MY “ADULT” CAN CHOOSE HOW I RESPOND –
from a positive or negative Parent voice
PREVIOUS: Parent E.S. – Part 3
See ACRONYM page for abbrev.
REMINDER: Most of our emotions are housed in the Inner Child E. S. since we start out as children, & the first way we communicate – before we can talk – is thru our feelings. The Adult E.S. is non-emotional, but the Parent E.S. definitely has feelings – love, patience, humor, compassion, sensuality, healthy pride, loyalty, concern, joy, frustration, anger, enjoyment, pleasure …..
DEFENSE MECHANISMS of Ego States (E.S.)
DEFENSES are maneuvers used by the subconscious mind to protect & serve our various E.S., which can become the way we interact with others & treat ourselves. They’re meant to be used to mediate between conflicts in the subconscious part of ourselves (neural networks), & so reducing anxiety.
While they are survival skills, they’re usually not good substitutes for healthy coping behaviors. When over-used & hardened into compulsive life-patterns, defenses become harmful because they prevent us from developing our True Self.
a. When this E.S. is operating Internally (‘Influencing’), we can use Denial, Repression, Suppression, Splitting (B & W thinking), Suppression, S-H (negative self-talk from PP to WIC)…. (see list of Defenses)
b. When Externalizing (‘Active’), some defenses are:
Displacement, Projection, Reaction Formation, Rationalization….
Healthy ADULT – We all need defenses to some degree, & when in this E.S. we use them sparingly & as benefits, in the service of the True Self, such as Humor, Sublimation (channeling sexual energy into socially approved activities), Compensation (making up for a perceived weakness), Fantasy (imaging what’s possible or as pleasant diversion), Altruism….
Continuing from ‘ADULT E.S. Part 3’ : This chart focuses on how people function in organizations. Here we’re looking at the PAC’s positive & negative ways of Communicating, first the in 3 toxic forms, & then as part of the Accounting, Mindful, Integrating ADULT.
The ‘sender’ is not OK & so treats ‘listeners’ the same as themselves = as “Not OK”, or encourages them to make someone else “Not OK” (as a scapegoat).
Because communication is broken (‘Adult E.S., Part 2’) it will stop, or can escalate to more & more misunderstanding & anger. In extreme cases the rift will be permanent.
a. Criticizing P.: In this mode we try to hang on to a sense of power & superiority by controlling thru fear & intimidation. We talk down to others, not allowing them to share in decisions, or sometimes the actual work, expecting too much of them & always dissatisfied with their performance.
This can be the result of assuming that other people can’t do things as well as we can, except maybe a few chosen ones (who are like us) – but we never take responsibility for our own mistakes or ignorance. We may end up taking on too much of the workload ourselves, & get burned out.
b. Inconsistent / Unavailable P.: In this mode we are not dependable, giving incomplete or confusing instruction, & mixed messages – such as offering praise one day & judging or ignoring staff / co-workers another day.
Actions will be unpredictable & seemingly random, depending on our inner turmoil. We may even lean on subordinates to do the work for us or to take care of us emotionally.
At other times we may be silent, distant & cold. This style is often a copy of one of our parents, so we’ll might —
— be indecisive, because of distorted thinking (CDs), & lack of knowledge or experience (Ts & As) and/or being moody, depressed, afraid of taking risks because of low self-esteem & fear of loss (Es & As)
c. Interfering / Over-indulgent P.: All 3 forms treat others as bad, needy & incompetent children we have to control – but here it’s done more subtly. Just as the Critical Parent thinks no one can do things right (in the practical/ functional realm), the Interfering Adult believes no one is as competent as they are – emotionally – to take care of themselves.
At work these modes put a great deal of pressure on anyone in charge, (boss / manager), often creating exhaustion, anxiety & depression.
This Unhealthy Parent style can be expressed in:
• People-pleasing – being in the ROLE of ‘parent who lets the children run the household. At work or in other groups we try to make everyone our friend, don’t discriminate between safe & unsafe people, trying to over-compensate for the bad parents we had originally & that are now in our head.
• Rescuing – we see everyone as a ‘child who must be attended to in some way’. This type of control takes the form of – supposed – benevolent care-taker, but imposing our own point of view on the recipient. Here we act out of an over-blown sense of responsibility toward others (grownup, not just children) trying to meet everyone else’s needs – needs we never got – & so are not allowed to give ourselves.
2. INTEGRATING ADULT – is the effective way to tell others “WE are OK” It’s the E.S. most likely to get the desired/ intended responses or results we want: info is received, necessary actions follow, & good relationships are developed or maintained. It allows conversations to continue (now or later) if necessary & desired. Each person or group is able to hold onto their “I’m OK” position, whether they agree with each other – or not, or whether like each other – or not.
WISE PARENT is Supporting / Nurturing. When coming from this E.S. we are caring & affirming. We can be helpful, guiding, mentoring…. without controlling or micro-managing. We can be understanding & compassionate, without people-pleasing.
Pos. Physical: arm around shoulder as sign of support, pat on the back
Pos Verbal: encouraging and nurturing statements “I’ll take care of you, you did really well, I’m proud of you….”
NEXT: Putting things off (Part 1)