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My Inner Critic. Thursday March 10, 2016

This is adapted from a writing exercise to interview your inner critic about one's writing. As my inner critic has an opinion all aspects of my life I decided to broaden the scope of the interview.

Me: I welcome (well I don't really) this opportunity to find out why you always need to have an opinion that is always negative about me and my life.

IC: I thought this was going to be a friendly interchange of ideas but there you go with your anger and hostile remarks. I do not see myself as negative but as helping you, because you do need help.

I am here to help you why can't you see that?

Me: So when I am trying to sleep and you tell me about all my mistakes, embarrassing moments, how does that help me?

IC: I thought while you are in bed you would have time to consider some of your past behaviours. This I feel will only help you to improve.

Me: If you are so helpful why do I feel so worthless, so sad, so ignorant when you are around? Do you really know how low I can feel when you are constantly telling me all my faults?

IC: You make yourself feel that way- I am merely pointing out the truth. It is not my problem that you are so weak.

Me: Maybe this was a bad idea you are never going to listen to me or understand me.

IC: Have you ever thought that maybe you shouldn't listen to me if I upset you so much.

Me How can I ignore you when you are so loud at times.

IC: See this is what I mean you are so weak. You have the power to ignore me, to silence me but all you do is whinge and complain.

Me: I am ending this interview. Enough is enough.

What would you say to your inner critic and what do you want to hear from your inner critic?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Eva Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 7:02am

Hi Leah this is a great blog, got me laughing, which I need because it's almost a year since my dad died, so feeling pretty low right now.

My inner negative person seems to be saying - you are sadder than you have ever been, and it's never going to end.

I am reminding myself that it will change and one day the sadness will lessen. That when I go out I will not see the people and the world through ugly tainted glasses and despair at the world.

I know from our community that it's not permanent and I just need to push on through. It's helpful remembering that when each step feels heavy.

Thanks everyone for the input each day, it slowly sinks in to the subconscious for recall when you need it. Another tool in the kit.

LillyPet Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 7:35am

Morning Eva honey. It's so good that you are reminding yourself that it will ease. You are moving forwards and taking those dark shades off! It's ok to feel sad, we feel pain for a reason, but it's good that you dont want that to take over. Maybe if when you think of him you can also think about a good thing or things to tuck safely into your heart, it might help a bit. LPxx

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:07am

Eva, Thanks for taking the time and effort to reply when you are feeling so sad. I would tell your inner critic how strong you and just watch and see how have coped and are still moving forwards. Take care, Leah xx

the room above the garage Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:43am

Hello Eva, you are's not permanent and that is something I needed spoken today. So thank you for giving me that. One year in is so raw, full of memories of when it happened. Don't deny them. Be sad. Cry. And just trust that it will be ok. Will be thinking of you xx.

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:00am

tratg I always smile when I see your name. Big hugs across the sea. take care . your compassion for others touches me. Please keep some of that compassion for yourself. xx

the room above the garage Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 11:43am

You're a love Leah. I just want us all to win. Thank you for the hug! And your words xx.

Skyblue Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 12:17pm

Hi Eva, I think losing a precious person like a dad is one of the hardest things in life to deal with, no matter how old we are when they go. His love for you will never die...and (from my experience) it's not a love that's only in the past, either--it's current and ongoing. Just like yours is for him. You will heal and it will all get easier. xx

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:14pm

Skyblue, That is so true. Thanks for your healing words.

Eva Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 10:31pm

Thanks everyone

LillyPet Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 7:13am

Morning Leah,
What a great way to blog about something we all seem to battle with.
I'd tell my inner critic to number 1 pipe down! 2. If you cant say anything positive dont say anything at all! 3. Actually I've found a replacement for you called my True Self, who is gentle and caring. Honest with me, but compassionate. 4. If you begin to harshly criticise me I will stop you in your tracks and focus on what is around me or 5. ask my True Self's opinion, who always finds a positive.

I'd like my inner critic to say back
1. I'm just trying to protect you, but I know that I am very primitive! 2. I promise to take a back seat where I belong in the back of your brain and only alert you to real danger, I'll leave the thinking and speaking to True Self at the front of your brain. Take care of yourself.

I'd feel more peaceful then and able to say to my IC.
1. Thank you for listening and giving me a chance to move forwards without so much fear and self doubt.
2. I'll be more gentle when I notice you too, acknowledge you let you settle back down.
3. I'll try to make sure that we are doing what we do best in harmony.
4. Thanks for keeping an eye out for me and keeping me safe from real harm.
5. Later alligator! :)

Thank you Leah I really enjoyed that excercise and feel totally up for the day! Morning all, I have a feeling the weather in London is brightening up! Love and light to all. LP xx

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:11am

Thanks Lilypet, Wow you have written an great post.You have given me lots to think about. I don't think I have a True self and my inner critic will tell me I am so indecisive I dont know my true self!! Glad you enjoyed the exercise. Have a great day.

Norman Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:01am

I'd like my inner critic to match my outer one. With other people, especially staff, I point out the fault and leave it at that. Only if a mistake is repeated do I go further. I coach and advise and nurture in a way that they (especially female staff) respond to. I see the positive reasons why someone may have done something.

But for myself it's cage-fighting! No rules, no holds barred and no quarter asked or given!

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:12am

Norman, I have never thought about my outer critic, that is interesting. Cage-fighting with the inner critic, I know who would come out the worst- me!! Thanks for your insightful post.

Lou Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:12am

This is a great blog - I found it very powerful. And an interesting discussion from other 'Scopers; it is good, but odd, to hear "my" words coming out of someone else's mouth. It's nice to know I am not alone in the way I feel but disconcerting how similar other people's experiences can be. Thanks Leah. And everyone who has commented!

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:15am

Thanks Lou, Sometimes it can be lonely thinking no one thinks like you but also it can be disconcerting to hear words one says being sprouted by someone else. Thanks for taking time to comment.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:32am

i suppose I don't see my inner critic as any different from myself because I know that what my inner critic says or what I say or feel about myself is true sometimes. I can see how useful this exercise is though Leah and the way you present it just shows what a nasty person that inner critic is. Someone to be banished from our lives for ever! You always write about problems from a different angle Leah and I look forward to reading your thoughts. Julx

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:38am

Jul, Thanks for your kind words. I find it fascinating how everyone sees the concept of an inner critic differently. When I don't see a difference between my inner critic and myself, si when I am at my lowest- but that's just me.

Debs Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:45am

I agree with that Leah - when I can't see the internal voice as just my 'lizard brain' trying to keep me safe - I know I'm at the bottom of depression. At that point nobody can talk me round! I'm in deep and the voice takes over. I've recently started to see that I AM NOT MY THOUGHTS OR MY FEELINGS! (Sorry, had to shout that out ;-)) They are just biochemical reactions going on in my body. I ignore them and carry on. Xxx

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:15pm

Debs Why is it so hard to know something- I am not my thoughts and feelings, yet so hard to put into practice.

the room above the garage Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:51am

Like Jul, my inner critic seems so inherently part of me that I rarely hear it. Maybe I need to work on that! I love this blog Leah and I feel I'll be learning lots from it as the comments progress. I wonder if my inner critic was learned? My mum has never been kind about herself. It took me a long time to realise how damaging that was and I've tried really hard to break the cycle with my own children. Nature/nurture I guess. I'm having to dig deep today and I'm sending love to everyone else in the same boat. Sitting outside the gym, aching not to go inside, but knowing it's the law. Love ratg X.

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:03am

tratg, I replied to your earlier comment as I didn't see this one. I am learning so much too as I usually do. I had to dig deep today and now at my night time I feel it was worth the effort. I bet you will be glad you went to the gym and proud you made the effort. Thanks again for replyingx

Debs Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:03am

Sending love Room - go fill yourself with wonderful endorphins and banish those thoughts. You are so amazing my dear, your talent for writing is off the scale exquisite. I don't say that lightly, I really do see you with a huge and beautiful gift. And I do think the way we treat ourselves is learnt, my mum is soooo hard on herself it's painful to watch. I vowed when I had my son I would put every bit of my heart and soul into healing myself so that I could be an inspiration to him. The past five years have almost killed me (literally) but I now feel like I can inspire him. I still put myself down internally a lot but I don't let it out. And I'm creating a life where I do all the things I ever wanted to show him anything is possible. I can't afford to live in thoughts and feelings - they're not me and they don't help me be who I want to be for my boy. Sending massive love and a hand to pull you upxxxx

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:13am

Your reply to ratg brought a tear to my eye. Today would have been my mum's 90 plus birthday so I was thinking if she was hard on herself. I know she had virtual emotional tattoos of every negative thing that was ever said to her. Even at 80 she was still recalling hurtful things her parents had said when she was young. Until now reading what you and tratg wrote I never really thought about her being unkind to herself. I just thought she was a martyr. Thanks for giving me more to think about.

Anonymous Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:15am


the room above the garage Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 11:51am

Moodscopers are the best friends i could wish for. Leah, happy birthday to your mum, it's hard to know what to do on these mark it feels wrong without them, to not mark it feels empty. I hope letting us know it is her birthday marks it for you xx. Debs, great parenting! I have a list of things I'll do when mine are gone...not a great lesson and one I'll address. For now, they know I eat and sleep well but I rarely go out (a side effect of this illness I think). Thank you for bigging me up lol!! xx Jul, laughed hard at your comment :-D MERCI! xx

Skyblue Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 12:34pm

ratg, Leah and Debs, i think the way we treat ourselves is indeed learned to a large extent. During a recent visit, i caught my sweet little (old) mumma berating herself for dropping something with a vehement 'I'm so stupid'. I asked her gently to please not talk to herself that way. I don't recall her ever talking to ME that way, but i was a good learner. Now, because of all of you on Moodscope, I've learned to be kinder to myself. xx

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:16pm

Skyblue, I am finding your comments so helpful today. Thank you.

Debs Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:55am

Hi Leah - great blog ;-) I don't really ever get into a chat with my IC anymore, doing so only gets me into anxious thinking patterns when I could be doing something else more productive. Occasionally ill know that what the IC wants is more love and support so I'll reach out but most of the time the ranting is nonsense. Meditation has really really helped me create distance between me and my thoughts and I can see them better for what they are - just flim flam floating through my head.
Try this idea on: we are all one mind and have EXACTLY the same thoughts. Not at the same time of course and the circumstances will differ but the basic thoughts are the same. Lots of 'shoulds', 'not good enough', 'don't belong', 'something's wrong', 'if only', 'what if', 'what's the point'. Once I got that this is just the machine in our brain spewing out stuff like a computer programme I could choose to ignore it. It's always going on but I don't have to engage. Thank you for making me think!! Lots of love xxxx

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:07am

Debs You have given me much to think about. I suppose as I can be very talkative I like the idea of a conversation. I often do role plays in my life when I am not sure how a conversation will go. Thanks for taking time to introoduce me to a different way of seeing.

Hopeful One Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:14am

Hi Leah-great blog. I silenced my inner critic by making friends with it.

Our laugh today.

By the time the sailor pulled into a little town every hotel room was taken. "You've got to have a room somewhere," he pleaded. "Or just a bed, I don't care where." "Well, I do have a double room with one occupant -- an Air Force guy," admitted the manager, "and he might be glad to split the cost. But to tell you the truth, he snores so loudly that people in adjoining rooms have complained in the past. I'm not sure it'd be worth it to you." "No problem," the tired Navy man assured him. "I'll take it." The next morning, the sailor came down to breakfast bright-eyed and bushy tailed. "How'd you sleep?" asked the manager. "Never better." The manager was impressed. "No problem with the other guy snoring?" "Nope. I shut him up in no time," said the Navy guy. "How'd you manage that?" asked the manager. "He was already in bed, snoring away, when I came in the room," the sailor explained. "I went over, gave him a kiss on the cheek, and said, 'Goodnight beautiful,' ...And he sat up all night watching me."

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:26am

Hopeful One, Thanks. If I could make friends with my inner critic he would not be my inner critic.

the room above the garage Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 11:53am

Love it HO! :-D

Hopeful One Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 12:35pm


Hopeful One Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 12:36pm

Thanks RATG.

The librarian Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:31am

Gosh! Such helpful stuff! I've had to print it so I can give it my full attention and learn from it.
I have done a cartoon of my inner critic and all the horrible things she says to me. It was good to do because when I heard what she said, instead of letteing her view take over, I though "oo, theat would be a good phrase for my cartoon" and it created that necessary gap. I am now trying to do a cartoon where I ask her to be kind and tell her that I'm not going to disown her, that I'd like to integrate her and for her to help me. The kindness thing is more difficult though.. but I keep working on it!

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 10:38am

Librarian Thank you so much. I like the idea of the cartoon . I just wish I could draw! Take care Leah

Mary Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 1:41pm

Dear Librarian = please do scan your cartoon and add it to the Moodscope Facebook page (I think Lex has already posted today's blog up there). I would love to see it and so too would other people I am sure!

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:52pm

Yes, Librarian, if you feel ok to share that would be great. I'd like to see it.

The librarian Fri, Mar 11th 2016 @ 9:31am

Dear Leah and Mary, I can't draw either! It's mostly written! I will try to find the Facebook page and post a photo of it... Thank you for your encouragement.

Skyblue Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 12:04pm

Great blog, Leah, with lots of thoughts generated. I'm learning that the inner critic can be a very slick and experienced liar and it's the lying that pulls me in and makes me depressed. The faster i remember this, the faster the depression lifts. The trick is to actually remember:) When the inner critic is actually saying something worthwhile and instructional, suggesting what I could be doing differently, I don't get depressed. It's the lies that get me and should be ignored as pesky drivel. Thanks, Leah, and thanks to everyone for the thoughtful comments. xx

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:56pm

Skyblue, What great advice. I guess the trick is to know when the inner critic is lying because I tend, ok I used to believe the bad things and ignore the good things. Thanks for this and I will try it. Thanks for your insightful post.

Mary Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 1:49pm

Yes Leah, why *does* our IC keep reminding us of all the times we so desperately failed, the times we embarrassed ourselves, the times we hurt other people? I can tell myself time and time again that I am a loyal friend, that I have many talents, that I am warm and witty and wise. And that blasted IC sits on my shoulder and whispers "Who are you trying to fool?" According to my IC I am an academic and professional failure with no self-discipline, an insensitive and tactless boor who causes untold hurt to others and a neglectful wife and mother. Maybe I should ask it just why, if it thinks so little of me, does it choose to spend so much time in my company. A totally valid question, I feel.

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:03pm

Mary, Thanks for your honest post.When I read what your inner critic says I can see how it is lying and how silly for you to believe it.It is easy to be detached from another person's inner critic. I think my inner critic and yours must be related.

Lex Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 2:30pm

Well, if I was to criticise this blog, I'd say, "What an amazing blog!" I began watching, "The Godfather" again last night. I can think of a few characters in that movie I'd like to introduce my Inner Critic too... hmmm, now, there's an idea... L'xx

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:04pm

Thanks Lex , I think that sounds like an interesting idea.

The Gardener Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 3:05pm

My IC for years was highly critical, mostly along the lines that you should have done more, and done it bitter. Now, it seems to have nothing to offer - It said, for a long time, with loads of 'outer' critics, helpers, come on, snap out of it, there's a life out there, this is not like you, But it seems to have given up the ghost, can't thing of anything encouraging to say, as matters are taking a serious downtun. If it's saying anything, it's 'hang on in there, hel at hand'. At moment, not forthcoming, but, wherever and vwhenevereeververeve

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:07pm

The Gardener, I would have a few choice words for your outer critics and I see you as such a strong amazing person. They should walk a kilometre in your shoes to see how complex your life is. Glad the inner critic has retired. Thanks so much for your replies I always look fowrad to your comments.

Gar in the States Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 4:02pm

This particular post actually brought me to tears. I could relate to this on multiple levels. Thank You so very much.
In process of submitting my own blog, which is more painful to me as no one else can imagine.
I am
Gar D from Pennsylvania USA

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:09pm

Gar, Your reply touched me. I am glad you are writing a blog, it maybe painful but I find it very helpful.. Take care

Maria Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 4:09pm

Wonderful blog Leah! I just wanted to say thanks to you and all the other moodscopers who made such lovely comments.

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:10pm

Thanks Maria. The moodscopers are wonderful and so supportive.

The Gardener Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 4:38pm

The whole set-up got jammed - hence gobbledygook. I have a holiday - Mr G going in for a week of respite. Now watch IC. It will start in 'you've got to rest' me, I want to DO things, when I(underlined) want to, so I foresee trouble.

Lou Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 8:14pm

Great news TG. Maybe if enough of us 'Scopers tell you often enough that you *deserve* a break we can drown out your IC?! Worth a try?

Leah Thu, Mar 10th 2016 @ 9:12pm

Gardner, That is great news that you have a holiday. Some people rest by lying on the beach, some climb mountains, some DO things as longs as it gives you a break. Let us know what you do. Take care.

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