Why does this happen?The answer is simple: because we tend to unconsciously reproduce the patterns we saw in our childhood, because it is much easier to perpetuate what we know than to dare to do something new. In fact, we most likely cannot even spend an hour together. to someone without criticizing or complaining about something. To the extent that this judge that we have inside of us grows, it erases all traces of positivity, in this way we find ourselves stuck in a vicious circle, so that the more we criticize and the less positive aspects we glimpse, the more we focus on what we do not like and less we will be able to see what really attracts us. This is a horrible mechanism that we know very well.
The dangers of giving carte blanche to the critic within usTo impose no limits on this inner critic means to let him grow freely, to the point that he could get out of hand and cause us enormous damage.A Stanford University study showed that spending only half an hour a day complaining or listening to someone who it does, it can cause major changes in brain function. According to this study, ongoing complaints affect neurons in the hippocampus, an area linked to memory and learning consolidation. Apparently, the simple act of complaining and criticizing without intending to find a solution causes this brain area to atrophy. Another similar study, conducted at the University of Missouri, analyzed more than 800 adolescents and young adults for a period of six months. In this case, it has been found that those who have a habit of complaining and criticizing often have a higher risk of suffering from depression or anxiety.
Giving the inner critic carte blanche can have huge repercussions:- Hyperbolization of the negative prism. When we focus more on criticizing what we don't like instead of appreciating the things we like, we run the risk of developing a pessimistic view of the world. In fact, by mainly using the lenses of criticism we will end up by atrophying the lenses that allow us to see beautiful and positive things. In this way we run the risk of building a worldview that leaves us no hope and plunges us into depression.
- Development of a hypertrophic "I". As the critic within us grows, he occupies the space of all the other aspects of our personality that allow us to smile at life. In this way we end up developing a hypertrophic "I", transforming ourselves into a person who can only point out mistakes and complain, so we become the shadow of what we could be because we have fed only a part of our "I".
- Loss of the ability to feel pleasure. All the situations we face on a daily basis have a positive and a negative side, focusing only on the negative aspect prevents us from appreciating the opportunities and the positive aspects, so we will gradually lose the opportunity to enjoy things. In this way we will not only lose interest in others, but also our ability to enjoy life. At that point we will begin to die.
Three strategies to exploit the potential of the critic we have within usOf course, the inner critic is not a monster. In fact, it's useful because it helps us notice what's wrong and, in a way, encourages us to improve. When we are not satisfied with a situation, it encourages us to change it. The problem starts when the inner critic does nothing but complain, so next time you complain or criticize something, make sure you follow these three steps:1. Don't criticize to criticize, find out your reasons. Did you know that 95% of consumers would never complain about a product in front of the company that produced it, but half of them complain about the quality of this with friends? The problem is not the criticism itself, but the meaningless complaint. So when you are complaining, always ask yourself what the underlying motivation is. What do you want to achieve? What is your goal with this criticism?2. Ask yourself what you want to change. Before complaining for the simple pleasure of doing it, ask yourself what you really want to change. An effective strategy is to be more precise. If you take the time to express what you really feel and what bothers you, you will complain less and be able to pinpoint the real problem more easily.
3. Give up the passive attitude and adopt a proactive one. Rather than just naming everything that bothers you in a never-ending series of criticisms, let go of this moaning attitude and learn to be active. At this point you will understand that some things cannot change, accept them. You will also notice that there are many other things that you can influence, so do something to change them, even just a small gesture.Without realizing it, many times, we turn our attention to the things we do not like or that we would like to change. Thus, our field of attention literally turns into a detector of negative things. Obviously, positive things exist, the fact is that we find it difficult to see them, because they do not bother us. To help you, I propose a very simple challenge: try to go a whole day without your inner critic. Silence him every time he tries to criticize something, every time he takes action to find something negative in your range; on the contrary, always look for something positive, something that makes you feel good. It can be a simple detail like a little flower that has just blossomed, a quality you love in your partner, or something you have successfully accomplished at work.It is about bringing out all the beautiful things we feel grateful for and that we normally hide criticism and negativity underneath. For a day, just focus on what you like, what moves you and what makes you passionate. You may find it difficult at first, as you have spent many years letting your inner critic determine your life. However, if at the end of the day you have felt good, maybe it is time to start developing other aspects of your personality, those that can make you happier, and thus take some breath away from that inner voice that always finds something to to say about everything.