January 26, 2011

Why Do We Listen to the Nasty Girl?

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:24 pm by kellyfdennis

I won’t go into all the psychological theory behind this, but the short version is we all have needs that we strive to meet.  We have basic physical needs, but we also have psychological, emotional, and spiritual needs. We have the need to feel secure and unafraid most of the time; to be accepted by parents/caregivers and significant others; to feel effective and competent in the world we live in; and to have a sense of worth and purpose. Our days are spent consciously and unconsciously trying to get these needs met.

This leads us on a problem-solving, evaluating, and decision-making journey.  As human beings we evaluate and make judgments about things in our lives and surroundings.  This is functional to a certain degree.  Evaluating and judging our surroundings helps us to determine our likes and dislikes, what’s pleasurable or distasteful to us.  This process helps us to decide what to include and not to include in our lives. However, that nasty girl inside your head goes one step further.  She makes judgments about you. She makes you an object and judges you as good or bad.  As I mentioned before, when she judges you as bad, you ultimately end up rejecting a part of yourself causing you to feel tremendous psychological pain. We human beings don’t like pain and we’ll do just about anything to avoid it.

Enter the nasty girl. She criticizes and insults you to force you to live by the rules you internalized in your growing up years (acceptance from parents?); she tells you to judge and compare yourself to others so maybe once in a while you may come out feeling superior (effective and competent?); she pushes you to be perfect so that you’ll be pushed to achieve more and more (avoid psychological pain briefly?); she tells you you’re stupid for even trying so you won’t even bother trying and therefore don’t have to worry about messing up. This list of reasons we listen to her certainly isn’t exhaustive, but you get the point.  She’s trying to force us to get our needs met while minimizing pain; the only problem is that even if it does work once in a while, the “feel better” time is very short-lived. 

So the answer to the question is this: we listen to her because in a bizarre way she serves a function and a purpose. Before you can silence her you need to do some exploration to figure out the specific function and purpose she serves in your life.  More on that next time!

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