Taming the inner child


When I was growing up, I talked a lot. You couldn’t shut me up and, in fact, I was made wrong for it. When I was 8 years old I was given a dummy as a present and teased by my family. They would chase me around the house saying “Pamela talks a lot.” Little did they realise the impact they were having on me as a young developing human.

Now 25 years later I am standing in my kitchen going nuts over the dishes not being done. With a voice in my head saying “No one listens to me!”

Then we spend time wondering why we do the things we do and how we got to the place we got to.

This is not to say we shouldn’t be responsible for how we act. Behaviours are learned and it is up to us as adults to make the decision to change the behaviours that don’t serve us or others any longer.

These behaviours can be as simple as flying off the handle because the dishes haven’t been done or ranting and raving about the clothes that are on the floor instead of in the washing basket.

When we act this way our behaviour is out of proportion to the situation. A story from our past keeps repeating itself. The feelings in that moment feel like the experience you had before. That moment when I wasn’t listened to as a child and teased for talking too much.

“I am not appreciated, no one listens to me” and all these hurts are real again. In that moment we are unconscious to how we are behaving. Ever heard of the saying a blind rage? In that moment, all we are is feeling, we are not present.

As human beings all we want is to be listened to and loved. It sounds mushy and gooey however, whether you like it or not, it is true.We are not given the attention we deserve and therefore past hurts never get dealt with.

There are many theories that talk about this type of behavioural pattern.

It is important that as leaders we understand where these upsets may come from and understand that we need to take responsibility for them. With our staff it gives us freedom to understand that nothing is personal unless you make it.