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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Harshfield

Be more of who you really are | Connect with the 4 People Within

Updated: Nov 2, 2023

NOTE: What lies below is the entire third chapter of the book I wrote that I have yet to publish. The book walks you through 8 processes that if they are worked will remove you from traps that most people are in (one being abandonment and another not knowing who you are) so you can find a deeper level of inner peace. The purpose of this chapter is to help you identify these different parts within you so you can use them to feel more like you. It's the foundation of my work, and it will most likely be confusing and take time to understand. But if you continue, you will find freedom that is beyond measure.


Chapter 3:

When you understand your beliefs and know how they are stored in your subconscious, you can use another tool to finish the job of unleashing you from the 8 traps. Merja Sumiloff’s Round Table model is that necessary tool. The Round Table model can be complex; however, it holds riches of how to move past the traps you are stuck in. If it’s used effectively, it can heal any wound and bring you home to yourself.

The Round Table model is a resource that will keep providing insights as much as you work it. To stop being affected by the 8 Traps requires you to get in touch with the parts that feel left out, sad, alienated, cast out, unheard, and alone. This book will cover words like 3-year-old inner child and 10-year-old inner child. Often your deepest pain and brilliant insights are held within those two parts of you.

Carl Jung’s work

Sumiloff’s Round Table Model is a continuation of the works of Carl Jung. Jung believed that people were in one of two states. They were either gathering information or making decisions. He found there were two ways in which people gather information; either from their five senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch) or through their intuition. Jung also realized people make decisions in two ways, how they think or feel about something. All in all, Jung found there are four different parts: sensing, intuition, thinking, and feeling.

Sensing picks up information by observing what is happening around you right now, as well as what has happened around you previously. Intuition, on the other hand, recognizes patterns to give you clues about what else could be happening right now or in the future. The feeling part makes decisions about what feels right to you and if it harmonizes with those around you. The thinking part makes decisions by what makes sense to them and what is the effective way of getting things done.

According to Jung, as you grew up you became fluent in one of the four parts (thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuition). Because of your time using the preferred part, you became less skilled with the other three parts. It’s like time management. The time you spend doing one thing takes away from other things you could be doing. You then use each of the other three parts with less and less skill as you spend less and less time in each of those parts. The fourth part is usually awkward, unnatural, and clumsy to use.

With Jung’s work, you use thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuition, but at different skill levels. Your order determines your strengths and gifts. Different types have four parts in different orders. You may be most fluent in this order: intuition, thinking, feeling, and sensing. Your brother who is a different type may be most fluent with the parts in this order: sensing, feeling, thinking, and intuition. You can see where you are different from people just by understanding the order of the parts. It can explain why you are competent with certain skills and others are proficient in others. It can also explain why people of different types can be unsure of themselves using their 3rd and 4th least used parts.

Sumiloff realized that your ordering of the four parts has certain patterns, particularly for overcoming wounding. She found that if you knew which of the four parts you were less skilled at you would understand yourself better. When you could recognize its voice, you could identify the part that is hung up on a trap. Then all you need to do is to know how to interact with each part effectively. This became her framework for The Round Table Model.

Adult Self

Sumiloff found that the part you use most often is how you see yourself. This is called the Adult Self. The Adult Self is the part that feels most like you. Unless you have experienced severe trauma, you have probably spent most of your time with this skill, so you are confident in it. Others may see this as a strength you have that they aren’t as practiced.

You are likely highly skilled with this part, so you may not understand that other people are not as experienced with this as you are. Much like a fish swimming in the water. This is a skill you may not see yourself doing because you have been developing it your entire life. The Adult Self is the part of you that you go to recharge. Spending time with this part makes you feel like yourself.

Inner Parent

The second most practiced part is called The Inner Parent. This is a balance to the Adult Self. You are reasonably skilled with this part but the Inner Parent might trip you up occasionally. However, if you have several traps you are stuck in, you may have an underdeveloped Inner Parent. That means you may not have the skills to keep yourself balanced. When the Inner Parent is weak, you fail to care for yourself and struggle to make good decisions. When that happens, the other part(s) of you, your inner children, feel like they have to take over where the Inner Parent is lacking. This can cause short-sighted decisions, repeating old unhelpful patterns, prioritizing wants instead of needs, and sabotaging your goals.

The Inner Parent has an important job. It must take care of the 3rd and 4th least used parts of you, called the inner children. These parts need tending to because they are developmentally limited due to the time you spend using the other two parts. For example, if you have a thinking part as an inner child, it is only able to think like a 10-year-old or 3-year-old child. If you rely on this part to make decisions, you may make short-sighted decisions. It just cannot make decisions with the skills of the Adult Self or Inner Parent.

Strengthening your Inner Parent is a key balancer to feel free rather than trapped. As you do this, you will find more belonging because you are bringing all four parts of you together rather than keeping them apart. Gathering information and making decisions from your inner children, the 3rd and 4th least used parts, makes your life unstable, chaotic, and exhausting. It can make you behave in a way that is unnatural to you. Then you wonder why you cannot feel good. If your Inner Parent does not know how to take care of your Inner Children, you are going to live in a chaotic state. It’s because your Inner Parent does not have the skills to look after yourself more. It has too many beliefs that it is caught up in to help you out. Removing the 8 traps from your life will give your Inner Parent the clarity and ability to become your true self.

10-year-old inner child

Much like a 10-year-old child, this part can sound like a know-it-all child when you engage with this part. It is stubborn and operates in black-or-white terms. For example, it may decide to trust a new friend with everything. Then later you find out they were not trustworthy. Or it may only see corrupt information rather than noticing the good things occurring as well.

Operating in these all-or-nothing terms is costly to your greater purpose and well-being. Your 10-year-old inner child does not know how to pace yourself. It moves your life at either zero or 100 miles per hour. So it can quickly lead you to burnout, exhaustion, and having wrong beliefs about the way the world works. Below are examples of how the four parts can hold these beliefs as a 10-year-old child:

· Thinking can have you believe that you either know nothing or everything about a topic. It may also believe that you either need to be effective or not. It can make you think that when you know nothing or are not effective then you are not a worthy person.

· Feeling can make decisions based on this-or-that terms. It can judge others or itself as an angel or devil. It can also take others' advice too seriously and only follow that without tapping into what is right for you.

· Sensing will collect information in either/or manner. It might say the experiences from the past were all bad, so you should never do anything similar again. Or it may say that the information that it sees and hears right now means you are bound for chaos. It may not see any other options.

· Intuition can see options in the future as all bad or that you believe a horrible situation is going to occur. It will not identify positive opportunities that can happen. It might convince you that the direction you are going in will end up in a bad way.

When your 10-year-old inner child knows its place, it is an exceptional sidekick that helps make good decisions. It knows when to pipe up and feels like it can trust your grown-up parts with looking after them. It knows when and how to speak up, so your grown-up parts hear its fears and trust your Adult Self and Inner Parent to support them. It feels relaxed, helpful, and considered.

3-year-old inner child

Your 3-year-old inner child is the least skilled of your four parts. It is the most insecure and needs the most comforting. This part needs gentle and loving boundaries as well as communication at a slow and kind pace. It holds your unique gifts and talents as this part becomes healthier. This part also has access to your deepest fears and other wounds in your subconscious. As you develop, it will drip never accessed information to you in surprising ways. Strengthening your relationship with this part has magical aspects to it.

Along with your 10-year-old inner child, your 3-year-old may be dictating your life, especially if these traps are prevalent. You may feel invisible, lost, and like something is missing but you are not sure what. Meanwhile, it can feel completely left out, burdened, and in the dark. Having a sense of joy is challenging with this part missing in your life. If left to its own devices it can become a blind spot and create significant problems. You may become reactive without a clear reason. You may become overly sensitive to something without knowing why.

When this part is acknowledged and included, it brings play and wonder to your life. It’s sweet, precious, and incredibly important. When healthy, this part’s concerns are heard, validated, and addressed. Its fears are soothed healthily and appropriately so it can relax and learn to play. You can spend about 15 minutes maximum with this part until it starts to get burned out and overworked. Please be gentle with this part as you strengthen your relationship with it.

The traps do not teach you to have a strong Inner Parent. That would enable you to think for yourself too much. Their influence leaves your Inner Parent lost so it cannot do its job of looking after your inner child parts. Then your inner child parts are left to run your life. Because they are making the decisions and gathering information, you think in all-or-nothing terms, you can be overly critical of yourself, and you wonder why things don’t ever work out for you.

The easiest place for the inner children to be seen initially is when you are stressed. If you are a kind person but become cold and inconsiderate when you have had enough, that is likely your inner child. They show up when you cannot tolerate situations anymore. They come out when you are fed up and had enough. They respond to text messages when you are triggered. They may act out when you are uncomfortable or nervous about a situation.

Exercise. Write your answers down:

When you become stressed:

  • How did you act?

  • What words did you say?

  • What words do you think?

  • How do you feel?

  • Can you see any fears that came up?

  • What triggered you into this stressed-out state?

  • Was there anything that you could not deal with anymore?

    • If so what was it?

  • How often does this happen?

Look at your answers above. When you are stressed out does it sound like any of the four parts (thinking, feeling, sensing, intuition)? If you cannot see any of the four parts in your exercise, that is perfectly normal. Your answers can come with time.

If you can recognize which part is stressed, you can notice that part is having a hard time. Then you can be able to talk to it and help it relax in a way that it understands. The more you can identify these parts, the more you can address their needs and concerns. Then you can help them when they are stressed rather than keep them reactive and doing regrettable actions.

How do you communicate with the different parts?

Identifying these different parts of you can take time. They are already operating in your day-to-day life but noticing them may be difficult. If you’ve ever had a dog, you probably know it’s different sides. Part of their personality may love to chase squirrels. Another part loves to curl up and nap. A third side adores treats and any tasty food. Another side may distract you from working to get their belly rubbed. All these parts are within the same dog.

Their environment helps decide which part of the dog you see. If you are walking outside, you can expect the dog to be on the lookout for squirrels. If you are inside at the end of the day, your dog may be sleeping. If your dog is bored at home and you haven’t exercised it, it may be bothering you for attention. What is happening around the dog will determine which part it is showing.

As your dog is exhibiting their different parts, you need to adjust how you engage with them. Getting their attention when they are sleeping and locked in on a rabbit will require different approaches. If you talk sweetly to them while they are stalking the rabbit, they will not likely not listen to you. They wouldn’t care about you doting on them. You wouldn’t get their attention and they would stay focused on the bunny. The same approach applies when they are interrupting you for attention. They are engaged with you, so you don’t need to work that hard to get their attention. They are focused on you, but you need to be firm so they understand when to leave you alone.

Adjusting your communication style is the same with the four parts of you. One part wants to make decisions about what can be done effectively and what is accurate (thinking). Another part wants to care about others and make sure decisions feel right for you (feeling). The third part wants to get information about what is happening right now and what you already experienced (sensing). The final part wants to see what patterns you have collected and look for possible ideas and solutions (intuition).

Each of the four parts has its own way of communicating that makes sense to the individual part. They can understand when you are addressing it in a way it comprehends. However, it will not listen to you if try to communicate with it using other ways. Mostly because you are talking to it in a way that it does not understand. Your point will be missed and they will keep doing what they are doing, whether it is healthy or not. This is a major struggle I see with people achieving sustainable results along their journey. They do not understand how to communicate effectively with the different parts, then they stay in the same traps and wonder why their life is not better.

Trying to communicate to the thinking part with words that the feeling part understands will be ineffective. That part will likely miss what you are saying and will not care about what is important to the feeling part. The thinking part does not understand emotions and probably finds them dumb and an overall hindrance. It will not understand your point if you keep trying to talk to it in any other way than what it understands. The same applies to the three other parts.

Part of this book is to teach you the words and phrases that are understandable to the different parts. That way you can talk to and reason with the four parts to get them to listen to you, reason with you, let go of their pain, trust you, and then be able to be guided by you. Pay attention to what words the different parts resonate with and what gets them to open up. The better you are at this, the more likely they will be to let go of their unhelpful beliefs and ways of operating that can lead you to your inner and outer paradise.

Is the 3-year-old and 10-year-old inner child what you experienced at that age?

This is a common question for those new to this work. However, the answer is now. What you experienced when you were 3 and 10 years old may have impacted any of your four parts. Additionally, the two inner children can also be affected by experiences at any age.

Remember, the ages of the inner children are two of Jung’s four parts, thinking, feeling, sensing, and intuition, that did not grow past a certain ability. Your two inner child parts became stuck at that age because you were busy developing your two preferred parts.

The ego and the inner children

The ego is a term you may be familiar with and is regularly used throughout different branches of psychology. The ego is the part of you that stands up for you and thinks it has your best interests in mind. The ego also looks out for you. It protects your best interests. It can help you strive for the things you want in life. It can give you the energy to go after what you want. It can save your life in a dangerous situation.

It can also hurt your life when its selfish behaviors are acted on. You may be embarrassed about how you act out of your ego. You may be ashamed of what you want or what you really think about people or situations when your ego comes out. The ego may come out when you are stressed and having a hard time. It’s often trying to look out for you but often misses the mark.

You may understand the ego is not all of who you are. It is part of you that behaves in a certain way it thinks is best. It can be a jerk, but that behavior does not describe all of who you are. It can be bossy, but it does not mean that you are always like this.

The separation between you and your ego is noteworthy because your inner children are like this as well. Your inner children are a part of you, not all of you. One of your inner children may act out, but that does not mean that is all of who you are. Much like your ego having a hard time, your inner child parts can get triggered. However, the other three parts do not have to follow. You can eventually recognize there is a part of you that is triggered and the rest of you can keep operating as usual. Understanding what to do when you are triggered will be covered in later chapters.

I believe that the ego is often the voice of a decision-maker part. If you look closely, it might sound stubborn, decisive, and like it knows best. I like to ask why the decision-maker is speaking up. Are they scared? Are they becoming triggered? Do they need your help with something? Treating that part of you with kindness can soften them to understand what is really going on rather than getting frustrated about what is occurring. You getting upset with yourself will not help these situations. But getting curious to find out what else could be going on can uncover answers to stop the behavior from reoccurring.

What is the point of soothing your inner children?

Confronting each of the 8 Traps enhances your ability to soothe yourself. By removing the constraints of these traps, you get to be more of yourself and have a peaceful mind. When you do so, your inner children learn to trust yourself more. You will prioritize yourself on another level and own your importance. You attract situations that are right for you. You get to accomplish what you’ve always wanted deep down, no matter how unattainable it seemed in the past. You feel heard, seen, and important, all because of the work of balancing the four parts.

How you soothe yourself is the key to this. If you can recognize when you are having a hard time, you can change the situation. Recognizing that in the moment will take practice. Asking yourself ‘which part is feeling off?’ will help identify which one needs attention. Then you can spend less time having a hard time and not doing anything about it. You’ll be meeting all of the four parts more. This stops anxiety and prevents you from running to unhealthy soothing techniques, like food, shopping, alcohol, and sex.

Exercise. Write these answers down:

  • Name the emotions that you are feeling right now.

  • Think back to the last time you were triggered. What emotions were you feeling then?

  • What could you have done to make yourself feel better in the moment that nourished you? This does not include doing things like saying something out of anger, saying what you’ve always wanted to say then leaving the house for a long time, and other examples of being rude.

  • Do you have any idea what you need to make yourself feel better?

  • Do you know what makes you feel calmer?

    • If you don’t know, then things like a warm shower, tea, a walk, and creating a plan can help ease your pain. More of this will be covered later. Thanks to Merja Sumiloff’s 4 People Within course for some of these questions.

What is the order of your four parts?

So there are four parts, the thinking, feeling intuition, and sensing that show up in the 4 different roles, Adult Self, Inner Parent, 10-year-old inner child, and 3-year-old inner child. Each Myers Briggs type has its own combination of the four parts in the four roles, which is how the parts are uniquely wired. However, there is still another aspect to add to the work to get the model to iron itself out.

Much like there are extroverted and introverted people, there is an extraverted and introverted version of the four parts. When a part is introverted, or inward-facing, it is only interested in what is happening within you. They are turned inward; they are not interested in what is happening out in the world and with situations. Others cannot readily see and interact with these parts of you. The introverted parts are interested in what you think is accurate (thinking), what feels right for you (feeling), your previous experiences (sensing), and the patterns you are detecting (intuition). You have two of the four inward-facing parts depending on your Myers Briggs type.

When the four parts are extraverted, or outward facing, they are interested in how things interact in the world. Because these are all interested in what is happening outside of you, that means they are focused on things other than yourself. These parts are interested in the most efficient way of operating (thinking), what is best for other people or a group (feeling), your physical experience right now and what information you can pick up with your 5 senses (sensing), and exploring unknown areas and finding new solutions (intuition). You have two of these outward-facing parts within your personality makeup. Like the inward-facing parts, the two parts you have depend on your Myers-Briggs type.

According to Merja Sumiloff, who is a qualified MBTI practitioner, each person has two introverted and two extroverted parts. Even though there are eight options in total. Each person only has four. Two are introverted and two are outward-facing. The Sumiloff Round Table Model is used to determine which of the four parts are within you (there are sixteen different combinations), and in which order. The 16 different Round Table Models are found at the end of this article. You will need your Myers-Briggs type to find the right Round Table model for you. If you do not know what your MBTI type is, talk to a qualified MBTI practitioner. Sumiloff has certified tests that you can take at any price point on her website

This model is confusing. It’s one of the downsides of this work. I was skeptical about seeing these different parts of me in the four roles, so if you are feeling that way you are not alone. This will take time to grasp fully. You don't need to understand the Round Table Model or know everything about it. You also don’t need to be a master to get results from the rest of the book. But I wanted to present this information so you can have some groundwork before our journey continues. To become free of the 8 traps, you will need to have a relationship with your inner children. Slowing down and getting to know them is a crucial step to finding you that is without these traps. All you have to do is try and keep trying. I’ve made this as simple as possible so you can spend more time getting results rather than dealing with vague self-help terms that can be interpreted in many different ways. Keep going.

Getting to know your inner children

Talking to your two inner child roles will be incredibly helpful in understanding what you need. This can transform the pain and challenges the 8 traps can cause. It can help you connect more with yourself. The better a relationship you have with your inner children, the more likely you are to be walking your unique path.

The questions below are phrased as you would talk to a child. You must talk to your inner children similarly. They will not understand or probably respond to questions that you would talk to an adult. Find them at their level. Don’t expect them to come to yours.

Exercise. Ask your 10-year-old inner child these questions:

  1. What do you enjoy doing?

  2. What do you like to do for fun?

  3. Would you like to spend more time together?

  4. Do you like drawing or going for a walk?

  5. What did you like to do in the past?

  6. Now ask these questions to your 3-year-old inner child.

  7. How did they respond?

  8. Did you have any insights from this?

It may take your 3-year-old and 10-year-old inner child time to talk with you. It will take more time for them to trust you. Your inner children, particularly the 3-year-old, may be suspicious of your motive. It may feel aloof and not fully present to you. If that is the case, remember that you have not looked after them in certain ways. You have likely failed them when they needed you, although you did the best you could at the time. Would you trust someone who has done the same for you? Acknowledge you not being there for them. Tell them that you are willing to better the relationship. Then you need to follow through with those actions.

If you get frustrated with this process, put yourself in their shoes. You need to show up and establish trust with them. You need to prove that you will change for them. Once you start establishing trust from your end, they will be more likely to communicate and share their thoughts, feelings, fears, and concerns.

If you continue this process long enough, your 3-year-old inner child will tell you information that is stored in your subconscious. Words will come to you that you’ve never thought of before. That 3-year-old inner child has the power to unveil behavior about yourself that is blind to you now. This is a sneaky way to access those powerful insights that are inaccessible to you now.

By looking after your four parts in the four roles, you can heal yourself, look after your needs, and have a gateway to your subconscious all by enhancing your relationship with yourself. You can live the life that is right for you. The journey can feel like magic, offer incredible opportunities, find a sense of freedom you’ve never felt before, feel less constrained, and make complete sense of why you have been struggling.


Below are two options that grow the relationship with the four parts within you. Try them both out.

  1. Spend time one-on-one with each of your inner children. They will enjoy different kinds of activities. If you are unsure where to start, you can take your 3-year-old inner child for a walk. Slow your pace down to keep up with this part of you. It may feel ridiculous at first but keep trying. Sumiloff recommends this exercise.

  2. Spend 20 minutes doing what you enjoyed as a child once a week for a month. Ask yourself at the end of it how you are feeling.

Round Table Models below:





Photo credits:

  1. Dan Meyers

  2. Kalen Emsley

  3. Pietro De Grandi

  4. NEOM

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