A mistake your inner critic most probably makes is projecting your own inner self-criticism onto what others say to you. Or, in other words, adding criticism to what’s being said.
Under these circumstances even genuine, heartfelt expressions of interest and curiosity from another can feel like attack.
So can love.
Could it be that you’ve misunderstood?
The first and necessary step in finding out is distinguishing your own inner dialogue from what others are saying to you, so that you can find out what’s yours and what’s theirs.
It’s not easy, as the critic is often committed to hiding its involvement in things.
But pay this enough attention, over sufficient time, and you might well find out that what you’ve understood as their attack, or their criticism,
perhaps for years,
is indeed nothing of the sort.