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Personality trait- self criticism

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Freeange, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. Freeange

    Freeange Peer Supporter

    I have been doing a lot of journaling and have run into a roadblock about how to manage self-criticism. I am really hard on myself and the more I do this work the more obvious it has become. Now that I am aware of self-critical thoughts I seem to be plagued by them. I'm not really sure what kind of work to do around this. Anyone have any suggestions? It seems the more I am aware the more it happens and I just want to turn it off which I know isn't possible. I keep telling myself it's an old program running but that doesn't seem to help.

    I beat myself up for really stupid things like spelling mistakes, not making dinner for my adult children (who are perfectly capable), swearing at a bad driver and on and on. It's like a hypercritical parent sitting beside me all day long (my parents did have high expectations but they weren't hypercritical)

  2. Ines

    Ines Well known member

    Hi Freeange, I very much relate to the inner bully. I've been working on that the past two weeks through the SEP and something that has been working for me is to visually see the child in my mind and also the parent who is scolding the child.

    Here is an example.
    One night I wanted popcorn before bed while watching tv but I didn't want the extra calories and there was my migraine. I kept focusing on it. Then, I realized I was criticizing my child for wanting a snack. I thought oh just forget it and get the stupid popcorn for crying out loud. I enjoyed it and my migraine went away almost instantly.

    That is a simple example but it happens all day long. On Monday I had a bad migraine and was laying in bed on my side. I visualized that someone was petting my hair and saying it's ok.

    Or, while looking into the mirror and picking myself apart, or hating my voice, or doing chores when I really don't want to. When I catch myself I visualize the parent in my head speaking to the child and letting the child get it's way more and more.

    It is really hard though and I don't always think to do it but when I do, it has helped.

    I'm sure there are many more ways to tackle this and I can't wait to hear other people respond. I hope this helps.
    Ellen and plum like this.
  3. Freeange

    Freeange Peer Supporter

    That's sound like a good strategy. I'll try it. My inner child is excited!
    Ines likes this.
  4. plum

    plum Beloved Grand Eagle

    I've taken to lampooning myself. Everytime this self-critical nonsense starts I begin a dramatic caricature and act it out monstrously. People have been in fits of laughter as I affect a total losing of my marbles. Don't ask me why I am doing this. It has just started happening. Maybe this time next week I'll be carted off to the funny farm but meantime it works quite well.

    You may want to employ a toned down version.
    Or an imaginative version.
    Or maybe no version of this madness at all.

    All I'm saying is it dissolves like ice in vodka when you show it up for the nonsense that it is. (Your inner child will love it).
    mike2014, Ellen and Ines like this.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle


    It is possible to change this behavior. I had the worst inner bully, and now s/he has almost shut up. I wish my strategy was as much fun as Plum's, but I just tried to catch myself being self critical and then corrected it with the truth. I'm actually a pretty competent, nice person and it was about time I started telling myself that. For me it was just one part of my inclination for negative thinking. It just takes persistence and you will find that you are changing. If I can do it anyone can.
    mike2014 likes this.

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