A blogpost on the inner critic continues this week as I look to its connection with the placater or pleaser role that many of us fulfill at some point in our lives. What is it like, for example, when we say “Thanks” to someone when we want to say “Goodbye”? Or what does it mean when we butter up a crowd to make them love us? Has saying the ‘right’ thing become an epidemic today? Perhaps it has somehow served me in my life up until now, but it is no longer something I am happy to continue with.
I am gently invited to change for the better as I aim to give a presentation of an academic paper at a European spirituality conference in Waterford next week. I want to be ‘real’ during this event and avoid any pacifying role. I want to speak the gentle truth of what I have come to know about spirituality and mental health, based on research and reflection. I want to relate to people, perhaps an international audience, from a sense of groundedness. I don’t want to return to moments in my life when I acted not in accordance with my values.
It strikes me that when I get some distance from my experience I can see my pleasing habits for what they are without harsh self-judgement. I can smile and laugh at my own inauthenticity. Then I can also rejoice and be grateful for telling it how I see it while having respect for who I am talking to. When the unconscious ‘inner pleaser’ becomes conscious, I release myself from much pain and suffering. In turn, I can show loving-compassion to others who are caught out by the crafty inner critic.