Everyone else knew, but she didn’t. She had been dating a handsome, popular boy for several years. Being his girlfriend made her feel good until she found out he’d been cheating on her—and that everyone else already knew. She started to hear things people were saying about her: “Poor girl. She’s too dumb to know what he’s doing to her.” Those external voices became internal and her harsh inner critic talked a lot. “You must be an idiot,” it would say. “You wouldn’t be the last to know if you were smarter.” It got louder and attacked her on multiple fronts. Eventually, she developed low self-esteem and even an eating disorder.
Thankfully, my friend has confronted and overcome her inner critic, but it took years of therapy. A decade later, she now views her teenage self with empathy. If only she had the same view back then. If you have a daughter, she has an inner critic—and when she gives that voice credibility, the results are destructive. Knowing what that voice says will empower you to counter it. Here are 5 things your daughter’s harsh inner critic is saying to her.