Your Inner Critic is the voice in your mind that is constantly talking to you and telling you what you need to improve, where you don’t measure up, and what you need to fix. Your inner critic tries to have control over your world and convinces you that, if you listen to it and do exactly what it says:
- You will have control.
- You will be able to get your life to go in the direction that you want it to go.
- You will get people to treat you the way you want them to.
In our work though The Center for ExtraOrdinary Relationships, we speak with folks all the time who don’t realize how much of our lives are controlled by our inner critic. It’s easy to get automatically sucked into the message of the inner critic and then attempt to control the feelings we’re having by fixing or changing the world outside. We think that if “they” can just change their current circumstance, things will be ok.
The real problem is not with the outside world. Most of the time, problems are not what they appear to be. The real problem lies with your reaction to whatever is occurring, and that reaction is caused by the inner critic.
Attempts to change the outside world can wreak havoc on our relationships.
We try to fix or control the way people behave towards us, so that we can feel loved, important, valued. When the important people in our lives trigger our inner critic, we can react by getting angry, critical, sometimes even hostile! Even with the best relationship advice, this can become a pattern in relationships, where even the smallest of arguments can trigger people into an out-of-control reaction.
Unlike some methods found in traditional relationship counseling, understanding what you are REALLY upset about is the key to having great relationships. Rather than blaming other people for your reaction, it is important to recognize that it is actually your inner critic that is triggered, telling you that they are behaving this way because you are not loved enough, valued enough, important enough. This is how soda cans left on counters can cause blow up explosions! We are never angry at what we think we are angry about.
It is always the underlying message that our inner critic is giving us that is responsible for the damaging patterns in our relationships.
When you stop believing your inner critic’s messages, you have the ability to completely transform the quality of your relationships. You have the power to create more love, connection, passion, and fulfillment, simply by not allowing your inner critic to control your relationships.