Today in group we talked about The Pathological Critic and Compassionate Response. Combined with a follow-up meeting today with my therapist about the DBT program that I was hoping to be placed into, its been a very frustrating and rageful day.
During our session, I found that the more we talked about the Pathological Critic, the more angry I became. We were challenged with what thoughts the critic presents to us on a daily basis. Here are some of the notations listed:
- It keeps a record of failures
- It disregards strengths or accomplishments
- It blames you for things that go wrong
- It compares you with others, e.g. achievements and abilities
- It sets up impossible standards of perfection and then beats you up for small mistakes
- It calls you names, e.g. stupid, incompetent, ugly, fat
- The critic reads others minds and convinces you of what they think
- It exaggerates weaknesses, e.g. always says stupid things
- always screw up relationships
- never finish anything on time
- The critic’s voice can be male or female, your mother or father’s voice or perhaps your own voice.
- The critic is almost always believed no matter how negative, distorted or false
- It puts your self-esteem through the wringer.
- The critic is always with you — judging, blaming, finding fault.
Before we broke for our 10 minute coffee break, we worked with the word Compassion and what it meant to each of us. Words that came to mind were life-giving, kindness, vibrant, sharing, patient, non judgmental, flexible, non critical, empathy, loving, concern, forgiving, understanding, helpful, sympathetic, feeling, teachable, God, concern, vulnerable, open, soulful, choice, bring together, being courteous/helpful, holding someone’s hand.
I struggle with vulnerability. The very idea of being vulnerable to someone and what they have to say about you, my experience and exposure to words thrown at me, make me skeptical at the notion of believing that being compassionate for one’s self exists. I’ve been more a survivor than anything else, I’ve had to. If I didn’t, I would drown, in the sea of dark, dismal and what I have called hell, more times than I can count.
I was going to blog about my waiting for something to come to me from members of family, but I will do another blog, separate from this one.
image courtesy of: http://primalcrusade0.blogspot.ca/2011/06/beliefs-are-drugs.html