This is an important part of subpersonalities. We have just worked with Primary Selves (PS). Now it’s time to explore the parts in ourselves that are being pushed away by these PS’s namely the Disowned Selves. Subpersonalities can be disowned to a more or lesser degree. We may know some of these selves, but some we now partly and others we don’t know at all. Disowned Selves are mostly underdeveloped parts in our personality. Here we have collected some commonly known examples of disowned selves. Take a look which of the following you recognize for yourself. And the interesting question is which Primary Self could be it’s counterpart?
First we will give some examples of Disowned Selves
This part likes to take things easy. There is no hurry, it takes life the way it comes. It has a relaxed way of handling things in life and doesn’t worry. It is great to hangout with the relaxed self. But if you are in a hurry, this is not the one that you want to be around.
The Rebel has an important motto, “rules are made to be broken”. It will go against conformism, hates conservatism, and has an opposing view of the majority. It doesn’t care what other people think. The rebel is never boring to hang out with, although if you go along wit hit, you might get a bit into trouble.
The egoist is concerned with it’s own goals and it’s own needs. It’s not concerned with the needs of others, and why should it? The egoist thinks “if I don’t take care of myself, who will?” Other people have to wait and I don’t care how long. The egoist is not such a good teamplayer. Unconditional love is not in the vocabulary of the egoist. The egoist is more busy with it’s own goals and has no time thinking about the pleasers around it.
The Vulnerable Child is the unprotected essence of who we are when we are born. It is ultimately sensitive and can be easily hurt by non caring or for abandonment. It is often inaccessible because of our many Primary Selves that are there to protect it. If it is too much protected it may become inaccessible, you cannot easily sympathize with it. And if it is not protected enough, it can easily be a victim, feeling exposed or needy.. On the other hand when it has received great care in life and when it is acknowledged the Vulnerable Child, will be recognizing the child in others and will truly be able to experience intimacy.
The Intuitive Self is sensitive and has no doubt about what is right and true. It has an immediate insight and doesn’t need to work hard for it. It is quiet but sure. A strong intuitive self brings confidence and spontaneity. But when one comes to be over identified with it, then the intuitive side may be contaminated with other selves and contrary to the rational mind.
The Angry Self is a more emotional and less rational part in ourselves. It has a clear sense of what is right and wrong. It has standards which it expects to be met by itself and others. It is very sensitive to what it considers to be failures. It is sensitive in experiencing injustice and is not afraid of expressing its feelings. It is upfront and confrontational. The energy of the Angry self can be an ignition for change.The Angry self doesn’t easily make friends, people may want to avoid it..And when it’s feelings are not respected also this will make it furious.
The Procrastinator is not in a hurry, but it will waint. It is very busy with what’s on his mind. It is too cautious in making decisions. So decisions are made tomorrow, not today. Tomorrow it will know what to do and how to do it. The procrastinator feels itself rushed by the pusher. Always put off till tomorrow what can be put off.
4. Exercises with Disowned Selves
Every dominant self that you have inside of you there is another that is hidden away out of sight and in the shadows. The following exercises will enable you to make friends safely with your “darker sides” and appreciate that they might bring gifts to you. More importantly, you will discover the purpose that each of them has and how these selves can enhance your life and bring you new and creative ways to deal with life’s challenges.
Exercise 4.1 : Three fingers
Exploring The Inner Selves exercise:
Before you begin this exercise, write down the six qualities you identified in the primary selves exercise. And then write your irritation from the point of view of each subpersonality directed to yourself (three fingers pointing to yourself).
Whenever your Primary selves have you point the finger of blame, judgement or condemnation at someone, there are three fingers pointing back to you! The attributes your Primary selves find so unacceptable in others are really just disowned parts of your own psyche.
To get a visceral sense of how unacceptable your Disowned selves are to your Primary selves, read the above list aloud, prefacing each ‘quality’ with the words “I am”, and imagining that you are addressing a room full of people. Describe how it feels to read each one out loud including whether you notice any resistance or physical sensations – such as a tightness in your stomach or throat, or any changes in the tone or volume of your voice.