blogging, Motivational

Finding a Kinder Inner Voice

Inner voices determine our mood and form part of our self-concept. There are times when listening to them is useful, but also times when those thoughts do not serve or support us.

Credit: Meredith Gaston

Some people will interpret a disagreement between two friends as aggression, and react in a defensive way even when it is never intended as such. Their inner voice is interpreting the words as unkind.

Surprisingly it is even likely we have been unkind towards ourselves.

For example: have you:

  • been self-critical
  • been self-deprecating
  • second-guessed yourself
  • overindulged in regretful retrospection

Promoting kind thoughts in your corner of the world is a beautiful way of counteracting negativity in our mind. Negativity that impacts thoughts and, ultimately, our emotions.

Our thoughts are never permanent and are ever-changing. Kind thoughts can soothe painful and unhelpful thought loops that are entrenched in our past.

“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.”

― Confucius

Find your Kinder Inner Voice

54 thoughts on “Finding a Kinder Inner Voice”

        1. Ah. In training circles, I often hear these kinds of words intended to rev up the body. Unfortunately, they don’t rev me at all. Hearing, “no pain, no gain,” tends to antagonise my inner voice. Gentle coaxing seems to work better for me.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t feel guilty, Chris. It is hard for most of us to ignore or quiet that inner voice. Modifying it rather than eliminating or ignoring seems to be easier for me.

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  1. I just finished reading a book that was talking about this. It made me realise how little words of encouragement and support I give myself. Time for that to change- we need to be our own cheerleader too.

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    1. I think we grow up in this world where it was and is seen as shameful to blow one’s own trumpet. However, we can do it quietly with our inner voice in order to support ourselves and not feel guilt about doing this. as ultimately this serves us better making us more resilient to life’s dips.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Expectations about how we should be treated are tied to our feelings of self-concept. But if we are in a bad place, a small kindness can make us appreciate ourselves much more, and in turn we will more than likely be kinder to others and hopefully ourself too. Being kind to those who do not feel worthy of such kindness, can be a powerful thing to do.

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  2. Amanda, I like the Confucius saying. That kinder voice should be nurtured as much as possible, especially when having issues with loved ones and friends. We are invested in the relationship, so it is easier to more comfortably say things that should be better left unsaid. The best retorts you think of should be better left unsaid. Otherwise, we may blow a small argument into a bigger one.

    As for dealing with others, that Golden Rule thing seems to apply. It is easier to fire back at a troll or hateful commentary or behavior. Don’t take the bait. Be calm, be kind and respond the way you would want to hear it return. It may take several iterations, but it will help diffuse argument. Kindness is not a weakness. It is a strength, but too many do not realize it.

    We have discussed the book and movie “To Kill a Mockingbird” before. Atticus Finch is spit on by the vilest of men who beat his daughter which his client was accused of instead. Finch does not take the bait and wipes the spittle off his brow and walks away. What many do not realize is Finch could have easily taken the man as he was drunk, but Finch chose not to.

    We won’t always be kind, but we should remember that inner voice when we can. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Keith, I feel that the confucian saying is similar to the saying, “..it’s about the lessons, not the hurts,” that Ally Bean mentioned a few months ago. Holding a grudge rarely has any benefit and can rot a person from the inside out. Remembering a kindness feels like it has a glowing, positive effect that sends out ripples of good intentions.
      “We are invested in the relationship, so it is easier to more comfortably say things that should be better left unsaid.”
      Your wise words allude to the value in refraining from looking for small victories in relationships, Keith. Small victories that may lead to deeper emotional wounds, wounds that have untold consequences.
      You are right. Kindness is a strength. Sometimes I am too tired to maintain the calm repeated iterations to diffuse an argument with parties who have diametrically opposed viewpoints and just want to walk away rather than mediate. But persistence pays off and the kind approach like a muscle gets stronger with practice.
      Atticus Finch’s approach seems to be becoming lost to history and the mood of the world seems to be stand up, make a noise about injustices, and the reaction is more often aggressive rather than strong and measured.
      I believe in the dog word, raising your voice is seen as a weakness! I wonder why we don’t see interpret it as that?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amanda, nice comment. A true test of leadership is being calm under fire. If the leader is showing angst, so will his followers. In the book “Quiet” about the strength of introverts, Susan Cain writes that many leaders in complex businesses are more introverted, as they have to be able to understand multiple businesses and financials. That calm confidence is compelling. Keith

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        1. I have not heard of that book, Keith, but will endeavour to source it as it is great to hear that a book on introverted leaders has been published. I have not known any books on that topic myself. It would make for intriguing reading. I think calm confidence can be attractive, as well as compelling. I want to listen to the measured self-assured words of such a leader. One might even say it could constitute a certain charisma.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Amanda, I highly recommend it. Not only does it speak to how to interrelate with others in a business or non-family setting, it shows how couples, where one is more introverted than the other, can get along better. She also mentions how some introverts can turn on being more extroverted as needed, using an introverted professor who lectured to new groups, as an example. Keith

            PS – She uses an example where the extroverted husband wanted lots of parties which was the opposite of what the introverted wife wanted. So, they compromised on small gatherings about once a month. But, she had to tell him how the many large parties would be so unsettling and she listened to what he wanted.

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  3. Finding a Kinder Inner Voice On Sunday, October 3, 2021, Something to Ponder About wrote:

    > Forestwood posted: ” Inner voices determine our mood and form part of our > self-concept. There are times when listening to them is useful, but also > times when those thoughts do not serve or support us. Credit: Meredith > Gaston Some people will interpret a disagreement be” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is impossible to stop that inner voice – I have tried and failed, Donna, but modifying it for our own benefit appears to work much better. It sounds like you have experienced this?

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  4. Ha ! Methinks I was very lucky as a child ’cause my darling Dad made me bring my inner voice into the open. For years every evening as I washed my teeth and face he asked me to look into the bathroom mirror and talk to myself ! What I had loved about the day and what I had hated . . . what I thought I had done right and where I had made mistakes . . . could I make up for these or just accept them as past history . . . just quiet talk where he might say one or two appropriate words ! I STILL do that most nights . . . life is life . . . one cannot change what has happened but one can quietly learn . . . even at the other end of the journey that works for me . . . 🙂 !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so fortunate to have a parent that encouraged such skills of a evening. A way to process the day’s happenings and practise letting those slide that you could not change. You must have had a worry free sleep most nights as a result?

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      1. *smile* Well, a better one ! The life ‘dealt’ to me has managed to move between extremities many close friends thought I would not be able to bear . . . well, somehow I have, just remembering Dad’s soft voice ‘Now, shush . . . count to ten and start again . . . ‘ Oh the bathroom jazz began when I was about three !!! Walking alone in nature I actually and on purpose oft talk to myself aloud . . . no one there to think you have developed ‘a problem’ . . . just one side of my Gemini nature having a debate with the other . . . mostly ‘they’ agree on the next ‘trial; step’ 🙂 !

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        1. I think you sound quite disciplined, Eha! That is so admirable. Talking out loud? Nothing wrong with that. After having children, I tend to do it a lot around the house.

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  5. If I’m honest, I do tend to berate myself rather more than perhaps I should. I’ve always believed that the first step to improvement is acknowledging a problem. Perhaps I just need to learn the subtle art of benign self-castigation?

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  6. Great subject, Amanda. Our inner voice can have so many persona’s depending on the situation. Mine was a mean mouth to me for so many years until I finally realized how horrible I was being to myself and letting other’s follow my example. It’s quite the wake up call to speak nicer to yourself and then others will too or soon find a way out the door. I’m starting to call people on their casual disrespect and am so much kinder to myself now as well.

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  7. A very timely consideration, Amanda – I have spoken with a number of loved ones these past couple of weeks who are struggling with mental illness &/or lack of mental/emotional wellness. I often find myself at a loss of what I can possibly say to them which will make a difference.

    “Our thoughts are never permanent and ever-changing. Kind thoughts can soothe painful and unhelpful thought loops that are entrenched in our past.” This thought really struck me – and reminds me of what I used to tell myself as a young parent decades ago when the kids went through tantrums: all things will pass.

    It also occurs to me that a Kind Thought takes volition & intentionality. We can be our best help, to make a start towards our better day. It is both comforting, and daunting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember the terrible twos or threes well, Ju-Lyn, with two young boys. It was demanding especially when their individual personalities conflicted with each other. Parents often lament that their kids grow up but during a temper tantrum, it is a comfort to know that it will pass.
      I like how you mentioned volition and intentionality. If we have an unkind inner voice, it feels like the hard-wired default for us. That we can never ever change. However, how fast our intentions change is a measure of degree, determination and knowledge. The knowledge empowers us how to find a way to alter the ingrained thoughts and inner voices, and counteract them if we are determined to see the possibility of change. If we give up and believe there is no possibility of change, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
      I have often said that even if a person doesn’t at first believe the positive kinder voice, it is important for the brain to hear it, over and over again until the neural pathways begin to be receptive to those gentler, supportive words and then the person can begin to change the programming of the brain.

      I hope the friends who are struggling are able to find a way forward. They are not alone.

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