Do you have an Inner Critic, too? The one that follows you everywhere, into fitting rooms, on dates, on job interviews? Who keeps you up at night reminding you everything you do is wrong?
The Inner Critic Wants Me To Be Miserable
My Inner Critic is definitely female and snarky, a dried up Old Bat who wants everyone to be as miserable as she is. Mainly she wants me to be miserable! This Inner Critic has been around ever since I can remember. She even came to kindergarten. Somehow I created her and she’s always there. I certainly tried to drown her out, pretend she wasn’t there, argue with her. But, alas, I can’t banish her anymore than I can cut off my head. I decided to make friends with her.
How Do You Make Friends With Her?
The first and best way to make friends with anyone is to be one. That means being the opposite of the Inner Critic! Love her, be genuinely concerned about her, don’t judge her. Compliment her on how perceptive she is. Thank her for pointing out my shortcomings (rolleyes). And trust that her intentions are good, even if you perceive them as critical and soul-destroying.
I decided to think of her as my Siamese twin. We are joined at the heart and neither of us can live without the other. And now we don’t want to!
How I Talk to My Siamese Twin, the Inner Critic
First I gave her a new name. “Hey, Old Bat” is no way to talk to your BFF! I call her Annabel and invite her everywhere except Private Moments. I tell her she is beautiful, too. When we go shopping, I ask her to pick out something special – after all, she’s already told me she knows everything!
The dear thing is always RIGHT THERE if anything goes wrong. After all, she’s told me it will, over and over again. So now I say, “Thanks for warning, Annabel, the meal is just a bit overcooked but not ruined.”
Annabel likes to remind me how much richer I’d be if only I’d sold my stocks in 2007. I just give her a virtual hug and say, “Annabel, don’t think about what we’ve lost, only what we have left.”
Annabel’s favorite word is “but.” “They have a beautiful house but they owe a lot of money on it.” “The garden is beautiful but one of the trees is dead.” “You’ve done well for yourself, but you still should have sold those stocks in 2007!”
What to do? Make your favorite word “and” – “You’re my Siamese twin, Annabel, and I love you very much. You will always warn me what might go wrong and encourage me to do better. Thank you for being in my life.”