What? No Inner Critic?

September 5, 2011

What’s it like when the Inner Critic stops its incessant chatter?

stop inner criticTo disengage (from the inner critic / superego) actually means to create a sense of separation. We have been talking about the judgment loop as an internal dynamic focused on maintaining an inner relationship with the other (judge, inner critic, superego, adult, parent). So to break out of the loop means first and foremost stopping that relationship—not modifying it or changing its emotional tone but actually stopping it. Disengaging separates you from the other and, more importantly, from the experience of being in relationship. This can be dramatic and unexpected. With no inner relationship you are alone.

Such aloneness may be painful or frightening because you associate it with isolation, abandonment, helplessness, or loss. These are the feelings you originally had as a child when you felt the loss of relationship to your parents. It will be uncomfortable to stay with this aloneness because it means having to tolerate difficult feelings. The tendency is to do something to make the feelings go away—a desire that has the same motivation as the original impulse toward engagement. This undermines the disengagement and draws you into the loop again because engagement seems preferable to the aloneness and its painful associations.


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