Quick Tips #8: Fostering connection with the Inner Child
Question: How do you engage with people who don’t understand inner child at all but want to, specifically my husband. He tried to understand but he just doesn’t get the concept and he’s a bit frustrated that he just doesn’t get it at all. I’m happy to leave it, so it’s not so much me pushing it on but him wanting to know and struggling because he doesn’t “get” it?
This is a brilliant question, because the inner child is such an important part of our day to day make up. I will give you couple of ideas on how to explain the concept, but first let’s talk about communication.
When talking to people who don’t communicate the same way you are used to, it is important to try building a bridge and making an attempt to explain it in a way that they understand.
A Finnish friend of mine went on a holiday to Spain last summer. When they arrived at luggage claim, she realized her luggage was lost. She didn’t speak any Spanish nor English, only Finnish. So she went to the closest luggage handler and said to him in Finnish: ”Missa mun matkalaukku?” (Where is my luggage?). You understand that the luggage handler wasn’t going to get what was asked. Because my friend was not getting her message through, she continued to repeat it louder and louder. Of course it made no difference to the luggage handler.
When somebody doesn’t get what we are saying, the first key is to make sure, we use words that are usual and familiar for them.
This is a basis for any communication. There is no point repeating the same thing or getting louder, if they didn’t get it the first time. Start with a couple of sentences and ask if they are following and if they have any questions. Make sure that you are using the same language and that you both understand where you are coming from.
The second thing is how to explain the concept of inner child.
The key to explain an emotional concept to a thinking type or a type who might not be emotionally available is not to use any feeling words. You could say the inner child is comprised of two different inner children, a three year old and a ten year old. Your reactions and responses in certain situations come from these children. They are all those unhealed parts of yourself, the parts of you that are yearning to have a voice in your life to make it more complete.
Another way to understanding the concept of inner children is to imagine yourself when you were ten and three years old. Think about the hurts and aspirations you had, as well as your reactions and responses. Whenever we feel inspired, it’s usually the inner child telling us to put more energy into it and whenever we feel triggered, it’s the inner child saying this isn’t right for me.
Even if you don’t have a lot of childhood memories, it is possible to try relating to your inner children in the context of cognitive functions in those phases. One way of doing this is to look at the Car Model at Personalityhacker site. This will help you to draw parallels between yourself and your inner children.
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