Ev Dahling – Whose your inner critic?

Who is your inner critic? Do you have one? Well I’m giving my inner critic the spotlight to get inside her brain.

What’s an inner critic Ev?

“The inner critic or “critical inner voice” is a concept used in popular psychology and psychotherapy to refer to a sub-personality that judges and demeans a person.” – Cheers Goog,

The identity of my inner critic came to me during a never ending traffic jam, her identity the character Edna in Disney Pixar The Incredibles. For some context, the script writer used ‘dahling’ in the script to emphasise Edna’s dual nationality in the movie; I thought I would subtly drop that in before I have messages from our spelling and grammar officers of the internet.

Dear Ev Dahling,

I’m Edna and apparently I’m your inner critic, thanks for the worst job title in the world. I’m on the same level now as Prince Andrew’s entertainment secretary. I am wondering whether you’ve gifted me this title having had a fridge and similar glasses to mine during your school days. Now Dahling, you’ve got to hear me out, take a seat grab your jaeger espresso and hear me out.

Throughout school you were laughed at and ridiculed for my rocking my hairstyle and glasses, then you were mocked because you wanted to have my talent too. Are you wanting to be me dahling? You were bullied for all those wonderfully unique choices. I hoped you’d leave school and feel like me but instead you put yourself at an expectation that not even I could uphold. I know your failure to get into the choice of University knocked you, you felt a failure and sat with those feelings for a very long time and I know as you read this letter you’re remembering those empty feelings. I noticed that you gained a confidence boost during sixth form which would’ve come from being told you could go to the university of your choice – someone believed in you while you didn’t believe in yourself. I have no doubt that when you failed to enter your first choice you felt like you’d let everyone down, those who believed in you. You didn’t let anyone down. I want to remind you that during the first year of your university degree you; passed your driving test, set this channel up you’ll be publishing me on, saw Madonna, Kylie Minogue and Top Gear being recorded. Oh and you found your love of Bollywood film and dance. All three you’d have never experienced if you’d have been away.

I took a back seat while you were at University because as you entered into 2016 you became a person oozing confidence. You had style and you held your own. I also noticed, you accepting knock backs OK so didn’t think I needed to protect you. I let you ride the wave. At last you were emerging into the woman I knew you could be. I found myself needing to support you when you left University and began working in London.

I saw the person I created vanish before me. I couldn’t turn your clothes into superpowers so I had to hope you’d be OK but you weren’t. I wanted to cheer you on for your London job because we had seen that as the dream job for you but it was a nightmare. Not only were you navigating a chronic illness diagnosis but toxic colleagues and a working environment that would damage any bruiser. I saw you battered. I saw you devastated. I saw you at your lowest. I couldn’t witness that and needed to find a way of protecting you.

After leaving London and moving into new jobs, I took a step back just to give you time to get your routine back. I won’t waffle on about the terrible circumstances you’ve experienced because heck we rode them together and we need to find a better way of working together.

Deep down I want to cheer you on but I know that everyone around you tells you to be modest and coy. Remember, nobody likes a big head young lady. By giving you criticism I can prevent you from having that come down that your family and friends want to keep you at. I’m not sure why. I critique your outfit, work and choices because heck I hate seeing you crushed.

Ev, you’re allowed to ignore me, you’re allowed to tell me to f**k off. And I might quieten down, but while I act as your inner critic for the majority of the time, I’m also your biggest cheerleader. You ooze sophistication, your fashion taste is marvellous and is as good as mine. You’re cracking at your job like me but unlike me you assume bad feedback diminishes all the good work you do and will continue to do. One bad day will not change the direction of your profession, in the same way a bad day that happened 1 year ago or even 12 years ago isn’t taking up your thought process as you read me. We can’t ride that high every day because, Yazz is wrong the only isn’t up, it’s all over the bloody shop Ev! Do you think I am this good at fashion if I hadn’t been told my sewing was a bit wonky? Or didn’t float the manufacturers taste buds. You have to get bad feedback to get better. I love that you have finally began to put to bed this fear of someone not liking you. In the words of Samantha Jones ‘if I took notice of every person who didn’t like me, I’d never leave the house’ and that applies in the real world too. Not everyone will like you but do you like everyone around you?

So, I give you a nudge daily to toughen you up as I hate to see you hurt. I act like this because I can’t afford to watch you be deflated again and again. We’ve got to toughen you up, to build you up so you can brush off bad feedback and someone not liking your outfit.

Now dahling, be bold and remember to never throw water on a fat fire, it’ll take you face off.



Edna x

Whose your inner critic?

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