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Are the voices talking to you? Wednesday April 2, 2014

A friend of mine, Jenny, has a friend whose name is Fag-ash Lil.

Now, Fag-ash Lil isn't the kind of friend you'd really want in your life, because she's really negative. Just last week she was in the kitchen, leaning against the table as Jenny prepared for a presentation she was due to make the following day.

"I don't know why you bother, you know. Nobody wants to listen to you." she said, lighting up, even though Jenny hates people smoking in her house. Lil inhaled, blew a stream of smoke straight into Jenny's face, examined her nails and ran a hand through her straw-like hair. "What you've got to say is just completely irrelevant, you know? If I were you I'd just give up right now." And she went on and on and on in the same vein, making it really difficult for Jenny to concentrate.

Now you'd think that Jenny would banish this obnoxious person from her house, wouldn't you? But that's a bit tricky, because Fag Ash Lil lives inside Jenny's head; she's one of the voices.

We all have voices. We make jokes about it, don't we? "The voices in my head told me to do it." "You're just jealous because the voices only talk to me!"

But when was the last time the voices said "Hey – great job there: really well done. No – I mean it; you were awesome! Oh, and by the way, you're looking pretty hot too!"
That would be never, right?

The reason I know about Fag-ash Lil is that Jenny has told me about her. By visualising Lil, creating a slightly ridiculous persona for her, Jenny has reduced her power. As soon as Lil starts, Jenny can look her straight in the eye, say "Thanks for sharing, Lil. I'm going to ignore you now, OK?"

Now, Lil doesn't shut up; she's very persistent, but she has a lot less power around Jenny's life. She doesn't stop that presentation being written and delivered; she doesn't get in the way much at all now. Oh she used to, but now she's not lurking in the shadows whispering her poison, Jenny can laugh at her.

Lil absolutely hates that.

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Lex McKee Wed, Apr 2nd 2014 @ 7:46am

What a great way to challenge the voices that chat to us, Mary! I guess the Fag-ash Lil's may have a positive intention behind their words but these can be hard to understand, Perhaps they are there to protect us from making a fool of ourselves? Whatever the reason for these negative voices, they need to be put in their place!

Anonymous Wed, Apr 2nd 2014 @ 11:18am

I call the negative, in effective "voices" in my head "Chatter". They are mostly only around when I am not doing well, and are a "red flag" that I am not doing well. I "Boss Back" to them - stating things like"This is only chatter in my head. What it says not true, are not fact. I do not need to listen to the.".

Suzy Wed, Apr 2nd 2014 @ 11:34am


Anonymous Wed, Apr 2nd 2014 @ 11:36am

I have the same, if not similar, thing. Whenever I'm alone, I here the voices of some of my friends talking to me on seemingly random. Maybe I'm bored or it's my imagination. Good job at keeping those voices at bay, Jenny! :)

Mary Wed, Apr 2nd 2014 @ 8:49pm

Thanks for your comment Lex, I've missed you lately. Good to have your lovely positive and affirming comments back. you are always such a support.

Mary Wed, Apr 2nd 2014 @ 8:49pm

Thank you, Suzy.

Quacko Thu, Apr 3rd 2014 @ 2:48am

I have a running stream of negativity that usually starts the minute I wake up. It is like a Greek Chorus reminding me that nothing is right that I do. I need to move, get coffee and tell myself that I should not be so hateful to myself-

Anonymous Thu, Apr 3rd 2014 @ 9:43am

Rings very true with me. I call mine the Bully. But recently I've managed (with help from a kind therapist) to make it go quiet and even go away completely for long periods of time sometimes. These days I sometimes have a new voice - a new friend - who's kind, compassionate, patient, understanding, encouraging and sometimes when I'm feeling low this new friend comes and helps me and talks me through it....

Lex McKee Thu, Apr 3rd 2014 @ 11:59am

Dear Mary, your Native American name would surely be, "She Who Edifies" - thanks for edifying me yet again.

Anonymous Thu, Apr 3rd 2014 @ 6:11pm

Hello Quacko; Anything by Louise Hay is very good - using positive affirmations to replace the negative chatter "I am safe, all is well; I am loving and caring; I am strong and capable" whatever you need to hear at the time ...;
one image from her I found very helpful is to visualise myself as a small child; then visualise myself as an adult reassuring myself as a child - as we would reassure any child: "We are all safe and well". I wish you peace of mind and heart. Frankie

Anonymous Fri, Apr 4th 2014 @ 9:09am

Brilliant visualisation - I will start using it. Thanks. To deal with real negative people around me I sometimes use an image of a bubble around me that protects me from negative comments that I visualise bouncing off the bubble. But this is a permeable bubble to nice , nourishing comments that I can choose to let in - like the permeable membrane of a cell.

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