Is your inner child in control of you?
I’ll start off by talking about what the inner child actually is, the inner child is a part of you which is free, creative, impulsive in terms of having his/her needs met, the inner child acts exactly like a child does, full of joy, enjoyment, happiness, however, the inner child also holds negative traits, like being instantly expressive about how he/she is feeling, throws tantrums, can be self-centred and irrational to mention a few. Your inner child usually takes a back seat when you’re an adult, as when you mature with your life experiences, the adult in you takes over, however, this isn’t always the case. You’ll find situations where your inner child has taken control and behaved or said things that are irrational. This usually tends to happen when you start to feel emotionally overwhelmed and regress back to childhood to deal with the situation. In situations where you need an immediate strategy to help you cope, you’ll find the inner child tends to take over.
What happens when your inner child comes out too often?
Your inner child will act like a child and if you’re having a serious conversation with someone, having your inner child respond can lead to a number of different issues. Don’t forget your inner child acts on impulse, there’s no filter between what you think and what you say, your inner child does what he/she wants without taking into account anyone else’s feelings or needs.
Your partner is speaking to you about needing space because they’re extremely busy at work and isn’t able to keep in touch as much as they would like, your inner child may perceive this as a rejection, you’re not wanted, you’re not important etc, and react to this statement in an angry manner which can easily escalate into an argument. Your adult, however, can deal with this in a more rational way, understanding and appreciating your partner’s needs and feelings and giving them the space they need.
Your partner doesn’t agree with where you want to go eat, you don’t like that s/he’s not considering your needs, your instantly become angry and resentful for him/her not listening and agreeing to you. This issue arises because you’re not comfortable with hearing the word ‘no’ and find it difficult to not get you’re on way. This can lead to a change in the atmosphere, leading to your partner confronting you about your change in behaviour, if you respond in an angry manner this can escalate into an argument. You may end up finding people around you give in to your desires because they’re worried about the way you’ll react.
Ways to manage your inner child
The first thing to do is identify when your inner child is out, ask yourself before behaving or saying anything, how old you feel, the answer will give away whether you are about to behaviour from the adult or child mode. The other is to ask how old your thinking is, again the answer will give away whether your inner child is talking. Once you’ve established whether it’s your inner child, take some time before you say anything, remind yourself that despite the feeling being intense, you’re in control and you can choose to act on that feeling or deal with it in a different way. For the moment, take some time out, go for a walk, do simple breathing exercises and then come back to the feeling and see if you’re able to deal with this feeling by letting it go or able to speak without the intensity being externally shown.