Making Friends with Your Inner Critical Judge – Tip #2 – Find Out Why She’s Being So Mean!

In my last post, I introduced you to our new video series: Zelda’s GoldStar Magic Minute: Making friends with your Inner Critical Judge. Tip #1 suggested that you ask you Inner Critical Judge to tell you her name. Now, here’s Tip #2 – Find Out Why She’s Being So Mean!


Discovering that I developed my Inner Critical Judge as a way to protect – NOT torment – myself was quite an awakening. My father was a functional alcoholic who worked long hours; my “stay-at-home” mom was a talented, frustrated and angry woman who did the best she could. Unfortunately, her best included lots of yelling and hitting whenever she felt threatened by my not doing things exactly right.

So I developed my Inner Critical Judge in an attempt to prevent as many of these violent outbursts as possible. “Zelda,” as I came to call her, stayed in my head long after the need to protect me from my mother was gone. Every thing I did was seen as a possible occasion to get in big trouble by not getting it right.

As I came to understand how the old fight or flight response to outer threats like lions and tigers and bears became internalized in our nervous systems, I could see that Zelda really was trying to protect me from the consequences of my actions – or inaction. So if I ask, “Why are yo being so mean? I’m really asking, “What are you worried about?” She’s usually worried about what will happen if I take – or don’t take – certain actions. Often, if I can relax, and pay attention to what she’s worried about, I can relax and focus and get things done.

But what if even knowing the consequences is not enough to move me? That when I need to check in with my Scared Little Girl, or my Inner Teen Rebel. More about those fun meetings next time!

Much love and many blessings,


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