I hate conflict.
It makes me itch and sweat in the most private places; that’s why I attempt to avoid it at all costs. Actually, only one part of me wants to avoid it while the other part has taken off her earrings, shoes and started lathering globs of Vaseline all over her face.
While ANOTHER part of me is sitting, crying in a corner talking to this OTHER part that’s telling all the other parts that it’s not that big a deal and to forgive and move on.
As you can see I’m effectively crazy but one thing I’ve learned is to actually listen to each of these parts of myself to uncover the best solution; otherwise, I’d just find myself screaming “SHUT UP!” at the top of my lungs in the middle of Wal*Mart while the lady that was headed towards me down the aisle busts a U-turn and speed walks away.
See the problem is I avoid difficult situations because I have so many intense, conflicting emotions about them; it just makes sense to run for the hills instead of deal with them. I knew this was an issue once my therapist pointed it out halfway through our session. Now I’m attempting to make sense of the different parts of myself and why they behave the way they do. Let’s take a trip into Crazyland to uncover some shit about dealing with intense emotions and listening to yourself.
All of yourselves.
Do you Like, LIKE Me?
I’m a people pleaser. Ew. (It stung to admit that) I absolutely hate this aspect of myself most days but in truth it has opened a lot of doors for me. Still, having that little girl inside me that wants to be loved and adored can be annoying as hell. All she ever wants is puppies, sunshine and ice cream nostalgic feelings in every aspect of life.
She is the main reason why I break out in hives every time I have a disagreement with a loved one or a friend. Don’t get it twisted I am a Superwoman when it comes to handling my business and protecting my people but conflict is like my kryptonite. So there’s always this voice left wondering…
“Will they still like me if I blow up the way I really want to?”
“Will that person look at me different for cursing them out?”
“Can we make it past things if I were to truly speak my mind?”
“Are my hurt feelings worth a friendship/relationship?”
It’s ridiculous and these questions always happen after someone has hurt or disappointed me. I’m constantly aware and cautious of other people’s perspective and feelings for this reason. Crazy right? yea…I know. Focusing so much on everyone else’s feelings only crowds the already crowded room of my mind. The shit is exhausting so I’m attempting to identify these different “parts” of myself that make life confusing.
Meet the “Parts”
I read an article, as I often do, about a female who had the same issues I seem to have. She wrote, “I simultaneously wanted to run away from my friend, totally forgive him, and mercilessly destroy him in a savage counterattack.” She had learned of these different aspects of oneself from Richard Schwartz, PhD who believes that there is not just one internal self but multiple. Sounds nuts right?!
But just think about it, how many times do you hear annoying voices in your head that challenge your decisions? Yeah…you’re nuts and it’s perfectly normal. From my interpretation we all have one main “true” self and the other parts of ourselves develop as defense mechanisms to protect us from things we have difficulty dealing with. Take a look at the articles linked below:
These articles could help give you more insight into the workings of your inner self as they have done for me.
Now let’s attempt to unveil my mental ladies, shall we?
From my count I have about 4 or 5 very distinct “parts” of myself. The People Pleaser, the Smoking Gun, the Home Girl, and the Delicate Flower. Don’t worry I will break each part down for you as you might find one part of yourself in some of these descriptions. Right now I invite you to take a moment to call out to your different parts and to formally meet their crazy asses for the first time…
The People Pleaser
She is an annoying ball of joy. She gives love and trust freely no matter how many times she’s been hurt and always sees the good in people. Her optimism stems from a need to see the bright side in life and people, rather than deal with ugly truths that would make her feel mistreated, alone, and unloved. She counters every negative experience with a “Maybe she/he didn’t really mean to.” or a “Forgiveness is a virtue.” Most of the time I just mentally kick this heffa in her teeth and tell her to go play with Barbies.
The Smoking Gun
The smoking gun is a true bad-ass. She strings her curse words and witty rebuttals out way better than the real me could ever do and her temper is the stuff of legend. Through her I am able to express all of my suppressed rage.
She is truly merciless but I’ve come to realize that she does this because she’s afraid of being hurt again. She’s the one that usually kicks the People Pleaser in the teeth because she refuses to be anybody’s doormat. Pain from the past is always fresh on her mind and she feels it is her duty, NO!…Her Right to be let out every now and again. But because she is ruthless I just tell her to hush and go play with matches. Letting her out would ensure that I alienate myself from everyone and everything and she would be just fine with that.
The Home Girl
The home girl is like the equivalent of the stoner. She is soooooooooo chillllllllllllllllllll. Her emotions are always level so she looks at the other “selves” as dramatic and unnecessary. The home girl is the ultimate friend when it comes to chilling and having laid back conversations.
She’s cool and she knows it which is why she won’t let complicated emotions jeopardize her chill reputation. Her responses usually include “So they f****d you over, it’s not that bad” or “Dude, you’re totally overreacting; just forgive the damn person and move on because all this mental chaos is annoying and blowing my high.” The real, MAIN me usually asks what high? She then promptly lights up a blunt and I have no idea where she got it from.
I allow her to stick around longer than the others because her nonchalant demeanor is a welcomed “Switzerland” to all the extreme highs and lows of the other selves. Still, she’s one of the most dangerous because she simply doesn’t deal with emotion at all. Just good vibes and high vibrations.
The Delicate Flower
She is best friends with the People Pleaser for one reason; she wants to keep the peace because if not she erupts into water works like the world is ending. Her petals are fragile and welt every time someone does anything that intentionally or unintentionally hurts.
She is annoying but honest because while the People Pleaser is only concerned about the other person’s feelings, and the Smoking Gun is plotting her revenge and the Homegirl is emotionless; the delicate flower is the only one who expresses her hurt feelings in a way that doesn’t attempt to cover them up or dismiss them. She bawls her eyes out and yells “HOW COULD THEY DO THIS?!” The People Pleaser consoles her while everyone else closes the mental door to drown her out.
And then there’s ME. The real, main self among the multitude of selves. Attempting to listen to the advice that each one offers while they over talk each other.
I made these emotional selves literal so that I can better understand how to listen to what I feel and think. By asking the Smoking gun why she’s so angry I can then get to the root of what it is I truly feel and how to handle it in the best way.
When asking the Delicate Flower why she’s been crying all damn day I’m giving myself the opportunity to express the why without internal judgement. Asking my selves to explain their reasoning behind their thinking offers me a well-rounded understanding of why they ugh…why I feel a certain way and how to handle difficult situations instead of avoid them altogether.
At this point you’re either thinking “This B***** is crazy and needs help!”
(To you Sir I say too late I’m already in therapy so HA!)
“Damn, I feel understood because I have the same issue.”
Either way it pays to note that everyone on some level has this mental battle within themselves over things that are important or intense in nature. Admitting that you have voices in your head is the first step to conquering them all. I allowed my many emotional selves to discourage me from handling a situation that upset me recently and in turn wasn’t true to any of myselves.
So next time when I’m feeling conflicted inside I won’t be so quick to run from myselves or the situation; instead I intend to square my shoulders and unleash what I think and feel onto the situation. Because only then can anything be resolved with honesty, respect and love for myselves and the other person(s).
DO YOUR THING SYBIL!
Do you have emotional selves that keep you from dealing with difficult situations? Comment below and Let’s Talk about them.