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Posts Tagged ‘overreacting’

Charlie Sheen’s Outer Child is Speaking Out (way OUT)

Charlie Sheen’s Outer Child seems to be in a snit. It’s a sign of at least two of the following three things:

1. His Outer Child doesn’t like having to go through withdrawal from both drugs and his show.
2. His addiction is fighting his recovery and we are witnessing a relapse with virulent denial.
3. He’s having a manic episode, even if he never has been bi-polar before. Otherwise, where did his filters go? Had he really intended to make a Semitic reference? He seems out of control, with his Outer Child thrusting forward full throttle.

Outer Child is universal to all of us – it’s the part that self-sabotages. Outer can gain the upper hand when we least expect it, such as when we’re determined to stick to a diet, and Outer smuggles cookies to our room. Or we vowed not to lose our cool, and Outer swoops into the middle of our calm “discussion,” and starts shouting and bringing up grievances from ten years ago.

What exactly is Outer Child? The framework is simple. You have an Inner Child representing your most basic feelings and needs – the urgings of your soul. You have an Adult Self looking out for your Inner Child’s best interests and following your goals. And whatever you do that defeats your goals and frustrates the needs of your Inner Child, well, that’s your Outer Child – the part that acts OUT instead of acting responsibly – the part that interferes in your best laid plans.

When your Outer Child is OUT of control, it means that your Inner Child is too neglected and needy and your Adult Self is too weak. The antidote is to strengthen the Adult Self so that it (you) can take better care of your Inner Child’s feelings and desires in appropriate ways.

But this task is especially challenging for people who have addictions and compulsions. They need an exceptionally strong Adult Self to contend with the powerful impulses and urges constantly bombarding them. Someone in Charlie Sheen’s position faces the difficult task of becoming a Super Adult Self who must guide his own person to safety through a turbulent, tormenting sea of cravings and discomforts. If he’s in the midst of a manic episode, this first has to be quelled before he can hope to find the path.

One of the problems is that whether he wants it or not, Charlie gets a great deal of positive reinforcement for the behavioral escapades and verbal excesses. To wit: we can’t help but attend to the “reality show” entertainment that his antics provide. Most of us get a vicarious kick from his out spoken (to put it mildly), wayward Outer Child. Considering Charlie’s unconditional popularity and considerable financial resources, where is he supposed to get the motivation from to white-knuckle is way through treatment and recovery? What would motivate him to leave Shangri-La on his own recognizance and enter a communal boot camp, and or get on medication? And when he gets to the right setting, what’s he supposed to do for pleasure?

So here’s hoping he can find quiet moments amidst the mania and compelling media drama to look within and find that Strong, High Functioning, Guiding, Wise Adult Self – to help pull him through. http://www.amazon.com/Taming-Your-Outer-Child-Self -Defeating/dp/0345514483/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

My Insecurity Drives Him Away

September 20, 2010 Leave a comment

When I give a workshop, the hottest issue people share about is the pattern of driving their lovers away due to their insecurity.

How many times have I heard: “They love me at first….until my intensity drives them away.”

As common a pattern as this is, the people struggling with in feel quite isolated. They feel they are in an abandonment box of their own making. They feel freakish for having this problem. They feel weak, unfit to be in a relationship. It’s such a painful pattern, and there are thousands of people out there suffering through it.

Insecurity creates such a disastrous dynamic in a relationship. It gives our power to our partners. It takes the mutuality out of the equation. It makes us overreact and over-need. Insecurity makes us want too much too fast. It gets us in over our heads. It causes us to aim our emotional suction cups at our partners. It makes us feel less about ourselves and our partners feel less about us. Feeling insecure and driving our partners away leads to self-loathing.

The first step is to stop beating ourselves up. Emotions are given. We can’t just switch them off, try as we might. We know our insecurity is turning the other person off, but we can’t just grab a magic dial and turn down the fear. We’d sure like to, at least in time to save the relationship, but we can’t just will our feelings away.

We need to DEAL with these feelings and there is a lot we can do to regain our balance. It begins when we end the protest.

Ending the protest means acceptance of the reality that we are responsible for our own emotional wellbeing. This is an enormous leap, and one I’ve written a great deal about in previous books, articles, blogs, etc.

If our neediness and insecurity are creating problems in our relationships, we have to realize that becoming emotionally self-assured is the only way to go – and what better time to learn this than right now, right in the midst of an insecurity crisis, where we are obsessed over our partner response toward us.

It’s important for people to understand that these emotional issues we’re struggling with are not due to any inherent weakness on our parts – they are most likely due to historic events that emotionally conditioned us to respond with fear. This emotionally conditioned response is quite involuntary – locked into our mammalian brains. The intense insecurity, neediness, fear, panic – these are not our faults, but since we’re plagued with them, we are responsible for “fixing” them.

I want to preach this from the rooftops, because people need to stop beating themselves up and instead take this leap to self-reliance. The alternatives are just too painful: Either to get caught up in patterns of constant re-abandonment (abandoholism) or avoid relationships altogether (abandophobism) in order to remove ourselves from the intense anxiety.

One thing about fear: rather than dissipate, it incubates over time. So if you just avoid the fear-causing situation (i.e. relationship), you are not healing the fear, you are allowing it to increase. This means that it will be right there, with an even stronger punch the next time you attempt to be with someone.

No, the only positive option is to use your insecurity as an opportunity to become emotionally self-reliant. This involves radical acceptance of your separateness as an individual. You must stop laying your need for security and reassurance at the feet of your partner and do all of that for yourself.

This is what motivated me to write my book BLACK SWAN as well as the others – because we feel so helpless and hopeless when we’re going through something like this, but it is the most amazingly beneficial opportunity we could ever have, if we know how to make this leap to emotional self-reliance. And very often we can do it in time to save the relationship.