People who blame others tend to overemphasize themselves while at the same time underemphasizing the negative effects of their actions. Realize something very important here, we didn’t say ‘overemphasize the effects of others on them,’ we said, overemphasize themselves. Overemphasizing the negative effects others have on had on them is very much a part of overemphasizing self. While one cannot state that all blamers have narcissistic personality disorder, blaming is a common behavior among those who fall somewhere on the continuum. As it is among other forms of dysfunction.
The Gremlin/The Inner Judge/The Critical-Voice
There is a concept in popular psychology that really does hit the nail on top of the head. Different systems call it various names. Rick Carson made a name for himself calling it your “Gremlin” and teaching people how to tame it. The Inner Judge is a known problem with those who are at various points on the continuum of Narcissistic personality. The most common term for it is the ‘internal critical voice’ or the shorter ‘critical voice.’
Basically this is the constantly self-reinforcing internal dialogue that people have in their heads. The simple fact, this internal dialogue is a normal part of how we define ourselves. However, when it becomes negative, destructive, nagging and self-defeating, then names like gremlin/inner judge/critical voice are applied.
The critical voice can spin totally out of control and ruin your life. It can honestly make you feel that no matter what you have accomplished, you just aren’t good enough. But realize that this critical voice is entirely internal to you! That voice that you hear so loudly and clearly is entirely based in your reality, not actuality!(5)
On the other hand, the critical voice can serve as the motivation for a person to achieve great things. Many people who have achieved fame, fortune, doctorates and created works have been spurred on by trying to overcome their internal critical voices. The down side of that point is great atrocities have been committed by ‘dissatisfied personalities (6)
The trap of the critical voice is that it is always internally oriented. In this case, the term Inner Judge is spot on. It is constantly judging us and barraging us with those judgments. The inner voice deafens us to other voices, other opinions, other ways of thinking about ourselves. Changing analogies for a second, by constantly flashing a light in our eyes, it doesn’t allow us to see ourselves in any other light other than what it provides.
This part of you not only blinds you to other possibilities, but actively rejects information that is contrary to its judgments. This is why only listening to that critical voice is a such a huge trap. Even in light of great achievements, it will still tell you that you are a P.O.S. in spite of the fact that you’ve got your doctorate, raised a family, found a cure for cancer and won the Nobel Peace Prize.
While it may react to external stimuli, its strategy is to preserve the belief that it is “RIGHT” in your worldviews/core beliefs. And it does so with a dogma, fanaticism and wrath the would make Torquemada gulp in disbelief. As long as you believe the decrees of your own inner judge, your paradigms will never be in danger of being proved wrong. Even if those paradigms are that you are the most worthless and weak person in the world. Your ego will fight to protect these paradigms, no matter how much you want to change them. (This is also why it is important to consider the idea of narcissistic personality disorder if you are driven by an overwhelming critical inner voice or are dealing with someone who seems to have perfected the ‘art of quick-draw blame’).
We give you this information to point out that often motivational speakers and people who advocate self-esteem are — in essence — trying to convince you that all you have to do to feel better about yourself is ask your inner judge to be nice to you. Pretty, please, with sugar on top?