The Inner Critic as Enforcer

One of the main reasons our Inner Critic parts judge us is to enforce the certain kind of behavior they want from us. They may want us to be perfect, hardworking, moderate, or cautious, for example. If a Taskmaster Critic thinks it is important for you to always have your nose to the proverbial grindstone, it will push you to overwork and attack you when you don’t. However, if you are generally a conscientious, focused worker, then there isn’t so much need for a Taskmaster Critic. You might very well have a Taskmaster Part of you that works too hard, but it wouldn’t be a Critic; it would just be an overworking part.

If you have a part that follows the rules, there is little need for a Critic to enforce them. For example, if you have a Dieter part that is very careful about the food you eat, there would be no need for an Inner Controller Critic to attack you. The Dieter might be overly rigid, but if it doesn’t judge the way you eat, it’s not a Critic.

Because of the enforcer nature of Critics, one might suddenly judge you when you make a change in your life. Suppose you have been very careful about food all your adult life and have therefore never gotten any flak about your eating from a Critic. Lately you have been working on loosening up, and you are beginning to experiment with being more relaxed and less rigid about food. You might get attacked by an Inner Controller Critic about this. Until this point, it didn’t need to attack you because you were behaving in the way it wanted. Now that you are changing, it has become activated in order to enforce its view of how you should be.