One of my current topics of ponder is why it’s so hard to silence the inner critic (or critics – I’ve got dozens, go me!). Not being in anyone else’s head, I can’t speak for them, but I know there’s often a clamour going on in mine.
Getting older and spending quite a lot of those years googling, I’ve learned that whatever’s going on in my life, chances are someone else is having the same experience (only they’re usually better at it). It’s one of the things the internet wins at which is both good and bad. I think I’ll call it the Someone Somewhere’s In The Same Boat rule (SSITSB)
Mindfulness meditation is a marvellous thing. It brings a lot of calm and a little perspective. One of its other features is to enable you to hear the voices in your head.
Before you start backing away and hiding sharp objects, I believe – following the SSITSB principle outlined above – that if I’ve got shouty voices, then we all have voices in our heads, only we don’t always understand what we’re hearing. A sort of wood-for-the-trees situation.
I’ve been listening and my loudest voices say:
- You’re so boring, why would anyone want to talk to you?
- You’re not very clever, are you? Or you’d be much more successful than this.
- Don’t believe that complement – that person is only saying that ‘cos they feel sorry for you.
- I can’t believe you did/said that – it’s so embarrassing.
- Wake up. That’s another opportunity you’re missing over there. Dozy.
There are numerous quieter ones that whisper:
- At your age… !
- Stop it with the dithering.
- Of course, they’ve noticed the hot flush.
- Ah. Mistake again, you fool.
- When will you ever learn?
- That’s not the right thing to do/way to go.
- You’ve forgotten something important… and I’m not going to tell you what.
- You’re too fat/young/old/slow/impatient/greedy/dull
Now in another bit of my head, I know that most of this isn’t true and, even if some of it is, SSITSB states that it doesn’t really matter because that’s what people are like. But, the thing is, I can’t shut the noisy creatures up. Yap, yap, yap, they’re at it all the time. Just when I think something’s going swimmingly there it is again. Even if I stop listening, there’s a subtitles version.
That’s why I’m writing this. I hope that if I tell you about it, the voices might realise that I’m on to them and, who knows, give up and go somewhere else, or, at least, think about saying something new.