The power of a pep talk: How to silence someone's inner critic

‘I think you’re the most beautiful person ever, and you’re the purest girl ever. I think you’ve got such a sick personality. Don’t doubt yourself.’

Love Island’s Tanyel may be in hot water for that long snog with ‘best mate’ Ron, but when it comes to an uplifting pep talk, she knows what she’s doing.

When we’re feeling blue, there’s nothing quite like some positive words to make you feel better.

But a pep talk isn’t just a traditional deep and meaningful. They’re quick, intense and designed to remind you of just how great you are.

And whether it comes from a girlie in a nightclub bathroom, or from your friend as you cry on their shoulder, a good pep talk holds a lot of power. Why? Because it’s a sure fire way to silence someone’s inner critic.

Therapist Emma Kenny tells ‘We all carry a voice in our head created by the baggage of other individuals – even as children, we take on other people’s views and perceptions of us, and often, we only remember the negative opinions: you’re not skinny, pretty, or smart enough.

‘Words can kill, but they can also create. So when you have somebody in your life who sees through all those things, and can look at you for all the great points that shine from you, they have the ability to raise you up and challenge that inner critic.’

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And if you really mean what you say, a pep talk can change the way a person views themselves.

‘You can create pathways in a person’s brain,’ says Emma. ‘By giving someone your perspective or opinion, they can take that on as a fact.

‘You can hold up a mirror to them, and the consequences are that the person can see themselves in the beautiful reflection that you’re holding.’

So how do you give an authentic pep talk? Senior therapist, Sally Baker, says it’s about reminding them of past victories.

She explains: ‘A pep talk works best when it reconnects a person to their own strength or power.

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