Sidra and Hal Stone outline several important subpersonalities in their book 2011 book Embracing Our Selves. What subpersonalities are present in your life? Where are they helping you and where are they holding you back?
The Inner Critic – The Inner Critic is the energy pattern that finds fault with all of who we are and what we do. After you leave a party the Inner Critic will tell you how stupid everything you said was and how awkward you were. The Inner Critic will often tell you that you do not deserve compliments or Learning to turn the Inner Critic into an ally is an important part of reducing anxiety and depression. The Inner Critic will often criticize your performance in religious, professional, social, or familial roles. What does your inner critic sound like? What kinds of criticism does it make? What does your Inner Critic sound like? Often when we have critical parent or caregiver our Inner Critic will resemble the way that they spoke to us. The Inner Critic will often sound like a critical parent in its tone but will criticize us about failing to live up to our own values. Where do you notice this energy pattern in your life?
Does you Inner Critic sound like a parent, sibling, teacher, or someone that you know?
An overly identified Inner Critic can be exhausting.
Where in your life is the Inner Critic helping you.
Where is it hurting you?
Where do you need to ignore it?
The Pusher – The Pusher is the energy pattern behind everything that we do. No matter what we have done it will tell us that we have not done enough. Its job is to move us on to the next thing, no matter what that is. Clean your room, fix the house, stop at the gym, send one more email, stay up for one last Netflix episode. What does your pusher want you to do to keep moving? Think of some of the things that you do compulsively so that you don’t slow down. Think of the things that you “can’t stop” doing. Usually when our Pusher is overly active we are avoiding thinking about or feeling something.
What is your Pusher avoiding feeling?
What do you not like to feel?
If you have a hard time figuring out what your Pusher is avoiding the next time you want to indulge it, don’t do what it wants.
Don’t have one more bite, one more drink, take one more sales call. See how you feel when you don’t indulge your pusher.
Where in your life is the Pusher helping you?
Where is it hurting you?
The Vulnerable Child – The Vulnerable Child is the energy pattern in touch with all of our needs and all of our fear and vulnerability. It wants to be honest about how much it needs to be cared for. The Vulnerable Child is the first sub personality that we develop. We learn to turn it off in the beginning of our adolescents and often must learn to turn it back on in therapy as adults.
How in touch are you with your Vulnerable Child?
Are you comfortable feeling sad and hurt, or are you out of touch with these emotions?
In what places or parts of your life do you feel safe enough to be in touch with asking others for help or admitting that you aren’t ok?
The Pleaser – The Pleaser is the energy pattern that cannot stand to be disliked by anyone for any reason or for any amount of time. The Pleaser very empathetic individuals it sometimes becomes the caregiver and tries to anticipate everyone else’s needs and meet them. Albert Ellis said that it was “pathological to want to be liked by everyone all the time.” The Pleaser is the part of our personality that cannot stand to be disliked, even when we need to confront someone, challenge authority, stick up for ourselves, or realize our life is not what we want it to be. These are things we need to be able to do to be healthy humans.
Do you avoid confrontation?
n what parts of your life and why?
What are you afraid will happen if someone dislikes you? What happened when you were disliked before?
What are the parts of yourself that you avoid developing by getting approval from other people?