One of the commonest misconceptions people have is that by having an active inner critic, you are attacking yourself and treat him like trash. In some degree that’s true, but they fail to see the bigger picture. By judging your self, you don’t identify with the entity accepting the judgment but with the one that is doing it. You become the judge as a means to feel better about your short falling.
A Temporary Solution
This mechanism allows you to elevate yourself higher than the part of you that allowed the mistake to happen and basically provides a very easy solution to give credit to yourself by playing the smart-guy that knows it all.
Who can acclaim higher status than the person who can decide what is right and wrong. That’s the game people play unconsciously when they socialise trying to put someone down in the status battles we all indulge. “I like what you did there” or “I like how you matched your clothes today”, it all seems very innocent but underneath all, it creates a scenario that depicts you as the judge on the pedestal, with the subject below you accepting the evaluation. It’s just that in the case of our inner critic, you played smart at yourself in absence of any easier scapegoat. So what? You still absorbed all the good feelings from it. And not only did it make you feel good temporarily, it also gave you an excuse not to do the things you know you need to do. Mission accomplished.
Only that all these happen unconsciously and we forget how temporary the good feeling is. In the aftermath we stay with the conclusion that we exist in a world we don’t quite fit or belong and we need to strive to make anything good out of it. The thought blends into our belief system and becomes the lens through which we see the world, at least till we find proof that manifests otherwise. Apathyand unmotivating feelings arise. Chances to remedy the situation pass by unfulfilled. We gave up the fight.
But let’s dive a bit deeper and examine where it all began. No, I don’t mean in the particular situation. I mean way back. How our inner critic was molded and shaped in the first place.
The Origins Of Our Inner Voice
Our inner critic has its origins on the model of the world we created as we grew up as children. What was important to be accepted in your environment and family. Your results in school? Your dedication? Were mistakes forgiven and overpassed in view of a strong discipline? How was your environment responding to each other in successes and failures? Was the “doing” the only way to get credit or were you accepted unconditionally for who you are.
The real standards of our early environment are deeply influential as they are transparent. Because make no mistake they are immensely overt and recognisable no matter the age. These standards are compacted later on to be our inner voice and give way to behave to ourselves the way they direct. We carry them with us at all times and speak to us as separate entity with its own mind.
Only we need to realise that this voice is nothing but an early defense mechanism to come through whatever situation we happened to be in. We used it back then to help us become an accepted member. But if it’s still relevant years later, it’s up to us to decide.0