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Working with your inner critic or judge

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  • #36578
    John
    Participant

    Have you ever said something to someone or done something where you feel you may have disappointed them, made them like you less, or hold you in a lower esteem even though they have never given you any explicit indication of any of those things?

    What do you do with those feelings? How do you react to them or work through them?

    My first reaction is to reach out for validation from that person either directly or indirectly to get a sense that they’re still okay with me. Right now, I’m experiencing that exact feeling and my first instinct is to reach out that person and just ask, “Hey, are you okay that I…? Did you mind or did it bother you that I….?” I’m 99% sure that the person will come back and say, “Yes, of course that’s fine. Don’t be silly,” but this tiny part of me has this nagging sense of worry and unease. It’s a really trivial matter, but I’m very aware of this feeling that has me hooked, how it’s distracting me from the present moment…”Did I do the right thing..? Was I being too direct in expressing my need? Was I not being direct enough? Did I not take into consideration the other person’s needs or wants?” Sometimes this is followed by “Am I being too sensitive or overly cautious?”

    It feels like my monkey mind is jumping around and I’m not sure how to find stillness.

    P.S. Just writing this post and expressing these feelings in writing has actually already helped me find some calm, but your responses would be very welcome.

    #36579
    Veronica
    Participant

    Hello – I clicked on your topic because I too have felt this way. it’s nice to hear someone else verbalize this inner dialogue.

    I am either too sensitive to life’s subtle nuances and internalize everything as my fault, or I am not sensitve enough and just blurt my emotions on to others, unintentionally. My pre-sleep moments are spent playing back these events and … well, then I don’t like myself very much. And then I worry that I won’t be liked very much, or that I won’t be respected for my good contributions. Sleep becomes a blissful momentary escape. And then depression follows.

    Perhaps, I should consider that these feelings occur when I have done something on the spur of the moment and without thought about how my action elementally goes against my own grain. I am reminded of this when the self talk starts. And that will go on for hours, days, and weeks even! It just doesn’t pay to be spontaneous when your conscience haunts you so. LOL

    I hope you soon get your “monkey mind” to be still so you can find peace.

    #36607
    John
    Participant

    Thank-you Veronica for your post. I really like the way you described the issue – “It just doesnโ€™t pay to be spontaneous when your conscience haunts you so.” It does very much feel like you’re being haunted by a ghost or a demon of some sorts.

    Just to give you an update, I didn’t listen to that judging and critical voice in my head and didn’t follow-up with anyone to try to get validation. In my mind, I kept postponing the need to validate. Luckily, I gave myself such a large of amount of time and space to process and resist that temptation to seek out validation that by the time I saw this person again, I didn’t feel the need to validate. And of course, the person didn’t bring anything up issue or show any kind of resentment towards me because there was nothing for them to be resentful for. It was just my mind playing it’s old games.

    I recognize that judge or inner critic is not my own voice but that of my parents and other overly critical people that I’ve been exposed to over the years. But these voices are really not helpful and need to put in their place fast because I realize that they’re holding me back from living the kind of spontaneous and joyful life I want to live.

    Self-awareness is the first step, but I’d love to know how many more steps there are until I’m completely free. At least we can find some peace in knowing that we’re on the right path. ๐Ÿ™‚

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