Our brains are wired to have an internal heckler.
If you’ve ever done stand-up, you know you don’t engage with the heckler. Don’t even acknowledge them.
No matter how clever, deep, insightful or funny your comeback is, you’ve engaged, and that is their cue to continue to seek your attention.
The inner heckler is the more vocal version of our inner critic.
Our inner critic likes to point out our failings, but I find the inner heckler to be more vicious, more vile.
The inner heckler is the outlandishly condescending self-talk we engage in when we are at our most vulnerable.
The heckler is the Fedora wearing inner-self that doesn’t care what you do, or how well, the mere fact you made any attempt is enough to start the heckler off. And the more you engage with the heckler, the more shrill and angrier it gets.
I picture it as a fat, pale, naked little demon wearing a Fedora, fingers permanently stained with Cheeto or Dorito dust, one hand shoved in the baggy Y-front underwear.
The heckler wants nothing more than attention. Don’t give it any.