The Bitch in Your Head: How to Finally Squash Your Inner Critic

By Jacqueline Hornor Plumez, PhD
Available now in paperback and digital form

What is the Bitch in your head?

by Jacqueline Hornor Plumez, Ph.D

You look fat.
How could you be so stupid?
Don’t even try—it’ll never work.
If you say things like this to yourself, you’ve got a Bitch in your head!

You’d never undercut a friend or your child that way!

The Bitch makes life miserable in many ways: keeping you from having a good day or a good night’s sleep, from getting the love you want or the raise you deserve.

A woman with a successful career told me, “Every time I get a consulting job, my Bitch says, ‘Can you really do this? Who do you think you are?’’” The mayor of a small town said, “I can’t even get out of bed in the morning before it starts. I open my eyes and immediately think of all the mistakes I made the day before.”

But when women start labeling and personifying this mean voice as The Bitch, they hear it. Then as they begin talking like good mothers and life coaches to themselves, their self-esteem, careers, social and love lives almost magically improve!

Men are usually kinder to themselves about most things. For example, they tend to only look at what they like in a mirror and not blame themselves when they make mistakes.

So should women act more like men? No. They should just get rid of The Bitch in their heads!

About Author

Dr. Jacqueline Hornor Plumez

Jacqueline Hornor Plumez, Ph.D. is a psychologist, career counselor, speaker and journalist/writer. She practices psychotherapy and career counseling in Larchmont, New York and Manhattan. Her 500 fellow psychologists in Westchester County have voted her their Distinguished Psychologist and given her their Distinguished Service Award. She received a B.S. in Business Administration from Bucknell University and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Columbia Univeristy. In 2015 Bucknell University gave her the Service to Humanity award. Dr. Plumez is donating all proceeds from this book to charities that help women and children. Contact her for an appointment or speaking engagement by clicking here or calling (914) 834-1982.

Learn more about me here

BITCH HUMOR: Because sometimes you have to laugh!


Jacqueline Hornor Plumez, Ph.D.

When I was researching my book, The Bitch in Your Head: How to Finally Squash Your Inner Critic, I discovered that almost every woman says mean, self-critical things to herself. Some do it daily and some do it almost hourly. Even the most successful and seemingly self-confident women live with a snarky internal litany of “You look fat,” “Don’t even try, it will never work, “ and “ “How could you be so stupid? … selfish? … inconsiderate? … etc, etc, etc.” It starts when we are girls and can continue until the day we die. Affecting every area of life, it can keep us from having a good day or a good night’s sleep, from getting the love we want or the raise we deserve.

As a psychologist, I have found that by using the technique of labeling and personifying the self-critical voice in women’s heads as The Bitch, they are able to hear it and replace it with the kind of encouraging, helpful things they would say to a friend or a child.

But here’s the part I find most interesting: while every woman I met nodded in recognition when I mentioned the title of my book, most men were confused. They simply didn’t understand the concept. It seems that while some men have a Bitch in their heads, she is usually small and ineffectual, easy to ignore. After all, can you imagine men saying things like:

1. Do these trousers make me look fat?

2. I feel so guilty; I spent far too much money on these golf clubs.

3. Silly me. I’m always getting lost. Can you help me find the right road, please?

4. I was wrong again! I feel so stupid.

5. These shoes are killing me, but they make my feet look great!

6. What’s wrong with me? I keep staring at women’s boobs and butts.

7. Hey, John, have you seen that great article on fifty ways to be a better friend?

8. Thanks for congratulating me on the promotion, but I was just really lucky.

9. How could I be so rude? I left the toilet seat up again!

10. I don’t want her to think I’m the kind of guy who goes all the way on the first date.

11. If I kiss her, will she think I’m easy?

12. Does this tight shirt make me look trashy?

13. I feel bad that I’m always watching sports on TV. Instead, let’s just sit together and talk about our feelings.

14. When you grab my butt, it makes me feel that you only want me for sex.

15. I’m so incompetent. I hope no one figures out that women are better bosses than I am.

16. I’m so embarrassed. I got drunk and slept with a Tri-Delt. Now I have that humiliating walk of shame across campus in the rumpled clothes I wore last night.

17. How could I have been so insensitive to working mothers? Let’s turn the executive men’s room into a lactation room.

18. It’s dumb to watch all this porn. There’s no tenderness and foreplay.

19. My laugh lines are turning into crow’s feet!!

20. I’m mortified! I just burped and farted in public!

21. My favorite old sweatshirt is ratty and embarrassing. I’ll throw it out.

22. I always assume it’s my mistake when something goes wrong!

23. I’m such a slob! I have to stop leaving wet towels and dirty underwear on the floor.

24. I can’t possibly play tennis this weekend. I was at work all week and hardly saw the kids.

25. I feel bad that I always dominate conversations. I‘ll just keep quiet and hear what the women have to say.

26. I’m afraid people will think I slept my way to the top.

27. Everyone just likes me because I’m cute.

28. Whenever I’m at work I think I should be home with the kids, but when I’m home with the kids, I think I should be at work.

29. If you really loved me, we would cuddle instead of having sex all the time.

30. No beer and burger for me! Just a little salad with dressing on the side.

When I started graduate school in my twenties, I thought the differences between men and women were minor. A long marriage, raising a boy as well as a girl and working with almost as many men as women, has taught me I was wrong. And after researching The Bitch in Your Head, I see the gulf as bigger than before. But I am still left with the question: Are those differences a good thing?