Is your inner parent part too strict and demanding? Then it might be time to ‘big up’ your adult part!
Transactional Analysis is a model of psychotherapy loosely based around the idea that we have three parts within the psyche, Parent, Adult and Child.
For the purpose of this blog, we’re not going to look at all the wonderful aspects of the parent and child parts, just the negatives (‘cos if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it).
Because the long-term memory hasn’t fully formed in childhood, we need constant training and reminding to clean our teeth, remember our football kit, pick up our clothes from the bedroom floor etc. This means that our inner parent recordings might translate as a nagging and demanding part of us that has expectations, or criticises our efforts.
This can have varying effects on the inner child that in response, may rebel, sulk, whine, or even give up trying altogether.
Obviously you need to examine your own upbringing to determine what sort of messages are running in the background of your mind.
If you have an inner dialogue that goes something like this….
“You’ll never amount to anything” (parent)
“ Why bother, I may as well not even try, and whatever I do is never good enough anyway.” (child).
“No you can’t have another biscuit you’re just being greedy” (parent)
“ I’ll just eat more when you’re not looking then” (child)
…then you’ll know that you’re being dominated by old programming from the past.
The good news is that you can upgrade and integrate new positive programs!
By observing your inner dialogue you can learn to identify what isn’t working and incorporate new ‘adult’ dialogue. So the above might change to something like…“Come on, give it another go, even scientists fail over and over, you know it’s part of the process of learning.” or “You can have the whole packet of biscuits if you like, but how will you feel after you’ve eaten them? You know it will make your workout harder as well, why not just have one now and maybe one later’ (adult).
This works simply because the subconscious mind believes whatever it’s told. I can’t say this often enough. This part of the mind can be easily re-programmed because it believes whatever it’s told! Its main job is to store information regardless of whether it’s true or false. So affirmations work!
By developing the adult part, it gives us somewhere else to go to get away from the negative thoughts and bad feelings that can arise from this internal battle. We change our state; by stepping into the ‘adult’ it’s a place of power and control. We begin to have more rational, kinder thoughts that start to bring out the best in ourselves.
So observe your inner dialogue and write down a more adult approach to that particular issue or problem that you’re having and stop giving yourself such a hard time.