The Disapprover….

I have this person living in my head. She disapproves of many things I do. She clucks and shakes her head disapprovingly at most of my thoughts and actions.

Hardly aware of her presence, I usually mistake her for just another opposing thought in my head.

I think she was created by my parents and teachers when I was still finding my feet in thinking independently. To be precise, I think phrases like ‘why can’t you be more like him/her?’ or ‘you stupid child!’ sowed the seeds for her existence.

Nurtured by things like bad report cards, jealous words, sharp reprimands, conditional love by people around, she slowly began taking shape.

By the time I was a teenager, desperately seeking my identity, she had rooted herself firmly in my mind, posing as another self. Steadily growing and gathering strength by planting a doubt here, bringing down my self esteem there.

In school and college, she made sure I was always in the background so I’ll never know what it is like to be confident and self assured.

As the years went by, my own independent spirit began rebelling. Looking back, the times I’ve ignored her voice completely and just went with what I call gut-feel has been more fruitful to me than the time I’ve held back with self-doubt.

Another cunning strategy she adopts is to make me comfortable around people who think like her. I’m always attracted to people who judge me harshly, who bully their way so I please them and ignore my own emotional growth.

Not just that, the constant struggle between her and my free spirit leads to constant stress. That stress strangely manifests as a myriad of physical discomforts…

Sometimes it’s a headache which starts at the base of my neck with all the bunched up muscles, sometimes it is a severe stomach pain and indigestion… and a few times just plain fatigue.

Now this whole reflection makes me wonder if in fact the mind is the root cause for all diseases?

In people who are totally a slave to their personal ‘disapprover’ for many many years, do the physical discomfitures slowly turn into malicious and life threatening illnesses?

After all, if stress can interfere and play havoc with the nervous system, the digestive system, immunity, et al, it can easily lead to their break down too, isn’t it?

The good news is, the only thing she knows is to disapprove. She has no ego nor is she evil or malicious.

When faced with a strong faith in oneself and love for oneself, she simply disappears…


  1. kapil said,

    March 29, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Is she the one full half of you? can agree with one point.
    “In people who are totally a slave to their personal ‘disapprover’ for many many years, do the physical discomfitures slowly turn into malicious and life threatening illnesses.” Rightly said! strong faith and love in oneself is a good intuition that helps with that felling. May be you won’t feel ill too! Good point and well written!

    Not full half, I hope! And thanx!

  2. Saritha said,

    March 29, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Wonderful post, Paddy. Very well articulated.

    The inner custodian (read Passages by Gail Sheehy) was created when our parents yanked us back when we were attempting to cross the road, trusting in the universe (perhaps in the path of a hurtling truck). The inner custodian is the voice of the parent/teacher/strong personality from our childhood. We carry that voice with us constantly.

    I so totally related to what you had to say and I thing we thayir sadhams have it the worst along with the sort of emotional blackmail and implied expectations that goes on. I’ve begun to balance my inner child and my inner custodian. I think both are useful, but ultimately, if one begins to hamper our progress, we must reconsider its hold on us.

    Thanx Saritha! And you’re so right!

  3. maami said,

    March 31, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Sigh. She doesn’t stop making me feel guilty in my head all the time.
    Time to kill mine I say!

    yup! especially when u go shopping! 😉

  4. Meena Menon said,

    April 3, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Hey! Am kinda a new reader out here….Landed here doing some blog hopping…. But man was I addicted to ur blogs…..I just love ur style of writing…do write more am waiting 🙂

    hey, thanx! 🙂

  5. Lakshmi said,

    April 10, 2010 at 9:22 am

    Now that you’ve identified it, should be easy to overcome? Problem also when one is never judged. Not important enuf ? lonely existence.

    u also need a lot of discipline to overcome the disapprover! its a paradox! 🙂

  6. I said,

    June 6, 2010 at 8:11 am


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