Skip to main content

This test is also available in the following languages:

Inner Critics Test

Inner Critics are the voices in your head that generate negative emotions in handling day-to-day tasks. They represent automated negative patterns in your mind, influencing how you think, feel, and respond to challenges. Inner Critics cause stress, anxiety, self-doubt, and frustration. They sabotage performance, well-being, and relationships.

What are your inner critics like? For each of the following statements, indicate your level of agreement below.

Question 1 of 50

I almost only feel worthy when I am successful and achieving.



The IDRlabs Inner Critics Test (IDR-ST) was developed by IDRlabs. The IDR-ST is based on the work of Shirzad Chamine, who wrote the book “Positive Intelligence: Why only 20% of Teams and Individuals Achieve Their True Potential and How You Can Achieve“. The IDR-ST is not associated with specific researchers in the field of psychopathology or affiliated research institutions.

The test screens for inner critics such as the following:

Judge: The Judge is the universal inner critic influencing all of us. It is the inner voice that criticizes ourselves, the people around us, the circumstances that we are in, and the different situations we undergo. This inner voice can repeatedly attack us and make us feel guilty over our own mistakes and weaknesses, as well as the weaknesses of others.

Avoider: The Avoider is the inner voice that tells us not to confront difficult and unpleasant tasks. It wants us to avoid conflicts, problems, and negative feelings. The voice convinces us that no good can come out of conflict and that we should always say yes. The Avoider downplays real concerns and often deflects; it prompts us to be passive and fosters superficial relationships through avoiding conflicts.

Controller: The Controller is the inner voice that makes us highly anxious and impatient when we cannot control situations. This inner critic primarily knows how to connect with others through competition or conflict; thus, people with a strong Controller inner voice will often clash with others. The Controller often prompts us to intimidate others, and people with a strong Controller inner critic get surprised when others are hurt by their brisk demeanor. The Controller believes that one should always be in control, lest one finds oneself out of control. Hence, it can help achieve temporary results but generally alienates the person with this inner critic from others.

Hyper-Achiever: The Hyper-Achiever voice feeds on external success to maintain the person with this inner voice’s sense of self-worth. The Hyper-Achiever is fiercely competitive and good at covering up the insecurities beneath its façade. As a result, people with this inner critic are frequently workaholics, prone to self-promotion, and ambitious. The Hyper-Achiever views emotions as distractions and fears intimacy and vulnerability. Moreover, it only experiences happiness for a short time as the sense of joy ends after achieving it.

Hyper-Rational: The Hyper-rational voice is intellectually cold and arrogant. People with this inner critic are often fond of skepticism, cynicism, debate, knowledge, and expertise. However, they are frustrated with feelings and people who get emotional or whom they see as less analytical. Since it analyzes rather than experiences feelings, the hyper-rational inner voice limits the depth, and potential such people can experience in their relationships.

Hyper-Vigilant: The Hyper-Vigilant voice focuses on all the dangers and all the things that could go wrong. Hence, the person with this inner critic is usually anxious, sensitive, suspicious, and skeptical. Such people often seek reassurance by seeking to know the rules and details of their environment. In this way, they tell themselves that they are safe, but in reality, their attempts to alleviate their fears only feed the Hyper-Vigilant voice. This inner critic believes life is full of dangers and that it should always be on the lookout for peril. People with this inner critic often drain others’ energies and their own. Others sometimes avoid or look down on them because of their negativity and chronic doubts.

As the publishers of this free online Inner Critics Test, which allows you to screen yourself for the signs of your automated thinking patterns, we have strived to make the test as reliable and valid as possible by subjecting this test to statistical controls and validation. However, free online quizzes such as the present saboteurs’ test do not provide professional assessments or recommendations of any kind; the test is entirely “as-is.” For more information about our online tests and quizzes, please consult our Terms of Service.

Why Use This Test?

1. Free. This inner critic test is delivered to you free of charge. It will allow you to obtain your scores related to thinking like a judge, victim, pleaser, avoider, controller, stickler, hyper-achiever, hyper-vigilant, restless person, and hyper-rationalizer.

2. Clinically oriented. The feedback delivered by this instrument is based on the work of researchers. It is designed to deliver a clear clinical picture of the respondent’s current thinking patterns indicating self-sabotage as measured according to standardized items.

3. Statistical controls. Statistical analysis of the test is conducted to ensure maximum accuracy and validity of the test scores.

4. Made by professionals. The present test has been made with the input of people who work professionally with psychology and individual differences research.