Wrexham counsellor Kim explores the small words we use to criticise ourselves without really knowing it.

There are some words, which as soon as I hear them (in myself or others), cause me to tense up as these words may have the power to shame us or blame ourselves.  They may be small words which on their own here may look fairly harmless, but when put in context they can lower your mood, and lower your self-esteem-must, should and ought.  Powerful words indeed!  Take “must” as an example.  It stikes a sense of urgency into the sentance, “I must get some milk”. “I must loose some weight” however sets up the guilt cycle which the spiteful inner critic (that voice in your head) loves.  “I ought….” and “I should….” sentances are used by the inner critic to further beat yourself up. These words are like a wagging finger at yourself.  How about a slight alteration in the wording to: “I want to loose weight”, “I might like to try…” which can side-step the inner critic? Action follows desire and if we do slip up, we are more likely to try again when we haven’t allowed the inner critic to wag its finger at us.  Allowing the inner critic a voice leads to self-criticsm, do yourself a favour and don’t let the inner critic have so much power over your mood and well-being.

Leave a Comment