Ego States – PARENT (Part 4) as Adults

by developing a Loving, Healthy Parent

PREVIOUS: Parent Ego State (PES), Part 2


PES = Parental ego state

1. Normative Parent (NoP) with either realistic or damaging guidelines, rules, punishments & rewards
a.  Positive NoP / “Counselor Parent” is strong, powerful, protective, principled. Provides appropriate boundaries & is comfortable setting limits without being disapproving or harsh – with self and others

b. Negative NoP / “Persecutor Parent”
✦ Treats the Inner Child harshly & tries to make it do as it wants – either to obey it’s own set of rules regardless of the benefit to the Child, or just treating the Child as its ‘whipping-boy’

✦ Towards others – react with judgmental comments that are arrogant, child-writingauthoritative, condescending, critical, demanding, disapproving, judgmental, opinionated, moralistic…. with a lot of Do’s. Don’ts & little flexibility.
— At work, managers in the NoP mode are task oriented & can be dictatorial & exclusionary.

2. Nurturing / Sympathetic Parent (NuP) – who appropriately loves, cares for, provides for others.  Both men & women can be in the role of Good Parent, but it’s most often in the form of a mother-figure
✦ One of the NuP’s goals is to take care of the Inner Child – to sooth it’s troubles & keep it content, providing it with safety & unconditional love

✦ In terms of others – we will respond with reassuring communications, & behave in ways that are consoling, considerate, respectful, nurturing, permitting, protecting….
— At work, managers coming from the NuP are supportive & relationship- oriented, consulting subordinates & encouraging their participation.

HOW the Parent ego state (PES) is USED
1. INFLUENCING – operating internally
IF our early caretakers were loving & reasonably healthy, then our Inner Parent is positive, so we’ll treat ourself with self-care & self-soothing

IF they were wounded &/or toxic, the we’ll hear the Introject (PES) as a weak-scared or mean-angry voice, EITHER
👮🏽 in the form of self-criticism, causing feelings of SHAME, self-hate, self-doubt, a constant sense of being watched & controlled, not knowing what we want, think or feel, generating chronic anxiety and depression….self-talk
👨🏽‍🏭 as outside criticism, always hearing warnings, judgements, demands, needs, rules, warnings …. from others, creating fear & a degree of paranoia.
Whether these come from real people or from ‘mis-hearing’ what’s been said to us, we usually don’t realize we’re projecting our own PigP outward.

This means that:
❀ when we stay with people who really are unavailable, selfish, mean, crazy…. we’re participating in a relationship that’s an external version of our PigP, a copy of our original abandoners / abusers
✿ OR when we have strong painful / angry feelings toward people who are just being ‘normal’ humans but happen to push our unhealed buttons – we’re making them into the PigP we carry in our head

2. ACTIVE – operating externally
This version of the PES is being the Bad Parent toward others, hiding the WIC behind a defensive wall. In this mode we function in the outside world exactly the way our family treated us, reproducing the emotions, attitudes & behavior of our original significant-others.

As above, this will depend on how we were treated as kids. Since most people are wounded, the ‘acted out’ (projected) bad voice will be coming from the Negative PES. The psychological purpose of treating others badly is to diminish the pressure & anxiety created by our Toxic Introject & the WIC. Letting it out on others feels like a relief from the ‘influencing’ voice that’s badgering us all the time.

EXP: When a mother screams at & criticizes her children (as -CP) the same way her father screamed at & criticized her when she was young – she gets momentary relief from her PigP pain without rules & regsrealizing she’s reacting from her Bad Parent ego state.

When a person functions too much out of our PES, they’ll either be judgmental & finger-pointing, OR patronizing & overly solicitous

Someone with a strong (P) persona tends to focus on:
• the ‘right way’ of doing things based on the rules they believe in
• how they can have an effect on others (controlling or helpful…)
• not showing too much emotion, more self-contained
• put strong importance on how things are done (specific steps)

NEXT : Parent ES, Part 5

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