Sub-Personalities

Recently, I have been learning about sub-personalities which apparently is popular in Jungian psychology. The particular aspect that I have learnt about is Voice Dialogue created by Drs Hal and Sidra Stone and I have to say I’m very impressed with it.

We all have sub-personalities and I think I can best explain it with an example: Imagine a woman with a strong mothering instinct. She mothers everyone and treats everyone like children even when it is not appropriate, she knows it but can’t help herself. This is one aspect, a sub-personality, dominating her and with Voice Dialogue she can learn to allow other parts of her personality to come forward when appropriate.

Sub-personalities may also be unconscious or disowned. A person may be unaware or out of touch with parts of their personality such as anger, selfishness, criticism or spirituality, compassion, creativity. These parts will show up in their lives through people around them. For example, a Christian might say, “I am a good man. I do good works and am nice to people. Why do I always attract into my life angry, selfish people?” Answer: his own anger and selfishness wants to be recognised.

A seriously disowned self would be Rev Graham Capill and his vehement campaigning against pedophilia when he himself was a pedophile. Or pro-lifers who murder abortionists.

If we are unaware of our sub-personalities then they can control us and cause us to act compulsively. For example, someone may be compulsively drawn to drugs, alcohol, workaholism, sexaholism and be totally unaware of the sadness/fear/anger etc within that drives them. When we regain awareness of these parts, then we regain choice, balance and happiness.

To find out about your own psyche, make a list of the qualities in other people that annoy you. Perhaps you are critical or uncomfortable around people who are emotional, intellectual, self-centered, weak, opinionated, not generous, not loving, successful, lazy, party-goers, sexually liberated…. Perhaps you have nothing nice to say about rich people?

Drs Stone say that in relationships we are attracted to our disowned selves. For example, a woman who continually finds herself in abusive relationships – she is disowned from her power. A man who is unconsciously attracted to angry women – he is disowned from his anger.

So if you want to know the state of your unconscious mind – take a look at what is happening in your world right now and the people around you. Life is an innocent mirror of who we are.

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