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Section 22
Domineering Resident Technique #7
Counter Your Inner Critic when Your Domineering Resident Gets You Down

Table of Contents | NCCAP/NCTRC CE Booklet

Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you.  Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight... —Helen Keller

Domineering residents can sometimes be the most vocal critics of your Activities Program.  Agree?  If you already have a self-critical nature, these criticisms can have a negative effect on your job performance and feelings of satisfaction at the end of the day.  The following information may assist by helping you to overcome your own inner critic when dealing with your Domineering Residents.

The inner critic is usually born during parental teachings of right and wrong.  Later in life, it’s that personal, negative, nagging little judge whose attacks only you hear in your head. Most of us have a critical inner voice. Some voices are louder and more demanding than others.  Does the following sound familiar?

Your Critic:
- blames you for things that go wrong
- compares you to others, especially achievements and abilities others have but you want
- sets impossible standards of perfection
- beats you up if you are not perfect
- sticks to a script that describes how you should live
- screams that you are wrong or bad if your needs drive you to violate some mythical, unrealistic "rules"
- tells you to be the best, and if you’re not the best, it tells you that you’re nothing
- calls you names, leading you to believe they are true
- reads your friends’ minds to prove to you that they are bored, turned off, disappointed, or disgusted by you
- exaggerates your weaknesses by insisting that you “always say stupid things,” or “always screw up on the job,” or, “never finish anything on time”

Permission is granted to duplicate this table for staff use.  Considering using these ideas as a guide for additional Journaling.

In other words, your inner critic is busy undermining everything you do. If you listen carefully, you might recognize the voice as that of your mother, father, another significant other, or yourself.

The most important thing you need to know about your very special critic is that no matter how distorted or false the attacks may be, if you are really "hooked in," you always believe what is said. In almost every situation, the critic is there to find fault, blaming and judging you harshly in the process. The critic also reminds you of past failures, connecting them to the present, forever limiting your ability to start anew or to soar with newfound wings.  Your critic examines everything you do and puts its own spin on it. Your critic is always there, whether tearing you down or helping you solve problems and meet basic needs.

Countering Your Critic
Do you agree that perhaps the most painful criticism of your work may come from your own inner critic, and not your Domineering Resident?

What portion of your work day do you spend bombarding yourself with unrealistically high expectations,
while also bombarding yourself with harsh criticisms for the things you feel you don’t do well?

Do you agree this is a recipe for feeling like a failure?  If you combine this with the critical state­ments from a domineering resident, you cannot help but feel like you are a failure. Instead of attacking yourself with criticism, take a moment to stop and catch yourself.  Ask, “Is this self-criticism necessary, and should I spend any time or effort on it?” Or, “Would my time be better spent getting support and ideas for solutions?”

Do not lose sight of all the work you’ve done right on a project just because something has gone wrong. Ask yourself if you could address the problem without calling on your own critic. Can you put the "thing that went wrong" in perspective?  Keep in mind that you have created and conducted many successful programs.  Not to mention the fact that you purchased and are taking this course to improve you relationship with your Domineering Residents.  Give yourself credit where credit is due!

If you notice you tend to talk down to yourself, stop and say to yourself, “I don’t need to be so hard on myself or anyone else. I don’t need to listen to the negative remarks from the bully (my inner critic).  I’m doing a good job.”

Be aware of an increased susceptibility to be destructively self-critical in certain circumstances. You might try a “thought-stopping” technique to disrupt your train of self-defeating thinking. One way is to wear a rubber band on your wrist (hidden under your blouse or shirt sleeve, if you’re self-conscious). When the “self criticism” starts, simply snap the rubber band.  Mindfully switch to another thought.  Deliberately get yourself off the negative track. With sufficient practice, you can switch mental gears at will. Then, you can do without the rubber band prop.

You can improve the way you handle your own inner critic. Answer "yes" or "no" to the following questions. 
A. When I make an error or an oversight at work, do I criticize myself in a harsh manner?
B. Before important meetings, events, etc. are my thoughts negative—do I focus on all that might go wrong?
C. When I am running late, do I bombard myself with harsh criticism, even before anyone else notices that I am late?
D. Do I worry I will be found out and others will discover I'm not really able to do what is expected of me?
E. Do I lie awake at night criticizing myself for anything that went wrong during the day, even though I didn’t have much control over what happened?
F. Have I ever said or thought to myself that I am my own worst critic?
If you answer yes to even one of these statements, your inner critic is working overtime.  On the lines below, write ideas for alternative thoughts with which you might substitute for these negative ones.









Analyze your self-critical statements in light of the ten Inaccurate Automatic Thoughts presented in Section #3.  Remember, I suggested that you duplicate these ten Inaccurate Automatic Thoughts, because they have wide applications, especially for Journaling.  Look at the self critical statement your wrote above whether it relates to an interaction with a domineering resident or not and see if you can select on the Inaccurate Automatic Thoughts that would apply.

1.  Overgeneralization

5.  Catastrophizing

9.  Emotional reasoning

2.  Global labeling

6.  Personalization

10. Should statements

3.  Filtering

7.  Mind reading


4.  Polarized thinking

8.  Illusion of control


Forward to Section 23
Back to Section 21

Table of Contents