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  • Writer's pictureAmelia Harshfield

feel complete by connecting with the four people within you, part two

Updated: May 9, 2023

What can understanding the Four Parts Within by Merja Sumiloff do for you? You can learn which part of you, an inner child or adult process, is making decisions or gathering information. It will keep your life moving on your authentic path. You will spend less time going either 0 or 100 miles per hour with nothing in between. You will feel more like yourself. You will understand the parts of you are parts, so when you are feeling emotional you will learn how to comfort that part of you. Plus so much more.

You might be a loving person yet have a side that makes cold decisions with people. You may act differently under stress. Who is the part of you which comes out when you get stressed, tired, and reacts to someone in a way you are not proud of? Those are some examples of your inner children acting out in your life. Some might only come out under stress or if you've been drinking.

Each of the four parts of us has different skills, strengths, and goals. Each feels loved and heard in its own way. Each has skills they are not good at. So who are these four parts within? The Four People Within starts with the Adult Self or the Driver. This is the part of you you identify with most. You spend the majority of your time with this part. You describe the majority of this part when you describe yourself. Because you spend the majority of your time here, you are really skilled at this part of you. The previous article talks about the four parts of you. Those are your Four People Within. You chose the one you liked most (thinking, feeling, sensation, intuition), spent the most time practicing it, and now you are most comfortable in this role. The introvert and extravert labels, although we all are introverted and extraverted in ways, just determine which is your adult self or where you spend the majority of your time. So if your adult self is introverted, then you spend the majority of your time in your head or inner world which you feel is your safe space. If your adult self is extraverted then you spend the majority of your time operating outside of your head, like with people, computer systems, rehabbing a house, and that is where you are most comfortable.

The next part of you is your Inner Parent. It helps balance the Adult Self. If your Adult Self is extroverted your Inner Parent is introverted. If you are introverted in your Adult Self, then your Inner Parent is extroverted. Your Inner Parent a part (thinking, feeling, sensation, intuition) you practice but not quite as good as your adult self. So you spend your second most amount of time here. The Inner Parent is crucial for your healing path because it tends to the needs of your inner children. Without a strong Inner Parent, your life is likely controlled by your inner children, which makes it quite bumpy and sporadic.

These two Inner Children, the three-year-old inner child and the ten-year-old inner child, are the two remaining of the four parts where you spend the least amount of time in. That means you are the least practiced with them.

The ten-year-old inner child is the part of you that has wonderful strengths and specific weaknesses. Think of it as a ten-year-old child within you. It wants to be an adult but is not quite there yet. It tries very hard and wants to be right. It operates in only black or white terms. So things are always this way, or never that way. It says things like things will always stay the same, I'm never going to be effective enough, I need to be smart to feel worthy, and what I see is going to happen in the future is going to be right.

If you hear yourself saying those blanket statements in either your head or out loud, that is your ten-year-old inner child. Congratulations! You've identified that part of you. This part tends to be perfectionistic. Depending on your Myers Briggs Personality Type, it is either a decision-maker or an information gatherer. If it's decision making it only makes decisions on a 0 or 100% basis. You are either not going to make a move or are going to take a giant leap. There is no in-between. If your ten-year-old is an information collecting part, it only receives information in the same all or nothing fashion. You will notice that no one is asking you to hang out. If you see yourself making these kinds of decisions or acting in this way, your ten-year-old is probably controlling your life in that area. Your Inner Parent needs to step up and help make decisions rather than relying on your ten-year-old inner child. This way you can have a life that is in shades of gray rather than always being black or white.

The fourth and final part of you is the three-year-old inner child. It is like a three-year-old girl or boy inside of you. It too has specific strengths and weaknesses. If you see yourself having childlike behavior or in a state of wonder, then that is the side of you. If you have not put work into connecting with the little part of you it might not be obvious and only come out under stress. This part of you is the part (thinking, feeling, intuition, or sensation) you identify with least. Of the Four Parts Within, you likely spent the least amount of time with it. So you might be pretty nervous or insecure when you use this part of yourself. You only have about 10-15 minutes' worth of energy in this area then you probably get burnt out. Your three-year-old holds your deepest wounds and biggest fears. Because of that it also holds the key to your purpose path, which is beneath those pain points.

A healthy Inner Parent helps hear the concerns of your Inner Children, figure out what they need, and then give that to them. So it's a practice of talking to yourself, seeing where you are off, and what you need to become balanced again. It usually involves asking questions, like are you tired and need a nap? Do you need to say no to something you already committed to? Are you exhausted and want some rest? Do you need to unplug right now?

Your three or ten-year-old can make biased decisions based on their fears. They collect inaccurate information or make decisions from what they think is going on, even though it might not be actually what is happening. So it's like their fears color what they believe is happening, and if you use their corrupt information or decisions in your life, you tend to make unhealthy decisions. Instead, the Inner Parent needs to hear they are scared and tend to their needs. Recently someone who I've never seen before told me that I hated them. I asked them how they knew that? They didn't have an answer. This person's inner children made up a story that I hated this person rather than having any kind of conversation with me about it. Your inner children make you believe things that are not true because they are scared and need to protect themselves.

To understand your specific four people within, email me at Your life can get so much easier with understanding the Four People Within.

Photo credit:

Luke Brugger with Unsplash

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