Your True Self will help with the Inner Critic.

There are a range of books that tell us how to deal with our family of inner critics. Most centre on mantras and progressively aggressive language to deal with them. While this can be useful, we have to remember that by isolating the critic and pushing it away, we are maybe losing an ideal opportunity to work with it. Working on the theory that it is trying to protect the inner child that was wounded and criticised, we can safely say that it is trying to help, albeit in some dysfunctional way.  Getting to know and connecting with a critic or critics is a much more effective way of dealing with them and eventually lessening the grip they have.

One of the key aspects in this process is the discovery of the Self. This is the pure part of us that shines through and guides us when we are not being tormented by the host of inner critics that exist within us. It can be said that we are either in Self (curious, open, compassionate) or in torment(taken over by pain and insecurity) at any given time. Finding the Self is the key to healing and seeing the world in a different light. When this can happen, the natural qualities that embody the Self will shine through. For example, the Self promotes connection, helping you to interact socially. You are drawn to meet other people, join groups and be part of the community. The Self also likes to connect with our inner critics, helping to engage with them and aid healing. The Self is interested and inquisitive. It helps you to take natural risks in life, to be interested in people without judging and promotes an understanding of new things. It is also interested in how your inner critics work and why they react the way   they do. Finally, the Self is compassionate and helps you to be compassionate towards others and yourself.

To be help the Self shine through, we first have to understand that our inner critics are not aware that the Self exists and feel they need to control to keep us safe. They are fully ignorant of the fact that underneath it all is a part of us that is fully able to deal with life’s issues. They are still in young and scary mode where the inner child is being protected from hurt and rejection. This is the only way they know. They do not trust that the adult can handle situations that the wounded and criticised child couldn’t, so they step in when triggered and take over. They tell us to avoid conflict, not to take risks or act socially..all in the name of protecting the child within us. True healing takes place when we can appreciate and work with the inner critics, rather than pushing them aside to get to the inner child. These critics have been working tirelessly for years helping us to avoid our childhood pain and when we connect with them and appreciate what they tried to do, they can step back and trust us to take over. . To be able to connect with and understand our inner critics, we must be in Self mode and this is done through a process called unblending. When we can accept that the inner critics are protecting our inner child and an attack happens, we can do various things to sooth the inner child. We can comfort it directly with compassion, letting know that you understand the pain and hurt it feels. You can reassure it that the Self will be interacting with the critic and will help it to understand. You can also use imagery to conjure up pictures of comforting your inner child, standing between it and the critic or images of a protective parent soothing the child while your Self talks with the critic. Once your inner critic is isolated, you can speak directly to it, safe in the knowledge that the inner child is being protected. This is where the strength of Self comes in. Rather than scorning and getting angry with the critic, use compassion, curiosity and connection.

Firstly, openly thank them when they appear.

  • Thank you, I appreciate all you have done for me
  • I fully understand that you are trying to protect me
  • I understand the responsibility you carry.
  • I know you work hard for me
  • I understand how hard it is to let go

Ask questions (from the stance of curiosity)

  • I wonder what you are trying to achieve by protecting me this way? (likely answer is to avoid pain, facing change)
  • What would be the consequences of not calling me lazy, fat or stupid? ( the critic would have less power)
  • What happened that made it important for you to judge me? (the wounded child was hurt in the same way and it was triggered)

Be compassionate

  • I accept that you are trying to help but I would like to do this
  • I accept you fully and as part of me
  • Please trust me to lead

This process of having a direct relationship with your critics is in stark contrast to most other advice which banishes the critics with images of aggression and violence. By working with the critics, we can promote a healthy, trustful relationship with them that allows our inner child to be healed. This is not a process that happens overnight and can take some time. However, in therapy, a psychologist can promote this process and help the client come through. In my next post, we will be taking the process to the next stage..that is, the healing of the inner, wounded, criticised child.

Dr. Nicholas Jenner is a Counseling psychologist in private practice working with individuals,couples,  groups and companies globally. Online therapy is, in my experience, effective for treating a number of major conditions. Are you having issues that you need to talk through? I have a range of plans that can help you get the help you need.  Online Therapy details : Here ……

  16 comments for “Your True Self will help with the Inner Critic.

  1. May 11, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Hello Nicholas! Great post and I’m looking forward to the healing the inner wounded child. I think many of us have this one. Have a great weekend! :). Hugs Paula xxx

  2. May 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Reblogged this on kenkennardblog.

  3. May 23, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Reblogged this on Reflections on Life Thus Far and commented:
    Very good/helpful post for those of us needing a bit of TLC. I’m working on this in counselling (as the patient).

  4. May 26, 2013 at 3:35 am

    Do you have an ebook available for sale with a collection of your blogs?

  5. June 7, 2013 at 1:53 pm

    Very well written, I agree to most of it, and…there is no such thing as an inner critic…it’s all projection, self or otherwise. Blessings to you and Peace.

    • June 7, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      Thank you for commenting. I respect your opinion fully. However you wish to label the inner critic, there are mechanisms that we drag into adulthood that we absorbed in our interaction with our parents. These serve as a constant reminder of the dysfunction that may have been present at that time and shape the way we see the world, ourselves and others. It can seem like there is a voice remoinding us constantly. On this point, I respectfully disagree.

      • June 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        Thank you for your reply. I was merely responding to your mention of an inner critic not my own labelling of such. With respect, the subconscious does not speak nor do barometers of time, those ideas come from older theories. I look forward to your other writings. Remember always that perceptions are instantaneous, as your viewpoint on my reply. As I said blessings and peace to you.

      • June 9, 2013 at 2:56 am

        I accept that we all have different ideas about how we learnt lessons from the past. There is a lot of valuable work being done by therapists using IFS therapy and inner child therapy.this is helping many people come to terms with their past. However, you seem to have a rather rigid inflexible belief that you seem to have knowledge of things that the rest of us don’t. Both of your replies so far appear to take a superior stance. No-one can claim to know what the subconscious does or does not do. Some of these older theories that you disapprove of also hold a lot of credence within the helping profession. I wish you a good Sunday.

      • June 10, 2013 at 3:44 pm

        I am spiritual, not superior and entitled to my opinions. Nothing I wrote qualifies your judgement of me. As I said and you copied “no-one can claim to know what the subconscious does or does not do.”

      • June 10, 2013 at 4:41 pm

        I appreciate that you have your opinions and I respect them. However, the way your comments come across signifes a deep disbelief in anything other than your own views. I happen to believe differently to you regarding the power of the mind but I would not write on a post…’ the subconscious does not transverse time’. Whatever your beliefs, you cannot know this with the certainty you seem to have. I have absolutely no problem with anyones’ views but I do dislike closed minds……Anyway, thank you for commenting.

      • June 11, 2013 at 8:17 pm

        You are welcome. I certainly did mean to offend you 🙂 I read over my replies and nothing appears as close minded. To explain “subconscious does not transverse time” is a spiritual precept which means simply ego is the manifestation of mind and can be a paradigm of conscious if one looks at it that way. Conscious in higher reasoning then forms the framework for thought and therefore is a function. To attribute it to a higher or lesser regard is perception because all Thought stems through conscious. Time then has no reference to thought specifically in terms of self regarded as spirit. Respectfully…peace

      • June 12, 2013 at 12:52 am

        No offence taken or meant. I am sure if we met face to face, we would have a spirited discussion on this topic….

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