The Inner Critic comes in all forms | Boundaries of the Soul.
May 7, 2013 — Dr. Nicholas Jenner
“I am really driven, but my drive doesn’t affect the conversations I have in my head about life, and my worries and fears and insecurities.” Zach Braff .Following on from my last post about the early influences we experience that can form the inner critic . The concept of an inner critic is well known but most people have to deal with more than one manifestation. There might be one that attacks you for doing too much of something and another who then berates you for being lazy. The advice would be to work with each separately. I will now look at the types of inner critic that can pop up.
1. I am a Perfectionist…I need 120%.I set very high standards for your behavior, your performance and your interaction with others. My demand is that you do these things and everything else perfectly. When you fail, I will attack you and let you know frequently how not good enough you are. Sometimes my demands will mean that you don’t start something or if you do, you won’t be able to finish it for fear of failure and sometimes even success. My message is….. Don’t do anything unless it is 120% perfect. Doing nothing prevents the feelings you will have about failing and keeps my hold over you strong.2. Trust is good, Control is better…I will make you feel bad when you want to do something impulsive or addictive. When you are down on yourself and you overeat, use drugs or get angry, I will remind you how disgusting you really are. You see, I am in a constant battle with the impulsive critic who tells you it is ok to do such things.3. Work, Work, Work…I will attempt to motivate you by pushing you harder. I will remind you of how lazy, stupid or useless you are . I like to keep you in that hamster wheel for fear of you falling into the clutches of your procrastination critic.4. Risks are bad…I know they say that part of life is the taking of risks, the unknown is exciting but not in my book. I will try desperately to undermine your confidence and self-esteem to stop you taking those risks. You see, I am protecting you from hurt and rejection. Who needs success when you can safely do nothing? You will never amount to anything anyway, so why try?5. Seek and Destroy…..I am the most dangerous and powerful of your critics. I am the one who attacks your fundamental self-worth, destroying green shoots of recovery before they grow and reminding you that you should not even exist. My sole task is to wipe out your positive energy, creativity and spontaneity.6. You should feel Guilty….My job is to remind you of those things you have done or didn’t do or kept secret. I will tell you how guilty you should feel for hurting that person, betraying that value or repeated behavior you should feel ashamed of. I will never forgive you for what I feel you have done and you have to pay. I am only trying to help you avoid the pain by constantly keeping it in the foreground.7. The Shaper….I try to get you to adapt to social and family norms by telling you how few friends you have, how socially inept you are and what an outsider you are. I don’t see change as at all positive.
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 ……