Daily Archives: 23/12/2008

Our internal voice need to shut-up too

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In my previous article I wrote about keeping your mouth shut , something I am doing more day by day.

But the more I think about what I wrote, the more I have thought that I should not have expressed what I said.

In the last twenty-four hours, I have thought about what I wrote.

Should I have said this?

Should I have said that?
What will people think?

I have had this internal dialog, an internal voice going on and on and on. It just would not stop. In NLP we will call this Auditory Digital, see Eye Accessing Cues.

The more I have thought about the previous article the more I have criticized myself, the more I have found fault in what I wrote, the deeper the hole I dug myself.

How often do we criticize ourselves? How often do we build mountains out of molehills? How often do we say to ourselves “I wish I had said this or that”, or “I wish I had done that”.

We keep talking to ourselves. More often than not, our own internal dialog is much longer than the actual incident. And, the incident, the history, never changes, but we make ourselves feel bad about it.

Not only do we talk to ourselves about the past, but we also talk to ourselves about the future. What can happen here, what can happen there. If I say this, then ……. If I do this, then ………

Often people with fears and phobias will practice the fear or phobia before the incident takes place, actually experiencing the phobia as if it was happening, not only experiencing it, but the more they talk to themselves about it, the worse it gets.

If I criticised you now about the style of clothes you were wearing, your hair cut, the food your eat, and I went on and on. What would you do to me? What would you tell me to do?

Yes. Go away, or words to that effect.

Yet we do it to ourselves. We go on and on and on, criticising ourselves, complaining about what we have done, what we shall or could be doing, and making ourselves worse.

Why do it?  Why make ourselves bad? Stop it. Stop that internal dialog.

One of the first cures the damaging internal dialog taking over our lives, is to realise that it is happening, that we are talking to ourselves, and then tell that voice to “SHUT UP“.

Change the voice in what it is saying, make it more positive.

Change the tonality. Make the voice into a sexy, sensual voice.

Change the voice into that of Micky Mouse.

Does the critical voice change and the results it produces change?

If that does not work, open the teeth slightly, and push the tip of the tongue between the teeth and bite gently.

What happens to the voice? It stops.

We have a saying in English when we should not have said what we have said, and that is :-

        “I wish I had bitten my tongue.”  meaning, “I wish I had said nothing.”

A third method of quietening that internal dialog is to push the tip of the tongue against the roof of the mouth, hard.

What happens to that voice now?

It is good to talk to ourselves, often it is the only voice that talks sense from all those other people around us giving us “best” advice. It is good to plan, to review our past, but when it takes over, makes things bad for us, we must tell it to


Keep your mouth shut

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There is a saying in English which says “keep your mouth shut.

It is what it says, to stay quiet, not to say anything, to keep your thoughts to yourself.

Often it is the best medicine, the best thing to do, because you can “dig the hole deeper“, you can create situations, arguments which get worse and worse, driving the conversation deeper and deeper, entrenching people firmly into their beliefs.

I have found myself on many occasions where I have been in conversation, maybe in the training room, maybe in debates, and I have said something which I believe to be true from my experience, from my life, from my culture, from my religion, only to suddenly realise I have said something wrong, to person or persons I am in conversation with, who disagree with my ideas, as my understanding, my culture does not fit theirs.

It is time like this that I wish I had kept my mouth shut, not said what I did. For now I have upset someone.

But then sometimes, like a fool, I will “stick to my guns“, I will “stand my corner“, I will argue my case, defend my point of view. Not only do I defend my argument, but so does the person I am in conversation with stick with theirs.

What happens next? An argument ensues. People start to get upset, and the more upset they become the “deeper the hole gets“, the worse the argument gets.

I have lost count of the times I have entered a debate, a conversation, only to realise I should not be involved, because our views are so wide, our understandings, our beliefs, our cultures are so wide, that they will never, with all the good will in the world, merge.

I come across this sometimes in my courses. One participant is so anti the subject, does not believe that the subject is right, that the subject is against their morals and culture, that nothing I say is correct.

Why did they enroll on the course in the first place?

It is then that I will suggest that the person leaves the course, and I will refund their fees. (Subject to this occurring on the first day.)

Sometimes I get emails where I am attacked, because my, like others, methods of delivering the subject matter does not fit the ideals of the writer.

I will never win.

If I say black they will say white. If I say white they will say black.

If I say “I like that“, they will say “No, it is terrible“.

Then there are the people who always know better, have done better, been there or done more, always have the best solution, and there can be no other. They do not believe that others can have their point of view, beliefs or culture.

These people know the best restaurants, the best shops, the best way to get from one place to another. They will know which is the best product to buy, the best flower to plant in the garden, and if you say different, then you are in trouble.

I am aware of these people, and sometimes hear myself becoming one, and have to stop myself, to keep my mouth shut.

Yes, one should express a point of view, it should be everyones right, and it should be everyones right to be given that right to express an opinion, and have it that opinion considered.

But when it will lead to arguments, to bad feelings, rightly or wrongly, I will walk away, and keep my mouth shut.

Each and everyone of us will have our own “cat on the mat“, our own beliefs, ways of doing things, as we process information, go on that transderivational search, to make sense of our world.

The trouble is, some peoples cats are so big, they get so involved in their cat, that result is they can only see their cat, it obstructs the view of a big world of possibilities out there.

Our internal voice need to shut-up too