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The Inner Brutality Assessment® - Results and Debrief

“Get a measure of your Inner Brutality”

A self-help guide to how you may meet and treat yourself within.

Our job as a human being is to be able to move through experiences however difficult they are. Moving through them means feeling how we feel, so that we get to learn from the experience and install the learning.  When we don’t feel our way through our experiences we tend to feel ‘stuck in the past’ and don’t get to learn, create wisdom and build resiliencies. 

No one does this on purpose!  (so, no need to bully yourself about it). It is somewhat automatic for us to try to avoid emotional pain.  Inner Brutality is created to save us from our real pain but morphs to actually causes more pain than it set out to save us from. It renders us unable to move through our ups and downs with ease, and prevents contentment.

This is a guide to help you on the journey to becoming kindly and companionable to yourself & in turn to others.

Whilst reading this try to suspend your value judgement. It is important we make judgements about life and what is good and not so good for us.  However, value judgments tend to get internalised as us being good or bad.  Inner Brutality loves this, and will find a way to make you feel bad at best and wretched at worst.

Read with an open mind as best you can, whilst trying to notice the nuances and unique ways you relate to yourself. 

All inner brutality works against us, sometimes it can be a slight whisper sometimes it can feel like someone (or your own voice) is screaming in your face.  

It doesn’t have to be that way; but we can only do something about the things we are conscious of.  So, finding out how your inner brutality behaves and how it is affecting you means you get to start the ‘re-wiring’ journey and rid yourself of it altogether and have a lovelier, more peaceful and content life.


Your guide to your level of inner brutality – remember don’t beat yourself up about it, we all have a level, and this is your chance to become thoroughly aware of yours and change it if you want to!


  • 1-65: RAISED  (Nuisance)
  • 65-130: ELEVATED (Pest)
  • 130-200: HIGH (Troublemaker)


RAISED:  Your inner brutality is at a Nuisance level 

A score up to 65

As all the questions in this survey show some level of inner brutality a score up to 65 means that inner brutality is most likely a nuisance and will be getting in the way of several things in your life. 

It may show up by scuppering your enjoyment of your success.  It may be subtly preventing your success altogether. Many people have success on paper but can’t enjoy it.  That’s often because their inner brutality disallows pride or disallows you to arrive in your life and enjoy your achievements.  As in perfectionism for example, perfectionism never allows you to fully achieve and enjoy.  Once you’ve hit your target it never feels enough, and another target is created.  That can mean only being able to focus on what’s missing, that is inner brutality in action!

This score compared to higher scores may suggest to you that it’s not making a difference.  It is.  It always makes a difference, and never a good difference.  This nuisance level of inner brutality will without doubt be preventing you from moving through your feelings about your experiences. It will be wearing you down but you may not be thoroughly aware of it.


ELEVATED: Your inner brutality is at Pest Level

A score of 65-130

This score likely means you have a elevated level of Inner Brutality, and it is a real pest to you on a daily, if not an hourly basis.  Inner brutality to this level will be interfering with your everyday enjoyment, it will be creating pain rather than helping you move through pain. 

You most likely feel it is part of you, it is not.   It feels like part of you because it’s so familiar.  It is well entrenched, but doesn’t need to be.

This level of inner brutality will be pestering you all day and it will be unforgiving of you no matter what you do or don’t do.  It will be a constant uncomfortable companion.

The good news is………now that you know what that pestering voice is, you can now you can work to being more and more aware of it.  You can start to help yourself right away, and begin turning the dial down on it.  Brutalising yourself inside-out will not and does not help you deal with life’s experience.  It only makes things worse.

Consider is your inner brutality preventing your ease, contentment, happiness, success, enjoyment of success????


HIGH: Your inner brutality is a consistent Troublemaker

A score of 130-200

This score suggests your Inner Brutality is so prevalent it’s likely that you believe it is who you are, it is not.  It will be so prevalent that it is making trouble for you, yet masking it consistently as though it is immovable and unshakeable.

This level of inner brutality means everything feels harder.  It makes trouble for you and it blames you.  It tries to convince you that it’s your only option.  It convinces you that trouble follows you no matter what you do or don’t do and it ‘collects’ that as evidence against you.  You then fall out with yourself and feel bad, unloveable, intolerable.  All this inadvertently  permeates your behaviours thus giving you feedback that you are bad, unlikeable, intolerable to be around, and so the cycle continues.

This will be hindering and tormenting you every minute of every day.  Don’t panic, it can be improved quickly by just being aware that you don’t have to live this way!!! It starts here!


The questions chosen in the assessment were devised to reflect the differing ways inner brutality shows up & gets in the way of contentment & success.

Q1: Do you ‘beat yourself up’

When we ‘beat ourselves up’ it rarely helps us feel better. On the one hand we feel like we shouldn’t feel better and that we deserve to ‘beat ourselves up’. However, this doesn’t help and it isn’t, as often thought, us taking responsibility. It indeed prevents us from reflecting thoroughly on what we have been through. We ‘beat ourselves up’ for being too slow, too fast, for things we’ve done and not done; the list goes on. Inner brutality will repeatedly try to convince you that you are taking responsibility in the form of guilt and shame; these never help you move through experiences. 

Q2: Do you struggle to forgive yourself?

Forgiveness of ourselves, our misdemeanours mistakes, whopping disasters and even traumas mean we get to move through them and instal our learning from them. As humans we all need to be able to move through our experiences.  That’s not just ‘moving on’. True responsibility for ourselves as adults is to feel our pains and so we get to move through them. Lack of forgiveness inadvertently keeps us in pain and disallows our learning from our experiences. That’s often why we seem to make the same mistakes again and again.

Q3: Do you often call yourself names

When we call ourselves names, we are going against ourselves and preventing learning.  Learning from our experiences is important as it gives us evidence that however tough life’s challenges are we get through them. Moving through experience with knowledge adds to our human tool-kit for living. 

It’s fine to say ‘I don’t feel good about that, or I don’t feel good about my behaviour’ but you don’t have to hurt yourself further with it. Inner brutality tends to prevent developing new ways of being that feel better and are better. Calling yourself names continues pain from the inside out.

Q4: Do you feel long term guilt for things you’ve done (or not done)?

Guilt is not your moral compass, or your conscience. Long term guilt usually covering pain, and creating shame. Guilt stops us moving through experiences and therefore can make us feel stuck, and unforgiving and unforgivable. Guilt is a kind of ‘pseudo-emotion’, It rarely helps as it covers the true emotions that need feeling. Guilt is NOT conscience. If you replace guilt with conscience, you will find a way through difficult times and perhaps ‘hard to forget behaviours’ by feeling them and learning from them.

Q5: Would you say you have low self-esteem?

If your esteem for yourself is low there is no question that this is coming from inner brutality.  The chances are, you’ve not done anything bad enough that makes you bad, or less deserving than the next person. 

If you come alongside yourself, in kindness and companionability to yourself and your experiences your self-esteem has to grow. If you brutalise yourself, you are inadvertently eroding your own esteem and sense of who you are.

Q6: Do you tend to focus on behaviour that you are not proud of?

This is inner brutality at large and is probably comes with oodles of guilt and shame. It’s good you feel badly for things done and not done if that’s warranted, but it’s also important that you get to forgive yourself and move through those experiences to better times. If you focus only on behaviours and times you’re not proud this feeds the inner brutality constantly. You only get to do differently next time and aim at doing things better if you process, in other words, feel through it and install the learning from it.

Q7: Do you feel shame that doesn’t seem to ease with time

All emotion is transient unless we are suppressing it. If shame persists, then be sure it hides pain.  In fact, if any emotion persists it is more than likely covering another emotion that maybe a struggle to reach, and have. Shame has to be replaced by conscience so you get to move through how you feel and learn from the experience and install that learning for the future.  Shame keeps us stuck in time, and so prevents us extending our emotional palette and from extending our ‘tool-kit’ for life.

Q8: Do you feel like an imposter?

If you become okay with who you are and who you’re not, you cannot feel I can feel like an imposter. Without inner brutality and with kindness and companionability to self instead you belong where you’ve worked to be. You also belong even where you feel you’ve had a lucky break, you feel you haven’t earned. Inner brutality comes along in the form of Imposter Syndrome and prevents arriving in your own life, it prevents being grateful for blessings and strokes of luck. Inner brutality is the imposter, not you.

Q9: Do you ever swear, harangue and berate yourself.

We often harangue and berate ourselves because that’s what we been bought up to do. We are taught that that is taking responsibility. Give yourself a hard time and not forgive yourself, better still, constantly remind yourself that you have done things you’re not proud of. True responsibility comes from feeling the pain of our behaviours that perhaps we dislike and heeding the behaviours where we are proud. Mistreatment of self does not automatically mean we will treat others better, in fact, quite the opposite. Inner brutality means we struggle to treat others better than ourselves because our system cannot ‘afford’ kindness and companionability to others if we can’t generate it for ourselves.

Q10: Would you say you sabotage your own happiness?

Inner brutality loves us to fall out with ourselves to the point that we sicken ourselves and can’t be happy. In its extreme people struggle to live with themselves hence the saying ‘I can’t live with myself’ or from others ‘How can he live with himself’. Inner brutality scuppers our ability to live with ourselves, and happiness eludes us.  Everything however, can be felt through, even the biggest of agonies. It’s the breadth and depth of emotions that make us feel sick and unhappy, it is not who we are as people. It’s a myth that people mean to sabotage their lives, it’s the inner brutality that creates it, kindness & companionability to self is the opposite to the saboteur, it brings comfort, robustness; a chance to ove through everything no matter how painful.

Q11: Do you ever struggle to face yourself?

When you struggle to face yourself, you have taken away your chance of recovery and moving through experience. Inner brutality loves to convince you that you are intolerable. This isn’t truth, it’s a belief. If we can’t face ourselves, we project that into the world and into other people’s minds and believe we are un-faceable. This is why; how we meet and treat ourselves within, is so important to how we live and lead life.  Meeting and treating yourself with kindness and companionability helps you face you, your mistakes, your achievements, whatever and whoever you are.

Q12: Do you ever struggle to feel understood & liked in and outside of work?

People rarely mean to sabotage themselves, so self-sabotage is a misnomer. Inner Brutality hinders our ability to be unserdstood; even liked.  If you have taken decisions that didn’t work well for you then that’s a mistake, that is all.  If you mean to scupper your growth and any positive impact on your own life and that of others, you are most likely experiencing the long-term effects of traumatic experience, NOT self-sabotage.  If you feel misunderstood, and you find people get frustrated with you it can often be because your inner brutality is getting in the way of you communicating well.

It means that your system hasn’t overcome something that’s happened in the past and it is playing out now, in the present. This can be where we behave in ways that perhaps go against us personally or professionally. It’s our brains trying to get us to attend to things that we have not thoroughly moved through yet.

Q13: Do you find anger is your easiest emotion?

Anger is one of a human’s favourite emotions to use for covering other feelings. As above, all emotion is transient unless we suppress it.  Anger is often used to cover painful and distressing emotions like envy and grief as examples. Grief is the most painful emotion of all for humans.  People who maybe described as ‘angry people’ usually have something to grieve; perhaps a loss or even a way that they have behaved that they cannot move through, because the pain of ‘letting themselves down’ hurts too much.  Anger is great for covering but it fails to let you move through.

Q14: Do you feel less worthy than other people?

If you feel less worthy than other people that’s a belief, not a truth. All people have value; behaviours maybe not. So, if feeling less worthy is a belief, which it is, then that’s great news because beliefs can be unbelieved over time! Everyone has value without question. Inner brutality strips us of this central and necessary truth. Inner brutality can wear us down and because it is hard to stop bullying ourselves, we brutalise ourselves about that too!  Perhaps say it this way “I am worthy, I just don’t believe I am” that suggests that it’s a belief for one, and secondly there’s hope to change it!!!

Q15: Do you feel you don’t deserve to enjoy life?

If you feel you don’t deserve to enjoy life you have (perhaps subconsciously) made a decision that you are less worthy and most likely feel you have done something unforgivable.  ‘Deserve’ is a strong word and can give overtones of entitlement and arrogance, which most people want to avoid.  Saying “I am equally deserving of happiness’ means you can start the journey to unveiling why you feel you don’t deserve to enjoy life.  Inner brutality will be feeding this belief and just so you know, it’s not true!!!! See Q16.

Q16: Do you feel like you’ve done something unforgivable?

We have all done things we’re not proud of but without forgiving our misdemeanours mistakes and even whopping disasters we truly don’t get to transform those things into better. Inner brutality is a way of not forgiving ourselves, and it feels like we are taking responsibility.  If we don’t feel our anguish, our disappoints and devastations we never get to live without them.  Feeling our pains in the short-term releases us to have better and behave better in the future. 

Q17: Do you have a past painful experience that feels like yesterday?

This question is here because if we feel like an experience only happened yesterday it means your brain is somewhat stuck in past experience and inner brutality is disallowing you to move through them. This is particularly the case where there is extreme emotional pain. It makes sense that we try to transcend pain, however, we have to move through pain to be able to affect the world for the better.   

To be able to live the life we want, or at least strive for it, we have to unburden ourselves from what we carry from past experiences. Things that haven’t been attended to, i.e., felt, tend to wear us out and get heavier over time not lighter.  Moving through old times, helps you embrace and create new good times whatever they look like.  People are often ‘accused’ of being stuck in the past, they are not, but the experiences that are not felt through make it impossible to move through things and onwards. It’s no one’s fault! Pain is pain, we tend to want to avoid it.

Q18:  Do you struggle to allow and feel all your emotions?

If you do not have your full range of emotion fully available to you then you are trying to move through life with an incomplete tool-kit. Don’t worry we can always broaden our emotional palette! Most of us leave childhood and early adulthood with a less than complete emotional palette. This is because of our familial culture, our community culture, societal culture and to some extent our temperament. If we don’t have all our emotions available to us, we are trying to be human without a full ‘human tool-kit’. This makes moving through experiences really tough.  It can make us feel inflexible and rigid. If we disallow our feelings, we tend to interpret that as disallowing ourselves, our responses and that we are wrong in some way. Feelings can’t be helped; behaviours can be.

  • Love
  • Joy
  • Anger
  • Grief
  • Fear
  • Surprise
  • Envy
  • Happy
  • Disgust
  • Sad

Q19: Do you feel that some emotions are positive, and some are negative?

Once we have labelled emotions good or bad, we tend to label ourselves as ‘good’ or ‘bad’.  It’s common for people to believe that Envy, Pride and Anger are ‘bad emotions’ whilst ‘Joy, Happiness and Love’ are good. That’s not to say that things don’t feel good or bad or feel difficult or easy but that does not mean they are good or bad, negative or positive. We have no control over how we feel we only have some control over what we do with how we feel.  That is our personal power, working on what we can do with how we feel!!

All emotion must be allowed, and felt, providing a chance to learn from them and our experiences.  All emotions must be equal in their ability to be felt, that is not the same as them feeling good. Our humanity requires us to feel our way through life. Inner brutality loves to label emotions as good and bad, and label us as bad wherever it can.

Q20: Do you find you can often be intolerant of others?

Inner brutality makes us intolerant of ourselves, and therefore other people, even if we don’t believe that’s true. No one sets out to be intolerant of other people, but if there is so much that feels intolerable in us, we struggle to be accepting of other people. Bullying is a perfect example of this. Bullish behaviour comes from a person being in a brutal relationship with themselves. 

They cannot face themselves, and how they feel and so extinguish that on to others (often because they can’t tolerate goodness in the other). They struggle to allow in others what they do not see in themselves.  So, inner brutality gets put on other people in order to falsely elevate self above others. Ridding oneself of inner brutality means you never ‘need’ do this.  Being kind and companionable to self means you can afford to be kind and companionable to others, without it using your energy!

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