The Critic

silhouette of a man in window

Photo by D. Tong on


It was his job to be the critic.

He’d taken it on when he was but a child and there was naught by chaos all around him.

Criticizing was a way to put some order into madness, to have at least the illusion of control.

Not that he’d criticize them openly and risk the switch or belt or backhand or the things that were … well … worse.

But criticize he did.

Mostly himself.

At first as practice.

Then as habit.

Then as something he would do without even a pause to think.

Offer a knifing critic.

Of his actions. Of his wishes. Of his hopes. His thoughts. His dreams.

What had began as coping, turned a prison.

And the jailer was inside him.

The sentencing, his own.




For the SoCS Saturday Challenge: Critic(al)


10 thoughts on “The Critic

    • Thank you, Victoria!
      Inner critics are indeed exquisitely trained … and difficult to tame once they get ‘established’ … And yet … yes, it can be a relief to even recognize they are there and then begin to address what they stand for and what ‘other jobs’ they might take on instead … 🙂 Na’ama


    • Thank you, Penny. I’m sorry it hits close to home, though I suspect it might for many, given how easily children take on self-critic and how well they often hide it, and how difficult it can be to change course when it becomes the lens through which one measures (or fails to measure up).
      I believe that self-evaluating is healthy, but self-critic is often harsher than is warranted, and doesn’t usually come with flexibility … which is needed for improvement a lot more than shaming or guilt that tend to lead to low-self-esteem and not actual self-improvement. …
      Thank you for reading, and for the comment!
      May the inner-critic know it did its job and can now take a rest and maybe find a new slat on its self-appointed vocation …


    • Thanks J!
      I think self-criticism is so entrenched in so many of us, and from such a young age, that it may well indeed bring up emotions for us (as it had evidently been a catalyst for me to write this to begin with)–be it of recognition or empathy or both.
      Thank you for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

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