to start getting fitter..

    IC..Okay..you win..but let’s have a cup of tea first..and see what’s on TV....

    Me...sounds good to me...house cleaning can wait until another day....

    Can my inner critic be tamed...not this time...but I’m getting to know IC over a cup of tea...Problem right now..is my IC is doing all the talking...and won’t let me tell it to shut up...told you you wouldn’t do anything, your lazy, your untidy, etc..etc..etc..

    Anyone else have arguments with their inner critic ?...Do you win or loose?..

    Grandy..

    1 person found this helpful
  14. quirkywords
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    20 December 2020 in reply to Ggrand

    Grandy

    I hope you liked your cup of tea and chat with I C watching tv.

    my IC is nagging me but I have put it in the wardrobe.

    it is that sort of day. Enjoy.

  15. ChrissyStar
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    46 posts
    2 March 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    First of all - THANK YOU QUIRKY = for bringing this opportunity into my life (let's see how it goes)...

    ...........................................................

    Me: Hi Inner Critic, what would you like me to call you.

    IC: Mum. Actually, you could call me a whole heap of other names too. So go for it, make one up.

    Me: How about *&$$(*(*&*%&^^$%^?

    IC: That's not very nice.

    Me: But you terrorize me daily, what do you expect? Actually, why do you have to do this, at all? Why can't you just let me be?

    IC: Because you're a failure.

    Me: At what - what did I fail?

    IC: Life.

    Me: Can you be more specific?

    IC: Just look around you!? Does the place look like a regular home to you? It's disgusting.

    Me: But the reason it's disgusting is because you put too much pressure on me & I freeze up! I can't BREATHE when you are pressuring me like this!

    IC: I thought you said it was because you didn't want to get used by 'men' (which your boyfriend is).

    Me: That too.

    IC: Because you don't want to be walked all over.

    Me: True. But I've never let 'men' walk over me before...why would I suddenly start now?

    IC: Because your Mum was a housewife who was 'second-rate' & it's your greatest fear.

    Me: Is it valid?

    IC: In some senses, yes. Do you see him lifting a finger?

    Me: So what do I do?

    IC: I see what is happening - you're getting stuck in hopelessness & avoiding what needs to be done.

    Me: Yep, no $#!^.

    (Dead-lock results in me staring aimlessly out the window. Inner Critic starts the convo back up...)

    IC: Your house looks like $#!^. It's disgusting & you have a baby due in 4 days. What are you going to do about it?

    Me: I guess I'll have to call the doctor, see if I can get some help through a psyche. This block has really got a hold of me.

    IC: You need to release - the negative energy which you're getting stuck in.

    Me: Release....hhhmmm...yeah, get it out of my system. So I can be free - just me again. No 'issues'.

    IC: It's pathetic, really.

    Me: I agree.

    IC: You know you could be kinder to yourself.

    Me: I agree. How about art-therapy? I could do a really angry, ugly piece & then burn it.

    IC: You tried that, remember? And journalling...and a psyche, pills...inner child work...other stuff too.

    (I text my boyfriend but don't send & break down in tears...I remember early childhood:

    - my individuality being overlooked

    - being forced

    ...and a game I played to cope - that I was a slave.)

    Finally, I can release this. I hope it works.

  16. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    2 March 2021 in reply to ChrissyStar
    Wow Chrissy what a moving chat with your IC. You covered so many topics that I could relate to.
    Sometimes I need an ongoing conversation with my IC or even stick to one topic.
    You have encouraged me to try another chat and I will put it on later.
  17. quirkywords
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    21 March 2021 in reply to ChrissyStar

    Chrissy star and everyone reading. How is your inner critic.

    I wonder are people taming their inner critic to stop the negative words..?

  18. CMF
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    21 March 2021 in reply to quirkywords
    Hi Quirky and all reading,,

    I'm trying to take that inner voice that tells me things must be happening that aren't really happening. I guess it is an inner critic as it makes me believe the things happening are because I am not good enough.

    I'm it having much luck taking it.

    Cmf x
  19. quirkywords
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    22 March 2021 in reply to CMF

    CMF

    thanks for your comment. Yes the inner voice sounds like the inner critic.
    can you challenge it by saying that isn’t true those things aren’t really happening and I am good enough.
    I find the more I talk to the inner voice and correct the misinformation, the more it helps.

    it is hard at times especially when my inner critic is so loud.

    good luck.

  20. quirkywords
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    4 April 2021 in reply to ChrissyStar

    Chrissy and grandy,

    thanks so much for your chats with your inner critic. I have just rerad them and am wondering have things chnaged since yo posted the caht.?

    Have you had other chats.

    I liked the way you both challenged your inner critic.

    My inner critic tells me because I no longer do paid work that what i do as a volunteer does not matter. I keep challenging this .

  21. Ggrand
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    4 April 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky, and everyone..

    I do win at times with my inner critic...then I can loose also....I suppose it depends how strong we feel within ourselves and how much we believe in ourselves whether or not our inner critic wins or not.....

    Quirky....Being a volunteer is a very important job....With people like yourself....volunteer their time to help others is doing...one on the most important jobs anyone can do....and it should feel rewarding to you...

    Your work is helping the homeless to be dressed in warm clothes now that winter is coming...also provides blankets and food for the under privileged...Without people giving of themselves and their time...these people wouldn’t get the help they need....

    You’re inner critic needs to be set straight...Quirky..this time your inner critic is so very wrong.....Believe in yourself and the work you do...Then inner critic might leave you alone....in regards to your job...Not promising inner critic will leave you alone forever.....but voluntary work is very important...

    My kind thoughts with care dear Quirky..

    Grandy..

    1 person found this helpful
  22. quirkywords
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    4 April 2021 in reply to Ggrand

    Thanks Grandy,

    I know my volunteer work with Beyond blue is worthwhile but in our society people want to say I am retired and do nothing.

    I agree volunteers are worthwhile but not valued by everyone.

    Thanks for your kind words.

  23. quirkywords
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    2 May 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello everyone especially people reading this for first time.

    I often read posts where paeople are describing themselves negatively and being unkind to themsekves so much so i feel they may have a critical inner critic whispering in their ears.

    Why do we treat ourselves in a way we would not to a friend or to an enemy.

    Stand up to the negative way we describe ourselves.

    No more saying worthless, say are worthy not all the time but we keep trying

    We are not hopeless we try to improve and have hope\

    No more saying we are a failure, maybe we made a mistake but there are things e can do ok or well.

    Do you think reframing how we talk about ourselves will help to tame inner critic.?

  24. quirkywords
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    13 May 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Hello everyone

    Can we ever live without our inner critic. I know people who are so confident that no matter others say to them they know who they are and are secure .

    if I am low I just need one person to sound a bit annoyed and I want to cry and hide.

    IC says you are a Sook. Grow up.

    I say I am trying and doing deep breathing.

  25. Elizabeth CP
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    14 May 2021 in reply to quirkywords
    I've been struggling badly lately with extreme fatigue & constant negative thoughts. My psych said trying to challenge these thoughts in my state is a waste of time as I'll find too many things to 'prove' the negative thought is right. Instead I need to remind myself that is the UNHELPFUL critic. The aim is to try to refocus on more helpful thoughts instead of down the rabbit hole of negativity.
  26. Sophie_M
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    14 May 2021 in reply to Elizabeth CP
    Hi Elizabeth CP, 

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with us here on the forums today, it is a brave thing to do and a great step towards feeling better within yourself. It can be so hard when the inner critic is louder than we want it to be, well done for doing what you can to challenge those thoughts, it sounds like you are working hard to feel better by seeing a psychologist.

    We wanted to drop in here to remind you that you can call Beyond Blue anytime on 1300 22 4636. We can see that there are lots of other similair experiences on this thread and we hope you can feel supported by them, but sometimes talking to someone right now is really helpful. Our friends at Lifeline 13 11 14 are also wonderful and you can call them anytime.

    Thank you again for showing such courage, please feel free to update us on how you are feeling if you are comfortable doing so. 

    Kind regards, 
    Sophie M
  27. Croix
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    14 May 2021 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    Dear Elizabeth~

    I'm sorry to hear how you are at the moment and know that combination of exhaustion and negative feelings, a lack of hope, is terribly hard to deal with. Life has to be better, and I believe can be, even if one's physical circumstances cannot change.

    When my mind loops in a procession of negative thoughts no amount of logical reasoning or argument works. I can't think my way out of them, and neither can anyone else who uses the same tactic with/on me.

    Your Psych is spot-on, it is a battle you can't win and your mind needs to side-step into fresh pastures, i.e. thinking of other non-related and hopefully more pleasant things.

    I'm not sure what they would be in your case, and as you have a busy life supporting others it may not be you can spend extended times on yourself, however I know you are a capable person, and I'd expect could come up with at least a set of short term things to do each day to change your thinking and mood, anything -from a bath to going outside and looking for birds or ...

    If you need assistance from someone in your life to get ideas please ask them.

    I use movies, books, pets, talking with my wife about pleasant things, going for a walk along a riverbank, plus more.

    I'm sure I've mentioned to you before how I use Smiling Mind on my smartphone for 10 minutes at a time to break that destructive thinking pattern and feel calmer

    https://www.smilingmind.com.au/smiling-mind-app

    I'm afraid I do not remember your reaction, however even if you found it difficult I'd urge you to have another go.

    If it does not appeal there are others such as CALM, which has a free version as well as a pay-for one

    https://support.calm.com/hc/en-us/articles/360008536834-What-is-included-in-the-free-version-of-the-app-What-is-included-in-Calm-Premium-

    All are designed to take you elsewhere.

    I hope something here helps, plus of course if you wish you could revisit the Happy Memories thread where you might find something to spark a similar feeling in yourself.

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/online-forums/staying-well/store-your-happy-memories-here-

    Croix

  28. Elizabeth CP
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    15 May 2021 in reply to Croix
    Thanks Sophie & Croix for your encouraging words. I am trying to type up a list of things I can do including practical activities that need doing to give satisfaction, physical activities to maintain fitness & relaxing activities. My goal is to try doing different activities. I am trying to format a chart to track what I do and the impact on my fatigue & mood. I'm finding it very challenging to set this up since I'm so tired and overwhelmed. Hopefully this will help me identify which things help and what things make me worse.
    1 person found this helpful
  29. golden82
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    16 May 2021 in reply to Elizabeth CP

    hi Elizabeth -

    what an excellent idea that is about the chart. I should really try that too - in a similar spot to you re fatigue and all the rest. Thanks for sharing, and I hope it helps us both :)

  30. quirkywords
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    19 May 2021 in reply to golden82

    Elizabeth,

    I am glad you have the idea of the chart.

    golden and eLizabeth can you share how the chart goes for you. I will try it to.

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