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Quick Tips #17: Messy Inner Parenting Part 2

Question: "Being authentic in my emotion and using my inner parent, my auxiliary process, seems to make me look like I’m somewhat emotionally unstable to the Sensors, which are most people around me. People feel uncomfortable around me because they feel I’m unpredictable.

Of late, this is ringing bell of why I forced my 10 year old process to step up when I was doing my university. I felt like the inner parent process was too impractical to facilitate what needed to be done.

I also felt that being authentic to my auxiliary process wasn’t’ working and I wouldn’t want the stigma of being impractical or emotionally unstable.

I’m not sure what to do. Is this is this a common INF thing with inner parenting? Please help me gain some context with this in regard."

Inner parenting is a gradual process. You don’t just change from the inner 10 year old holding the reins to handing them over to the inner parent and now all of a sudden you are perfect. If only it would be that easy! Inner parenting is like any other type of parenting, you learn as you go and it won’t be cut and dry.

When we start parenting ourselves and the inner parent for both INF types starts to take over, you naturally consider yourself a lot more. If the inner parent process isn’t very strong, it can actually make decisions on behalf of you that may look like fickle, emotionally unstable or even selfish.

Some people might start saying that you are being selfish or emotionally unstable, because they just feel like you are not behaving like you used to.

In the previous episode we were talking about the strong inner parent and how it shows in both types. When INJF types are strong, they are good at setting boundaries instead of letting other people run their lives. And when the INFP exploration inner parent is healthy they actually allocate specific exploration time for themselves instead of running away from responsibilities.

So how do we get to the point of having a strong inner parent?

The key here is to make sure that you start changing gradually, so that you can parent yourself from a positive place of the inner parent rather than negative:

1. Start doing your inner parenting in the privacy of your own mind and space first, instead of with people around you.

2. Use your inner parent in a powerful position. Don’t use your inner parent to make decisions or gather information when you are feeling dis-empowered. Only use it when you are feeling empowered and good and you know your inner parent can actually do the job.

3. Up until then, use the process that you are used to using to get the results that you want to get in life.

When starting the process of strengthening your inner parent, it will be messy and weird. You will feel uncomfortable, and sometimes it’s even painful. And the one thing that you can be absolutely sure of is that you won’t get it done perfectly.

This is where you need to start failing forward. Embrace failure as a part of your learning experience rather than thinking you are bad at this. You are not bad, you just don’t have the skills yet.

In summary, start changing gradually so that you can parent from a good place of the inner parent. And when you do your inner parenting from that place, it won’t be messy.

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