Super ego response to a critique of my English skills

From time to time we each may experience, getting a feedback that goes right under the skin, and hits a very vulnerable place. When it happens it’s usually hard to even reply. One may bath in unpleasant emotions like pain or anger for a while, till he finally comes back ashore.

Motivated by those emotions, I decided to catch this moment and see what is happening behind the scenes.

For a better illustration, I called my friends Ego, Super ego and Wisdom (psychological concepts) to play it out. Without further redo, I present you: “Super ego response to a critique!”

“Oh no, not again,” saying to myself after a late wake up. In a fairly groggy mood and eyes still glued together, I went to check my phone and this is what happened.

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I knew it is a message regarding my first article. I unconsciously read it right away, and it stated: ”Have you thought about writing it in Slovak? At least the first batch …”

I closed my eyes to not read anything else. For some reason, I felt like this was happening.

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The worst possible internal interpretation hitting my face

What I actually perceived, was: “Your writing was so bad, that nobody can possible understand it and you should go back to your mother tongue.”

And because of that, pain and anger arose.

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Out of the resulting pain, another part of my self, was summoned.

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A part that always finds who is to blame and who is right or wrong. Welcome the “Super ego”.

I was upset.

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Super ego: “Don’t worry Ego. I will find who is to blame and punish the other side!” saying with reassurance.

Ego, painfully trying to resist the feelings: “No, I wanna to do something else now. I want to …”
Super ego: “Shut up, we are going for a fight.”

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The super ego fight

Super ego speaking:

First we need to set the rules of the arguing battle:
1.) I want to spread my thoughts across the globe
2.) I want to be authentic

Ego: “But there is nobody to fight here.” urging him to stop.

It doesn’t matter, I am going to argue with myself!

Yeah the wheel of internal arguing started to roll, and I couldn’t stop it.

Who is right round 1

Okay, so he is basically saying: “You need to be perfect to post”
Ego: “This isn’t probably, what he is saying.”

It is! So if I would like the post to be perfect, I would never post anything. I wanna focus on the storytelling part now. Not on the ‘Look at how much typos and grammar mistakes you have there’. I don’t wanna be perfect, I wanna be authentic first.

If I would constantly think about “Is this correct”, it would break my creativity flow and ah, fogging fog, it is already happening. I just wanna to write …

Half an hour later of scattered thoughts popping around this argument

Ego:”Can we just do our morning routine, catching the dreams?” with a hopelessness in his voice.

I haven’t even started on the language acquiring part.
Ego: facepalm.

Who is right round 2

If I wanna write for more people I cannot write in my mother tongue. Also, you don’t learn a language, you acquire one. So no! Me trying to learn would not result in a super benefit, because when I write, I don’t do much of creating the sentence it is just appearing. If I start to write in Slovak, I would not practice English! He already know about this theory, we have spoken about it …

Another rant for a half an our picking up the science knowledge from my butt to object. With myself!

Yeah, see his advice is bad! Maybe he should think about where he is doing this “Perfectionism” to himself. Not us.

Moment of silence

Ego with a gravity in his voice: “Oh no, what have I done”, “I just had a need to be with the unpleasant feelings, that’s all.”
Super ego: “Oh,” looking perplexed.
Super ego: “Why wouldn’t you told me before I spend 1 hour of internal arguing?!”
Ego: “You haven’t even asked?!”
Super ego: “Oh yes, now I am the bad one here!”
Ego: “That’s not what I said!”
Super ego: “I thought we were friends!”

I was exhausted from all the internal arguing, and after it settled down a bit, a calm feeling arose.

Then this guy came.

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A wisdom.

Wisdom: “Hmm, what can we learn from this?”

The learning

Super ego: “I was right and he was wrong.” saying superiorly.

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Wisdom laughing.

The learning opportunity here is not who was right or wrong, or how I should or shouldn’t respond next time.


The learning here is simple: See what is your automatic interpretation and a feeling here, and just be with it.

Super ego: “But someone threw a rock on us”.
Wisdom: “The rock was just laying there. It’s just a message. How we perceived it is the action, that we did with it (interpretation).”
Wisdom: “Let me show you something”

Wisdom: “Could you come up with different interpretations that have nothing to do with the ‘nobody would understand your articles’?”
Ego: “He just wanted to contribute with an idea how to improve our writing.”
Super ego: “He wanted to hurt us.”
Wisdom: “Okay, now from all of the possible interpretations, which is the worst one for you internally?” [1]
Ego: “The automatic one”

Wisdom: “Lets notice something. Of all the possible interpretations we choose the worst one. This isn’t true. Its not like we went through all the scenarios and choose one. Our brain choose this one automatically. [1]

And thats what the learning is. We don’t respond to what happened, we response to our perception of what happened [1]

When we recognize that the perceptions comes from within us and we are open to reframing them, we will see that,

this is the game worth playing.”

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Next time you receive a critique, try to be compassionate with all of your parts first. It is the key to learning.


Inspired by my life, friend message (heyy) and wisdom dialoges from Gabor Mates’ work on Trauma (here is a neat video about reframing where I took some quotes [1] from youtube link).

Question: Who do you think threw the rock at the start? Ego, Super ego, Wisdom or someone else? (It needs to be someone from within).

I wonder how does one hand clap sounds like.

Written by

Just writing.

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