Ego States – CHILD (Part 5)

3 girls 

in many interesting ways                


SITE:  The Inner Child  – an Introduction


‘SYMPTOMS’ of the Adapted Child
Physical – emotion expressions of being sad, in despair, having temper tantrums, whining voice, rolling eyes, shrugging shoulders
AND teasing, delight, laughter, speaking behind hand, raising hand to speak, squirming and giggling….

Verbal – baby talk, oh no, not again, things never go right for me, worst day of my life, I dunno….
AND I wish, I want, I’m gonna, I don’t care, many superlatives (best, most, biggest) exaggerations, words to impress….

The damaged CHILD versions of this chart
(see “Parent – Part 4” post for the Damaging Parent versions) are in relation to how the WIC may act at WORK or other groups, all 3 expressing “I’m NOT OK” or “I’m not OK & neither are you!”
Compliant Child E. S.: “I’ll do anything to please you as long as you don’t get mad at me or abandon me”. Doesn’t make for a good team member (don’t pull your weight) and will bbiz ego statese highly stressed if we have to manage others. Often feel depression & unrealistic fear

Oppositional Child E.S. : Reacting against others, whether we actually agree or disagree with them – as false boundaries & a temporary sense of power (“No one can control me”. Negative repercussions are obvious.
Reckless Child E.S.: this type has no boundaries & does whatever it wants, no matter what the consequences to self or others. The person never /rarely takes responsibility for their actions. If they are an employee it takes a great deal of management effort to keep them focused & out of trouble. As a boss – they run roughshod over everyone.

FORMS OF THE ADAPTED CHILD E.S., (See CHILD Part 4 – Ego State styles) which are mostly in the ‘Not OK’ mode, marked by helplessness, shame, guilt, hurt, loneliness, rebelliousness, terror & a deep sense of inadequacy.
NOTE: We can have one or more of these facets or variations of the WIC & we can switch into whichever one gets triggered by a current situation, often related to different ages in our past (Compliant is usually the youngest – age 3-5 / Rebellious tends to be our teenager…)
This person is probably an introvert by nature, AND constantly ignored &/or left alone as a child. This -AC received almost no mirroring so has no sense of who they are. They feel invisible wherever they are & by being silent (not participating, not sharing) reinforce that state.

a. In a less intense version, this state shows up as the ‘good girl or boy’, as people-pleasing, rescuing, care-taking, overly concerned with what other people will think / say about them. This person may be highly functional good girlon the surface but needs hidden addictions to cope with the burden of perfectionism. They are often the hard workers who never can relax, not from ambition but from trying to please everyone, all the time.

b. In the severe form, the person is a milquetoast, the ‘yes’ man/ woman who is run by sheer terror or being disobedient & unacceptable. It’s the kid that always gets bullied, the battered wife, the patsy, the loser ….

Some basic characteristics are: being amenable, obedient, even submissive. They dutifully conform to the commands, demands or instructions of parental / authority figures, willing to carrying out orders, requests or wishes of another. They are too open & responsive to advice, criticism, judgment, suggestion or being tested

It’s a dark side of ourselves we try to hide, from ourselves & others. Some psychologists believe it’s a primeval survival mechanism that’s become redundant. Berne describes it as that part of our personality that likes to eat flesh. Given the right set of circumstances & long-term stressors, we can all release the Little Fascist. It can be seen in gangs, bullying of any kind, war crimes…. (MORE….)

Defiant aspecrebelliont of the AC, the extreme opposite of the Compliant, this Child E.S. is bent on opposing any form of authority, rules, including the accepted conventions of society. The person feels &/or expresses strong disgust & repugnance for limits & anyone ‘above’ them. The person tends to be argumentative, their attitude being contemptuous, antagonistic.  They tens to oppose or retard forward motion, growth, positive change.  Their agenda may be hidden because the person tends to isolate, or it may be expressed in open defiance or organized resistance.

a. Child’s version of an Adult from around age 5. It’s filled with some truths, a lot of half-truths, illusions, nonsense & mush. It’s the smart, creative & manipulative part that originally helped us learn how to get what we needed. In an unhealthy family it functions in the background to gather and store data about what works and what doesn’t work – in that environment. Survival is its prime directive so whatever it takes to survive will become habits that follow us into adulthood.

It functions on intuition & instinct with very limited understanding, so it will cause us problem if we little profmistake the Little Professor (LP) for a True Adult, because it’s likely to tell us what we want to hear rather than health & reality (which it doesn’t know). In the present, as long as the LP is being listened to, it limits what we believe are possible ways to provide for ourselves & our loved ones.

b. On the plus side, it is the curious & exploring Child part of us, always trying out new stuff, often much to the Controlling Parent’s annoyance. It’s full of creativity & imagination, so we need to give ourselves permission to access all our talents, whatever they are. Both the LP & the Healthy Adult E.S. are our ‘computer’ mode, but the Adult E.S. has accurate data in the form of experience and wisdom on its hard-drive, which is missing in the LP. However, we can make excellent use of the LP whenever creativity is needed, like writing, designing, & making anything new.



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