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.

The Depressed Pattern

The Depressed Pattern is one of the patterns in the Pattern System and Self-Therapy Journey.

When your Depressed Pattern is triggered, you may feel hopeless and low energy. Your natural buoyancy, spark, and energy is literally depressed. You may feel lethargic and believe that there is no point in doing anything because your life seems hopeless. It may be difficult to get up the energy to do much of anything other than go through the motions of your life. You may have little appetite, or you may eat too much. You may have difficulty sleeping or, on the other hand, sleep too much.

You may isolate yourself from most people because you don’t see any point in trying to relate to them. Of course, this often contributes to the sense of bleakness in your life. Your inner landscape may feel empty and gray with no life. You may feel sadness and grief, or you may just feel dead inside. You might also feel anxious and agitated.

You may also feel bad about yourself. You may feel that the reason behind your hopelessness is that there is something intrinsically wrong with you. You are worthless or inadequate and that’s why your life can’t work. You believe that you are deeply flawed. You carry much pain about this, though the pain may be buried behind the bleakness.

Overcoming depressionThese feelings come from protectors that can be healed and transformed, leading to realistic feelings of aliveness and hope.

Self-Therapy Journey has a module for the Depressed Pattern and the Aliveness Capacity, which transforms it.