How to love, nurture and protect your inner child.
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Your Personal and Impersonal Styles or Channels
Switching to Personal Style
When you use your personal channels consciously you notice a distinct change, compared with your ordinary, everyday impersonal channels. One important distinction between personal and impersonal styles is about how we deal with our vulnerability. When we're using personal communication we're more connected but less protected.
When I started out doing this work I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a personal channel, but I and my younger protectors certainly knew how to use my impersonal energies to keep me from feeling vulnerable! My starting point for my own personal power work was learning to notice consciously when I was using my impersonal style, which, for a start, meant all the time.
Then I needed to recognise that this was a signal I was actually:
· feeling vulnerable
while, at the same time
· trying to avoid showing any sign I was feeling vulnerable.
Until I was aware of my vulnerability issues I found it very hard to feel comfortable using my personal style.
First, I had to learn more about how to deal with my own feelings and my own vulnerability about what I was feeling. I needed to develop better boundaries and other ways to protect myself. I wish I had known about emotional awareness back then. It would have helped.
Today I find it much easier and more comfortable communicating personally when I chose to:
· share information about my emotions with another person.
· tune in to the emotions another person is experiencing.
Once we’ve tuned in to someone else’s feelings it’s also easier then to share what is going on inside us as a result of tuning in.
At first this might be little more than acknowledging that we recognise and understand that person’s feelings. However as we develop our personal channels our empathy with that person will increase. Empathy is what we do when we tune in, recognise and support another person’s feelings.
Over time we can even learn to experience the same emotions as they are experiencing, at the same time. That helps us connect more closely. We get to the very personal point where empathy converts to sympathy.
Note: “path” and “pathos” are ancient words for “feelings” and “sym” is an old word that describes similarity. So “sympathy” literally describes ”sharing the same feeling.”
Personal and Impersonal Topics
When we're using our impersonal channels we stay rather carefully on safe topics or conversation that will keep our discussion well away from anything which might bring up or even give the other person a hint as to our vulnerability.
The less connected you feel, the better protected you are. So, most impersonal conversation avoids revealing much at all about what you're feeling.
Typical impersonal topics might be more about:
· impersonal objects, cars, clothing, sport, television, finance and of course the weather, politics and real estate.
· other people, particularly others who are not in the room. Also their impersonal objects their clothing, their jobs, their faults, their finances, their houses and their activities.
· the past rather than the present, but only those topics from the past that are safe and impersonal.
· impersonal things that I did recently or will be doing, playing sport, watching television, getting drunk, gambling, travelling, business or work-related activities.
· impersonal problems like finance, accommodation, transport, computers and my lack of time and how busy I am.
· impersonal thoughts or ideas, not my own. For example quotes from books, well known authorities, today’s radio programs or what’s on TV.
These all help avoid expressing personal views, thoughts or feelings on a subject.
Sharing Impersonal feelings
There may be some feelings that we feel safe sharing on our impersonal channels. Impersonal “I feel” messages tell other people more about what I do or how I spend my day. They don’t tell much at all about my personal issues, my vulnerability, who I really am or what’s going on inside me.
It’s more likely that they will help illustrate what I do when I connect with other people through my impersonal channels. Examples:
I am feeling busy, energised, successful, hopeful, worthwhile, anxious, frustrated, angry, tired.
A statement such as “I feel you don’t care.” is not a feeling at all. It is a judgement.
As you switch to the your personal styles, (and always assuming that the other person is ready to connect with you on the same more personal channel) the topics of conversation change. What we're talking about is more likely to include:
· what we really think and feel inside
· who we really are, our authentic personalities, rather than the personality we project in public.
· personal issues that impact on our life and our ability to communicate, self-confidence, things we worry about or that cause us concern and discomfort, our personal likes and dislikes,
· the parts of our personal history we're less comfortable sharing openly
· our more personal feelings particularly those that we're experiencing in the present moment as we communicate with the other person.
happy, sad, joyful, loving, exhilarated, emotional pain, fear, loneliness, spirituality, insight, imagination, impulse, instinct, inspiration, innovation, impartiality, innate understanding.
The more two people become familiar with communicating through their personal channels, the deeper the conversation is likely to become. New areas of conversation are tried out tentatively to see if both speakers are comfortable about bringing them into the personal discussion arena.
This means that both people are developing a stronger level of intimacy. This is illustrated by the way that they now feel safer sharing details about their vulnerability. Topics which were not discussed before, might now include:
· my more personal negative feelings about myself – shame, guilt, hopelessness, worthlessness, silly, stupid, devastated.
· the more vulnerable aspects of my relationships, my more vulnerable feelings, my fears, failings, faults, foolishness, dreams and hopes for the future.
. my thoughts and feelings about being a male or a female, straight or gay, celibate or flexible, committed or free.
You can usually tell that you have reached this stage by the topics being discussed, however another clear sign that you will notice is that you will also be feeling more vulnerable.
At this point you may choose not to stay at this level for too long. It’s often better to back away a bit until you know that connecting at this level is very safe and that you can confidently protect your own vulnerability around this level of openness.
It’s so very important that you neither expect nor ask the other person to take responsibility for protecting your vulnerability.
Even if they offered to do this for you, do not allow them to take on the task, because what they are offering to do is not only dangerous for either of you to try, it’s also impossible to achieve.
No matter what anyone else promises they can do for you, only you can look after your own vulnerability.
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