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Types of Negative Self Talk
- We can all be victim to one or all 4!
- The important thing is to recognize which type you are engaging in so that you can conquer it.
The Worrier (Anxiety)
- Usually this is the strongest subpersonality in people who are prone to anxiety.
- The Worrier creates anxiety by imagining the worst-case scenario.
- It scares you with fantasies of disaster or catastrophe when you imagine confronting something you fear.
- The Worrier promotes your fears, that what is happening is dangerous or embarrassing (“What if I have a heart attack?!” “What will they think if they see me?!”).
The Critic (Self-Esteem)
- The Critic is that part of you which is constantly judging and evaluating your behavior
- It tends to point out your flaws and limitations whenever possible. It jumps on any mistake you make to remind you that you’re a failure.
- The Critic generates anxiety by putting you down for not being able to handle your panic symptoms, for not being able to go places you use to go, for being unable to perform at your best, or for having to be dependent on someone else.
- It also likes to compare you with others and usually sees them coming out favorably. It tends to ignore your positive qualities and emphasizes your weaknesses and inadequacies.
- The Critic may be personified in your own dialogue as the voice of your mother or father, a dreaded teacher, or anyone who wounded you in the past with their criticism.
The Victim (Depression)
- The Victim is that part of you which feels helpless or hopeless.
- It generates anxiety by telling you that you’re not making any progress, that your condition is incurable, or that the road is too long and steep for you to have a real chance at recovering.
- The Victim also plays a major role in creating depression. The Victim believes that there is something inherently wrong with you: you are in some ways deprived, defective, or unworthy.
- The Victim always perceives insurmountable obstacles between you and your goals. Characteristically, it complains, and regrets things as they are at present. It believes that nothing will ever change.
The Perfectionist (Burnout)
- The Perfectionist is a close cousin of the Critic, but its concern is less to put you down than to push you to do better. It generates anxiety by constantly telling you that your efforts aren’t good enough, that you should be working harder, that you should always have everything under control, should always be competent, should always be pleasing, should always be _____________ (fill in whatever you keep telling yourself that you “should” do or be).
- The Perfectionist is the hard-driving part of you that wants to be best and is intolerant of mistakes or setbacks.
- It has a tendency to try to convince you that your self-worth is dependent on externals such as vocational achievement, money and status, acceptance by others, being loved, or your consistent ability to be pleasing and nice to others regardless of what they do.
- The Perfectionist isn’t convinced by any notions of your inherent self-worth, but instead pushes you into stress, exhaustion, and burnout in pursuit of its goals. It likes to ignore warning signals from your body.