The Committee

Have you every noticed the number of voices that are in your head? Some that sound like your mother or maybe even grandfather? Others completely unknown? We all have these voices. It’s like our brain records the voices of these people, even learns to emulate their tone and style and guess what they might say, and then when the brain thinks these voices might meet our needs, they talk!

In modern recovery circles we often call this collection of voices the committee, in part because there are often so many different voices, with different agendas, opinions, personalities and beliefs. In NVC, each one of these voices is trying to meet needs they best and only way it knows how: through persuasion. But most likely the things that many of the members of the committee say and the way they say them, are not going to be skillful or mature. In many case, the voices can be downright abusive. More than once I have heard people say, “If a friend talked to me like I talk to myself, I would drop them as a friend.”

There are several useful exercises to help us to work with and have harmony with the committee. one of the first steps is to name the different voices. This might include the Inner Critic, our nickname as a child, grandma, one that Tim Kelley uses: the fashion consultant, the bully and others.


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