How Do You Speak to Yourself? with Nathan Wallis

Tall Poppy CultureVideoIndividual 3-5 mins
  • EN


Secondary, Tertiary, Management, Whānau


To understand the impact having a critical inner voice has on us, and what we can do to change this.

We walk away knowing

We can take control over our inner voice, and decide to speak kindly to ourselves.

In New Zealand we have a culture of criticism, otherwise known as Tall Poppy Syndrome. Tall Poppy behaviour includes thinking critical thoughts about others, and even ourselves.


  • Nathan describes his own experience of having a very negative inner voice, and choosing to ruminate (think about over and over) on these critical thoughts. What does he say is the result of having all these negative thoughts?
  • How did Nathan realise he could address this problem?
  • What methods did Nathan describe using to counter that inner critic?
  • Have you experienced having a negative inner voice discouraging you? Teacher's note: Maybe do a eyes closed hands up poll to answer this question.
  • What encouraging things would you say to yourself, if you were talking to yourself as a friend?

Teacher's Note: If you are using this video with young people, please mention that while some level of negative thinking is considered normal, students should be aware that if they are struggling with negative thinking, it is a good idea to seek help. Counsellors and therapists can help with techniques to address negative thinking, and people who are experiencing intense and prolonged negative thinking should seek professional help.