Unfortunately, we often allow ourselves and somehow give ourselves permission to be so self-critical.
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We tend to be more understanding and to have more compassion for others than we do for ourselves. Indeed, it seems a lot easier to give compliments to others than to accept and to believe the compliments we hear. Is there a purpose to this self-criticism? The answer is motivation.
The reason we can be so judgemental and critical is to motivate us to change. One way to think about it is to see these thoughts as supposedly helping us do better, work harder, or strive for bigger goals. Of course, this does not mean it works. Importantly, we need to consider the impact of the inner critic.
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What are the consequences of the name-calling, the self-judgements, and the self-criticisms? For one thing, I often see in my clinical practice adolescents especially girls who suffer from depression and low self-esteem. When I ask them to share what they like about themselves, these teens have a very hard time coming up with an answer.
However, they can easily produce a long list of what they dislike about themselves. Their inner critic is playing its recordings all the time, on full volume without a mute button in sight, that that they cannot hear the positive inner voice cheering them on. Perhaps you have noticed this in your self. Maybe you also tend to listen to the critical voice making one nasty comment after another, rather than to your positive inner voice that reminds you how special you are and how much you are loved. Just because you have the thought, it does not make it so or mean that it is true. A thought is often just that — a thought and nothing more.
You can make the choice to pay attention to the criticism or to ignore it, to believe it or to let it go. Choose to let it go. Write down something your inner critic says to you. Then look for the proof. That is, write all the evidence that supports this thought why is this thought true about you? Make sure you spend time thinking about all the reasons this thought cannot be true about you. Finally, see if you can come up with a more balanced, realistic thought after you do this exercise.
For example, come up with a list of your strengths, your passions, and what you like about yourself. Because this can be a challenging task, think about how your friends and family would describe you.
You can go one step further and ASK three or more people for the top 5 qualities they admire or appreciate about you. Once you have compiled this list, make sure to read it and refer to it often. Ultimately, by learning to ignore and let go of the negative, to challenge your negative thoughts, and to focus on the positive, your negative inner critic will be forced to quiet down.
A Guilt-Tripper Inner Critic is almost always present after experiencing early childhood attachment trauma. It becomes the voice of what you heard from the world aka your primary caregiver during your early life. In its defense, the Guilt-Tripper Inner Critic is trying to protect you from rejection. The Controller Inner Critic is similar to the Guilt-Tripper Inner Critic, because of it makes you feel bad about who you are and your small, everyday choices. However, the Controller Inner Critic responds to your body and what you eat and drink.
Simple things to more complicated areas in your life are being deeply influenced by this critic. The Controller Inner Critic can be the internalized voice of a parent who had controlling tendencies. Parents with controlling tendencies cause the child to always be on guard and become very self-conscious about everything they do.
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Often the child will try to catch things they need to change before their parents notice it. In its defense, the Controller Inner Critic is also doing what it thinks will help you to be accepted and loved by other people. The Underminer Inner Critic specifically tries to keep you from trying new things, advancing in life, and following your dreams. In its defense, the Underminer Inner Critic attempts to keep you from taking risks, which might result in failure and could bring criticism, judgement, and rejection from other people. The Taskmaster Inner Critic is one that pushes you to always work harder.
The Taskmaster Inner Critic can drive us to become workaholics, excessive exercisers, or take on any project in an addictive manner. The Taskmaster Inner Critic can be the internalized voice of a parent who had Type A personalities and constantly pushed their children to do and accomplish more.
Angry inner child
The Destroyer Inner Critic is the harshest of all the types of inner critics. The Destroyer Inner Critic tries to crush your life force. This can result in suicidal ideation, but often times, it results in a self-hatred that leads to punishment and self-harm. In its defense, Destroyer Inner Critic is also a protective part. Whether you experienced early childhood attachment trauma or not, you all have parts of ourselves.
Early childhood attachment trauma will cause certain protector parts to over-develop, giving messages of our self-worth throughout our childhood and adulthood life. Healing from trauma is the process of getting to know ourselves and our parts, especially these strong protector parts who can be very reactive and self-sabotaging.
Workbook for Inner Child and Critical Parent
Hatred and judgement for any parts of ourselves will only lead us further down the toxic path of shame and disconnection from ourselves and others. Do you have an active inner critic in your brain? Which types of inner critics do you identify as parts of yourself?
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Can you understand and appreciate them for how they have tried to protect you? Bonnie Weiss My inner voice keeps on saying:-You are a piece of shit…. You have to be miserable. Hi Ravi, Yes, that is what the inner critic voice will say!
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Now that you are more aware of this, you can start to put those statement and questions up against reality. I wonder what happened to you that you would think that. Maybe someday you can tell me. Very well explained. Thank you, at least half of the protectors are going off in my head and I end up paralyzed. With love. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.
Aimie Apigian T September 22nd,
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