Exercise C: A Discussion with the Inner Critic
Type one’s often face an inner critic. A personality-within-a-personality that offers a never ending diatribe about all the things that they are doing wrong. Sometimes, it is helpful to meet this creation head on.
There are many ways and approaches to disarming the inner critic. One is to name it something ridiculous and personify it in a manner that is outragous. A second is to be more humane with it. On this account, we recognize that it once did us good.
- Find an empty chair. Bring it near you.
- Close your eyes and take three deep breaths.
- Consider your inner critic and consider the power it has over your life. Ask yourself which approach would work best for taming it.
- Now, personify your inner critic. See her or him sitting in the chair. Imagine the color of the critic’s hair. The timbre of their voice. See the clothes your critic is wearing.
- Sit in silence with the critic for a time.
- Tell the critic that it is no longer doing what it set out to do. Explain that it has worn out its welcome.
- Dismiss the critic. Let it disapear.
- Spend some quiet time alone.
For more practices curated especially for Enneagram type 1, see Contemplating The Enneagram, available in May 2020.
These are brilliant.
Also, this week, my inner critic was actually an outer critic with a real face and a pre-given name. I have had a very difficult second half of the week because I take all critics’ input so seriously even when I disagree with it. (This, in spite of the exercise I made you do in SITS.) the outer critic offloaded onto my inner critic who then just magnified everything all weekend. I have to continue to be in relationship with the outer critic, so I am mind-experimenting before I actually try the exercise, with what will happen to my relationship with the outer critic if I try this with the inner critic.
The Enneagram Type 2 is a little easier for me to do, while still being relevant.
Thanks so much for sharing Jenn! I feel like we have had this conversation before, but do you have a theory about an enneagram number for yourself? I could totally see you as a 1 with a 2 wing or vice versa. I could also see you as a 5. I had never thought about the interplay between an inner critic and an outer one. That seems like it could be a terrible combination, to have your inner struggles tag-teaming with outer ones.