We’re often harder on ourselves that we are with others, but is it possible to interrupt our internal criticism, and maybe even to transform it into a more beneficial internal communication?
So you can’t find your keys, and you hear that harsh voice saying: “It’s unbelievable how dumb you can be!”
Someone compliments you and yet you hear that nagging voice telling you: “It’s probably not even true, they’re just saying that to be nice!”
From where does this inner critic hail, refusing to speak to you as would a true friend? Well, you may find an answer to this question in therapy, but your ability to change the voice and how it expresses itself is a matter that Verbal Aikido manages with astounding efficiency.
Here are three questions that we can ask ourselves:
What would happen if you were able to get that voice to recognize other ways of talking to you that would be much more beneficial? How you would feel if, when things are not going as you wish, instead of hearing “How dumb are you?!” (or other criticisms) your inner voice began to speak to you as would a friend who reassures or supports you? Finally, what would this new voice sound like… what would they be saying to you?
You may already know that, when we get verbally attacked by another person, the practice of Verbal Aikido gives us the ability to orient the vast majority of exchanges toward a balanced and constructive outcome. For the rest, we manage to significantly decrease the level of aggression in the exchange and to change the dynamics of the relationship for the better. That said, we cannot under any circumstances force the other to accept the Ai-ki that is proposed – indeed we simply propose Ai-ki, and after three of these propositions, we can withdraw in good conscience. The good news is that with an internal criticism or attack, we can force ourselves to accept what we propose in Ai-ki!
“Overcoming the self is not easy; you just need to look at the people around you who are losing the battle to understand this.” Kanshu Sunadomari
Obviously there is no magic formula; it is our intention, practice and repetition that develop our capacity to interrupt and “reprogram” our inner voice. Until that day comes when we’ve lost our keys and we hear someone reassuring us with soothing and encouraging words, and we realize that it is our own voice speaking to us… as would a friend. One thing is certain is that we are stuck with ourselves until the end of our days… isn’t it just better if we’re able to get along!