The Poisoned Parrot is a metaphor used to describe those nagging criticisms that pop into your head during the day – the “negative self-talk”.
The Poisoned Parrot repeats itself over and over again. It is a bully that criticises your every move and never offers praise. In fact, even doing something really well just gives the parrot the opportunity to pick up on a tiny thing that wasn’t perfect. The Poisoned Parrot doesn’t accept that you are a human being and make mistakes.
The nagging nature of The Poisoned Parrot can grind you down, and it is very hard not to believe what it says.
Do any of these sound familiar?
“I knew you’d mess up. You always do.”
“They’ll find out you don’t know what you are doing.”
“It’s not that great. There’s nothing to be proud of, doing something so ordinary.”
If you’ve heard these things from your Poisoned Parrot, you are not alone! The Poisoned Parrot is very common – but not much talked about so we don’t see that other people have their own Poisoned Parrot acting like a bully to them.
Would you put up with anyone else speaking to you this way? If not, why do you accept it from yourself? If you would, don’t you think you deserve better?
Would you speak to a friend like that?
Half the battle is in recognising your Poisoned Parrot and what it is saying. Then, challenge it. Your Poisoned Parrot has no right to keep on at you like that – tell it to get lost (or whatever wording you feel is appropriate!). Remind yourself of the evidence it is wrong (a “success journal” could help here). Then go and do the thing anyway. Put the cover on the Parrot’s cage and do something more interesting and useful for you.
The Poisoned Pet is a rubbish pet. You have no obligation to keep it around.
If you are struggling with your Poisoned Parrot, please contact me to arrange an appointment.
With thanks to the GetSelfHelp website for explaining the Poisoned Parrot here.
There is more about the Poisoned Parrot and how to combat it here.