Yoga by the Sea

How to Turn Your Inner Critic Into A Friend

Do you have a voice inside your head that never shuts up? Does this voice have an opinion on EVERY little thing? I can imagine you’re nodding yes. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.


You and the rest of the world have what Michael Singer, author of The Untethered Soul, refers to as an “inner roommate.” You may know it as your Inner Critic.


The voice will try to protect you (Did I remember to turn off the stove?) and will narrate mundane events (Was that a squirrel that just ran by? I wonder where it came from.)

Note: you are not the other person who is communicating with your inner roommate- your inner roommate is in there talking to itself!


What you are is the one who is observing your thoughts, i.e., listening to a chatty person go on all day.


There’s a lot the voice gets wrong but I don't agree that silencing it is the best approach. Because despite being so terrible at it, your inner voice is really trying to help you. What you can do instead of silencing the voice is figuring how it can better help you. You can also learn mindfulness, which will help you tune it out when you need to.


In this post, I want to share with you a 3-step process that I use to help clients turn their inner critic into a friend.

 

Step 1: Personify Your Inner Critic


You do this to remind yourself that you are not your mind—you are entirely separate. The mind can be described as the perspective a person has of his or herself—your thoughts, emotions, memories, desires, beliefs, fears, etc.


By personifying your inner critic, you stop identifying and believing the things your mind projects onto you that may trick you into thinking the negative thoughts are real. Giving your inner critic a different name is going to help you disassociate from it. 


Try coming up with a positive or neutral-sounding name! This Google search result for “adjective-sounding names," will give you some idea of what I mean. Other options are mystical female names, god/goddess names, leaning into your culture, or simply referring to the inner self and Ms. Talk A Lot.

 

Step 2: Learn What Motivates Your Inner Critic