Cover the Cage

Updated: Dec 23, 2019

Imagine you are given a parrot. It’s just a parrot, no knowledge, or insight. It’s a bird, who can “talk” but it’s repetition, without any understanding of what it is saying, or the consequences of its words. It’s a bird. You’ve been given this bird, and it seems harmless enough, so you take him places with you. However, unfortunately, this parrot, your parrot has been poisoned. It has been trained to be unhelpful to you. It continuously comments on your life, in a way that puts you down and criticises you. You take the parrot with you everywhere. On one of the journeys you take together, you get stuck in traffic, it delays you and you are five minutes late to your destination. Parrot is right there with its words of criticism. “there you go again. Late. So stupid, you should have left the house earlier. Useless. Moron.” Parrot likes to tell you a lot of what you “should have done”. Everything you do is wrong and likes words like “stupid, pathetic, fat, lazy, needy”. Parrot is not kind and has no redeeming features. There is nothing good about this creature, and yet now you are in the habit of always having them along with you.



How long do you tolerate this for? How long would you put up with hearing this from a bird before you threw a towel over its cage, or got rid of it?


We often put up with thoughts from the internal bully for too long. We begin to believe the parrot, and this has a negative impact on our wellbeing, our self-esteem and confidence. The longer that this continues, the greater the impact that this has on our lives and how we behave and treat ourselves and others.


But if we remember that this is just a parrot. The parrot speaks. Cover the cage. Remember though, this parrot has been poisoned, and trained to behave this way. So, it won’t be an overnight fix. But if each time we hear the parrot we remember to cover the cage, that it’s just words with no basis. Eventually the parrot will get tired of not being acknowledged, it will stop talking, it will stop making its poisonous remarks. If you leave that cage door open it may even fly away.


Here’s hoping, “see ya parrot.”


(Adapted from “The Malevolent Parrot “by Kristina Ivings)

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