The Inner Child The Outer Child

Today’s topic for the weekly LBC post comes from Lin. Since I had never had to deal with the concept of the outer child, I had to undertake some research to understand the term before I could attempt to write on the topic. And, I am glad that I did.

I quote from an article in the Huffington Post by psychotherapist Susan Anderson.

“You have an Inner Child that represents your emotions and primal needs.

You have an Outer Child that represents your self-defeating behaviors.

You have an Adult self that needs to get stronger so it can nurture your Inner Child and tame your Outer Child so you can reach your potential for greater life and love.”

If you read the article you will come to understand, as I did what exactly self defeating behaviour is! As I understand it, all that it means is that the outer child is the action part of the duo of feeling and translating it into action. To the best of my knowledge, I have not ever thought that anything that I did ever was self defeating possibly with the exception of having acquired a habit of smoking! Since I have quit smoking, there is little that can be called self defeating in my behaviour now unless some independent observer comes along to point out otherwise.

The entire subject however was tackled differently by one of my favourite authors Viktor Frankl.
quote-between-stimulus-and-response-there-is-a-space-in-that-space-is-our-power-to-choose-viktor-e-frankl-10-18-45

I think that I have been able to use that gap quite effectively over my life and I continue to use it even now. As the oldies amongst us would say, I am measured in my ways!

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10 Responses to The Inner Child The Outer Child

  1. tammy j says:

    i read the link. a very interesting article.
    i remember reading years ago about the inner child and the adult.
    i didn’t recall at the time about the ‘outer child.’ so that was interesting.

    when you’re raised by a strict disciplinarian… it takes quite a long time to learn to have your OWN should and shouldn’t… not just your parent’s.
    my ‘adult’ was far stronger than my child for a long long time.
    now i’m happily pretty balanced i hope! and ever growing. i also hope.
    tammy j recently posted..each age

  2. My favorites are

    He never grew up; but he never stopped growing.
    —Arthur C. Clarke, epitaph for himself

    and

    Stay curious and open to life. No matter what happens, keep learning and growing. Find what you love to do and find a way to share it with others.
    —Cheerful Monk

    Cheerful Monk recently posted..Junk Mail and Ads

  3. nick says:

    I think I have very little in the way of self-defeating behaviour, unless you include a lack of self-confidence and timidity. But I have ways of overcoming those underlying traits and psyching myself to do what I need to do. But Inner Child/ Outer Child is a strange distinction. Surely the so-called Outer Child is still internal in that it consists of the thoughts and feelings that prompt us to behave badly. Like the desire to impress, or the urge to spend too much.
    nick recently posted..Wild emotions

  4. shackman says:

    I get it – you are born selfish, learn to manipulate to get what you think you need and then grow up to learn the difference (hopefully) between what you want and what you need.

  5. I remember hearing about this “space” that Frankl proposes. Seems he is talking about empowerment. Making those choices that move our lives forward, or hold us back.
    Still the Lucky Few recently posted..A Short Break

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