You know that when you’re in a real hurry, and someone is telling a long-winded story, and you stay patient and kind, but inside you start to get impatient, and you want to say you have to go, that you hurry and the story still goes nowhere, but you can’t get a word in, so on the outside you remain calm and decent but inside you are stiff with irritation and impatience, and you feel trapped, you want to escape, you want to leave, but on the outside you remain calm, until you get the feeling that you are about to explode?
What you then feel is powerlessness.
You don’t want to be indecent, but that’s exactly why you feel trapped in the conversation. Your decency forces you to do something you don’t want to do. You suppress your own emotions and adapt to the other. Don’t we really do that very often? As if the other person is more important than ourselves? We don’t want to give the other person the impression that we are impatient, but we are! Actually, we would like to shout: “Shut up!”, but of course we don’t, because we remain decent.
It can also be the other way around:
The sun is shining and someone smiled at you and you are very happy, and then the neighbor starts complaining to you about her magpie eyes… You suppress your dancing tendencies and keep your face straight and say understandingly: “Aw, how annoying” . Then she starts talking about her other ailments and you think, “How am I going to get out of here?” Because your behavior doesn’t match your feelings.
We learn as children to behave ‘decently’
To suppress your emotions and your spontaneity, and to behave as expected of you. Do we actually have a choice? Because when you’re 5 you don’t want to be naughty, so you do what mommy wants. When you’re 8 you don’t want to be annoying, so you do what daddy wants. And when you’re 14 you don’t want to be an outsider, so you behave as your group of friends expects you to.
And when you’re 30 you don’t want to be an average person, but do you still have a choice? Can you just be spontaneous, extravagant, artistic, eccentric, original, fun, happy, special?
It’s like being made up of two people.
We call that partial personalities. The spontaneous, special side should never be there, you suppressed it for years. As if you have locked that inner child in the basement of your consciousness. It must not come out because then you are busy, weird, difficult, indecent. What will they think of you… The other side, the decent sub-personality, has started doing it all on his/her own. According to the rules. Correctly. Civilized. Boring.
That can’t go well for long
That child in the basement also needs love and appreciation, he/she also wants to be there. Therefore, deep down (in the basement of your consciousness) you feel that you are missing something, that you are feeling sadness, or anger. That you can’t really be yourself. The longer you keep suppressing that part, the worse it gets.
Everyone has different sides
Everyone has strong sub-personalities that are always in the foreground, and suppressed (sensitive, spontaneous, vulnerable, original, fearful, etc.) sub-personalities that you think are negative. Because they feel dark. But really, it’s just a sad or angry inner child. A very nice child! If you can free that part of yourself from the basement, you’ll be whole again.
What can you do about it yourself?
- ✼ Try to remember what you were like as a child. What did you like? What made you happy? Go do that again! Are you lying in a meadow? Draw? Make a call? That’s fine.
- ✼ If you feel sadness deep inside yourself, be kind to yourself, comfort yourself. Pay more attention to the child in you.
- ✼ Are you angry deep down? Then tell the child in you that it is right first. You can be angry. Then ask yourself why you are angry, or at whom. Deep down you know it so all you need to do is listen to yourself. And then make sure the problem is solved.
- ✼ Not doing what you want to do? What do you want? Lazing? Go laze! Do you want to go crazy? Go crazy! Do you want to scream? Go to the forest or the sea, and scream out all the frustration!
- ✼ Can’t you do what you feel deep down that you need? Then do that in mind. Imagine that you are lounging in a hammock on a tropical island. And feel how you relax. Imagine acting crazy in the middle of the village, yelling, doing everything you shouldn’t. And feel how liberating that is!
- ✼ Many people are not themselves, but get stuck in their predominant sub-personality. Then you are not yourself, then you are “what you have become”. It will be very liberating to break free from your dominant sub-personality.
- ✼ In a good relationship you can be yourself completely. But in most relationships, both partners go into a sub-personality. As a result, you do not feel completely yourself when you are with the other person. Try to recognize this, and show your partner your other parts as well. And realize that your partner is much more than just the part you see.