The Adult and Parent Ego

June 26, 2014

We know there is an inner child and an inner parent all inside of our egos but where is the real us, our true or core self? That’s the ego that’s hardest to find and hardest to maintain. It’s often called the adult ego state and sits between the child and parent, if you are lucky it can act as a referee between them both! The adult ego does not start to develop until we are able to be slightly independent so about a year old. As small children we start to see what is different than what we observed (Parent) or felt (Child). In other words, the Adult ego allows the young person to evaluate and validate Child and Parental data that have been essential to our survival until we could assert some form of Independence.  So to make it simple the adult ego is all about what we learn for ourselves.

Your Adult ego state is when we think feel or behave to events or people in the here and now without those interjects from anywhere else. Our reactions are honest and authentic, without any games plans or judgement. Sound easy but in fact it is not, because when we are responding from the here and now we can act like a child or a parent to someone else if it’s the right thing to do , because they want to be playful or because they are hurt – not because we are afraid or we think we have to.

When we are in our adult ego we are attentive, interested, straight-forward, non-threatening and not threatened. We ask questions – why, what, how, who, where and when, how much, in what way, we make comparisons, reasoned statements, speak for ourselves – I think, I realise, I see, I believe, in my opinion.

So this state is where we would prefer to be its our authentic self, our core self, it’s who we really are, but there are so many things in our way to get to it. Here are a few tips from counsellors to maybe help you get to it.

Practice mindfulness, be in the now more often, by being truly present in the here and now you can silence the critical parent or the adapted child.

Take risks if something is upsetting you and you would normally just put up with it, as it’s not nice to complain or be angry, be real and say what you feel, even if you do offend someone one.

Stop being a people pleaser, other peoples feeling are theirs and hard as it may seem we are not responsible for them.

Examine your values and beliefs are they truly yours? Or have you always thought that? Is it a case of because I say so or it just is? These may not be yours? Ask yourself – ‘who says?’ Who says you have to have a spotlessly clean house?

If you want to mother or parent someone, check out is that what they need and I am reacting to it or is that what I need to do?

Stop yourself from reacting immediately and check out who or where your reaction is coming from. Eventually how you react becomes a choice. Then you know you have a fully functioning adult ego.

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