Voices that put you down, are defeatist, punitive, panic-ridden or humiliating. Not the voice of our better nature. Do they make unfair accusations or become hysterical and overwhelming?
Every internal voice was at one point external. Your internal voices were originally the voices of external figures from the past such as parents, teachers or the school bully. These comments were compelling and authoritative at the time, and eventually become internalised. This is what causes people to have low self esteem.
Some symptoms of a critical inner voice might be:
- Not feeling ‘good enough’ such as the sensation when you were picked last for a sports team
- Trying to please people always agreeing with people, feeling responsible for others’ feelings, scared of being alone
- Recurrent critical inner voice feeling you’re too fat, too thin, not feminine or masculine enough, or not clever enough
- Feeling that your needs are abnormal / too much / ‘wrong’; for example the sensation when your partner describes you as clingy if you want a cuddle.
For more information on this topic we recommend the School of Life video:
Psychotherapists offer a relationship that acts as model for a new way of being that devoid of criticism, that supports you rather than taking advantage of you, that believes you have worth, value and are important.
If you’re at the mercy of the critical inner voice and its inhibiting your happiness, or performance at work or elsewhere we offer a half hour free consultation with our psychotherapists to identify whether therapy can help.