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Are you your own toughest critic? If so, join the club. This is not an unusual reality.However, for those of you living with depression, such self-judgment can be dangerous. That’s why it is so helpful to develop a new relationship with your negative inner monologue. To follow are some useful tips and ideas. Of course, you can always ask for help. Your inner critic may judge that decision. But, fear not, because the rest of you will be cheering!

7 Tips to Taming Your Inner Critic

1. Accept Its Existence

Every single one of us has to deal with an inner critic. This doesn’t make us wrong or bad or flawed. It is part of being human. Do not aim for perfection, e.g. the complete removal of critical inner dialogue. Rather, accept its existence. From there, you can commit to learning more about it and thus, more about taming it.

2. Connect With Your Inner Critic

Once it’s been accepted as normal, your inner critic may become more accessible. Tune into its wavelength by exploring its characteristics. Does it sound like your current voice or is it coming from a different place? Some of those different places might be:

  • Your past self
  • Someone in current life
  • Someone from your past

3. Keep Track of It

A journal might come in handy to monitor when and why that negative voice usually appears. Discovering these patterns is a powerful way to identify triggers and practice prevention. The awareness you gain from this practice is invaluable.

4. Talk Back to It

It’s your interior life. That means you can make the rules. Suggested new rule: You can talk back to your inner critic whenever and however you wish. While it may be tempting to lash out, why not ask questions? Interview your inner critic to find out what it needs, what it fears, and what you can do to soothe it.

5. Teach it Compassion

Lead by example. You’ve accepted its existence. Now accept that something has made it afraid. Talk to your inner critic with compassion in the name of taming its relentless fervor. Apologize for ignoring it or fighting it for so long. Teach your inner critic to become a teammate rather than an opponent.

6. Earn its Trust

As you recognize your patterns of inner criticism, you can ask the critic to let the best version of you to step up in those situations. Your internal monologue may grow less negative when you are regularly doing your best to handle life’s ups and downs.

7. Take Care of Your Self to Become Your Best Self

That best version of you mentioned above does not arrive uninvited. Practice daily self-care to create this version. In the process, you are again leading by example. You are showing yourself, your inner critic, and everyone that you are worthy of these self-care rituals. Great starting points for self-love:

  • Healthy eating habits
  • Regular sleep patterns
  • Daily activity and exercise
  • Stress management
  • Relaxation techniques

Consider Counseling (or is it “Couples Counseling”?)

While you introduce the seven tips above, you may also wish to bring your inner critic to therapy with you. Consider it an unusual form of couples counseling, if you will. Under the watchful eye of a skilled mediator, you can learn techniques of conflict resolution. With practice and time, you may develop the ability to tame your inner critic before it even clears its throat. A therapist will be there to help parse out patterns of self-sabotage. After that, the methods needed will be more apparent. Keep in mind that taming your inner critic doesn’t have to be a solo act! Please reach out for a consultation today.

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