How Loud is Your Critical Voice?

Everyone has a critical voice. It’s that nagging voice inside our mind that comments on our behaviours, feelings, and thoughts. Your critical voice may be manageable—you may be able to consider what it is saying, but then evaluate whether it’s useful for you. Or, it may be unmanageable and a large contributing factor to feeling depressed, incompetent, and less worthy. If the latter is true, it’s important to do some work on your critical voice.

Two types of self-criticism seem to be most prevalent: dismissive and punitive. If our critical voice is dismissive, any time we have an emotional response, we tell ourselves “don’t feel that way” or “get over it.” We downplay our feelings and tend not to consider them valid. We have these unacknowledged feelings inside of us that are suppressed. This suppression can lead to depression and feeling disconnected. It can also cause an inappropriate delayed reaction or erupt out of context.

If our critical voice is punitive, we place excessive demands on ourselves, and find it difficult to allow for any mistakes. This type of voice is very harsh and often tells us, “you should have done better,” or “you failed.” The critical voice leaves us feeling incompetent and worthless.

It’s important to become more aware of your critical voice. Start observing how often it tells you that your emotions are not valid or criticises your every move. Notice how you feel after your critical voice has been very loud or punitive. Do you feel lethargic? Irritated? Overwhelmed? The critical voice is often related to other significant messages that we heard when we were younger. Is your critical voice from your past? Is the voice encouraging you to do better, or is it beating you down and leaving you feeling hopeless and incompetent. These are some the areas that are important to explore as you work on managing your critical voice.

Ready to see how counselling can help you? Contact us to book a session:

Numina Counselling
Phone: (403)819-5676
Email: pspletzer@numinacounselling.com
Adress: #224, 1919 Sirocco Drive SW, Calgary, AB

Ask your extended health benefits provider if you have coverage for treatment by a Registered Psychologist.

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