5 Ways To Prevent Your Inner Critic From Wreaking Havoc On Your Relationship

relationships Oct 25, 2017

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Your Inner Critic, the voice in your mind that speaks to you all day every day, is the voice that is constantly evaluating you, telling you what you have to fix, change and perfect. It’s been the voice that has been yacking away your whole life, and you continue to listen to it, never understanding that this is where much of the suffering in your life originates.

It says that if you just keep trying harder and harder to get better and better, you will get to a point where you finally feel like everything is perfect.The problem is that no matter what you have accomplished, achieved, changed or fixed, the inner critic is always there telling you what’s next to fix or change. The impact of this voice does not just take its toll on your relationship with yourself, but can also wreak havoc on your relationship.

Because our Inner Critic makes us feel inadequate in some way, shape or form, we tend to look toward our partner as a way to make us feel good about ourselves. At the beginning of a relationship, it is pure bliss. Our partner makes us feel truly valued, accepted and loved. Our partner loves us, despite our faults and flaws. This creates a sense of euphoria that is unprecedented! This is what “falling in love” is all about. But, once the relationship matures, eventually real life sets in. Our partners inevitably see things they don’t like about us, as we do in them. If we rely on our relationship to make us feel good about ourselves, this is a recipe for disaster!

It certainly feels great to be accepted and loved by our partner, but at the end of the day, if we don’t first find this acceptance of ourselves, we will always be triggered when our partner does not meet our expectations, forgets to pick up the milk, take the trash out, or in some other way triggers us into feeling not important enough, not valued enough, or not loved enough.

Here are 5 ways to prevent your Inner critic from wreaking havoc:

  1. Practice self compassion every day by taking 5 minutes in the morning to notice the areas of your life where you have high expectations. Ask yourself this question every morning before you start your day: “ where in my life can I bring kindness and compassion to myself?” Sit quietly for 5 minutes in stillness and wait for the answer to come to you. If you make this a morning ritual, you will begin to notice a pattern in the areas that you are most self critical.
  2. Ask yourself, “where in my relationship am I most critical, and where can I stop blaming and instead bring kindness and compassion to my partner?” No one is perfect, and sometimes when our partners are forgetful or act selfishly, we want to blame our partner for making us feel the ways that we feel. Can you take responsibility for your feelings and recognize that your partner might not be intentionally trying to make you feel that way?
  3. When you are triggered, use your feelings as a way to see where you need to heal from within. Ask yourself, “where can I stop blaming my partner for how I feel, and instead see that these are feelings I have felt throughout my life?” In order to have the connected relationships that we really want, we need to first feel connected to ourselves.
  4. Instead of being angry at your partner, can you find a way to meet a need within yourself first? Maybe you are craving validation, acceptance, or love. Is there something you can do or say to yourself that would meet these needs?
  5. If your partner is expressing something to you that makes you upset, can you consider your partner’s point of view? Can you take responsibility for your own way of being that might be causing your partner to feel the way that they do? Instead of becoming defensive, when we validate what our partner is feeling, it creates a healthier dynamic in the relationship.

The more frequently you can utilize these 5 tips, the more you can create a relationship in which your expectations are more realistic within yourself and for your partner, which can foster a more loving and connected partnership.

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