Overcoming Negative Self-Talk After Abuse

Overcoming Negative Self-Talk After Abuse overcoming negative self-talk after abuse
Photo by Mattia Ascenzo on Unsplash

It’s a common experience for those who have been in abusive relationships to engage in negative self-talk. You may find yourself talking very harshly about yourself, believing that you are terrible, unworthy, or deserving of the abuse. This negative self-talk happens internally, inside your own mind.

During the abusive relationship, the abuser may have called you names or criticized you, and these words can become internalized. Additionally, you might have gotten used to the abuser constantly pointing out your flaws and started believing that you are a bad person. When you internalize how those people close to you mistreat you, you will think that the inner critic is your authentic voice.

Negative self-talk can be really harmful and can prevent you from taking action in your life, even after leaving the abusive relationship. It might make you feel like you don’t deserve better or that you will always be alone.

So, how can you Cope with this negative self-talk?

1. Awareness

You need to recognize that this negative self-talk is not your true voice. It’s a result of your past experiences. By acknowledging it, you can choose not to follow along with those negative thoughts. When you allow yourself to follow along with these negative thoughts, they will also lead you to instances where you believe you acted undesirably or provide examples that seem to validate them.


By giving in to the negative self-talk, you may find yourself recalling moments where you think you behaved poorly or made mistakes. These thoughts can further reinforce the belief that you are a bad person or that you deserve the abuse.

However, it’s important to recognize that these thoughts are influenced by the abusive relationship and the internalized criticism of the abuser. They are not an accurate reflection of your true worth or the entirety of who you are as a person.

2. Labelling The inner Critic

Labeling your inner critic can also help to lessen the intensity of negative self-talk. By giving a name or a label to that critical voice inside your head, you create some distance between yourself and the negative thoughts it produces. This can make it easier to recognize that those thoughts are not a true reflection of who you are.

When you label your inner critic, you are essentially acknowledging its presence and separating it from your own identity. You might choose a name like “the inner gremlin” or “the negative voice.” The specific label is up to you, and it should resonate with your own understanding of that critical voice.

By externalizing the inner critic through labeling, you can start to view it as a separate entity rather than an inherent part of yourself. This shift in perspective allows you to question and challenge its validity more effectively. Instead of automatically accepting the negative self-talk, you can respond to it by saying, “That’s just the inner gremlin speaking” or “I don’t have to believe what the negative voice is saying.”

Labeling your inner critic is not about suppressing or ignoring the negative thoughts but rather recognizing that they are not objective truths. It helps you create space for more positive and self-affirming thoughts to emerge.

3. Question and Challenge the Inner Critic

The other thing you can do to lower the intensity of the inner critic is to challenge those thoughts and their validity. Instead of believing everything it says, look for proof that disproves its claims. Think about times when you did something well or when you showed your strengths. Also, try to recognize any unhelpful thoughts that make the negative self-talk worse and question if they’re true. Focus on your moments of strength, resilience, and taking care of yourself.

The key is not to let that inner voice overpower you. Instead, confront it directly and search for evidence that contradicts its negative claims. Focus on the positive aspects of your life and the qualities that make you great. Remind yourself of your accomplishments, strengths, and the things you appreciate about yourself. By actively seeking out this evidence, you can challenge the negative narrative and remind yourself of your worth and abilities. It’s a way of shifting your perspective and building a more positive self-image.

4. Journaling

Journaling can be a helpful practice to tackle negative self-talk and gain a clearer perspective on your thoughts and emotions. By writing down your thoughts and feelings without judgment, you create a space for self-expression and reflection.

Use your journal, either a physical or digital journal (I love OneNote) as a tool to challenge and counteract the negative voice in your head. Write about the positive experiences you’ve had, the things you’re grateful for, and your achievements. Explore your strengths, values, and the qualities that make you unique.

Additionally, you can use journaling to process and release any negative thoughts or emotions, allowing you to gain a sense of relief and clarity. Regular journaling can help you develop a more positive mindset and promote self-awareness and self-compassion.

Beyond Coping — Dealing with Root Causes

It’s important to understand that the voice in your head is not you. It stems from negative beliefs you have about yourself, which were influenced by the abusive relationship or by your past experiences.

Healing is about working on those negative beliefs and shifting the way you see yourself. It’s about moving away from feelings of not being worthy or not being good enough, and instead developing a deep sense of worthiness and feeling genuinely good about yourself.

Dissolving those subconscious beliefs is essential for effectively addressing that inner voice. It’s important to recognize that the negative self-talk stems from deep-rooted beliefs that have been ingrained in your subconscious mind. By working on those underlying beliefs, you can make lasting changes and reduce the power of that inner voice.

When you deeply believe that you are worthy, resilient, and good enough, the negative self-talk won’t have as much power over you.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these subconscious patterns for good (in less than 2 months) using Mind Shifting, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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