Everyone suffers from self criticism from time to time. It can be useful. You can get important feedback from criticism. However criticism directed at the self can become an unhealthy habit causing feelings of low self worth. It’s useful to balance this tendency. An easy and quick way to achieve this is with humour. By lightening things up you can get some much needed perspective!
Have a go at laughing at your inner critic with the following ideas:
Sometimes we get into the bad habit of re-telling ourselves a sad story about ourselves; “Why does this happen to me, why is life so tough…” What happens if you hear this story with an accompanying comedy soundtrack? Hear the same old story but with circus music playing in the background or how about the Benny Hill theme tune!
2. Inner Clown
Become aware of what your critical self says to you. Notice the way it speaks to you. Now imagine it as a clown standing in front of you: Notice is big funny shoes. Look at the crazy colours of it’s clothes. Put silly make-up on it’s face with a big smile. What kind of ridiculous hat can you see? Now hear the clown making criticisms but in a goofy voice.
3. Word Magic
How do you criticise yourself? eg) “I’m such an idiot!”
What happens if you change the critical word into an inanimate object such as a ‘paper cup.’
“I’m such a paper cup!”
Have fun trying out other objects. By laughing you are loosening up the critical associations in your mind.
4. Micky Mousing
Now hear the same kinds of things it says but with Mickey Mouse’s tonality. What about Daffy Ducks voice or Sylvester the Cat?
5. The Funniest Thing!
Can you remember sharing an experience you had with one of you friends and they thought it was one of the funniest things they’d ever heard? You both had a right laugh about it!
Now as you remember those good feelings of laughter think about your recent self criticisms. Now switch back to the laughing memory with your friend. And then switch back to your self critical thoughts and laugh at them too!
Making use of humour and laughter is one of the quickest ways to neutralising over-seriousness. By using simple methods like those listed above you can gain control over your self criticism and access more of your inner resourcefulness.