Some more signs that a small or young system may be  “driving your bus”

Over Active Storm warning system -  Forecasts and Predictions

It is understandable that an very young System who feels vulnerable will be watching people around them very carefully to see if trouble is brewing. The more the child experienced serious trauma during childhood the more this develops  generalised negative forecasts, predictions about how people are going to treat them or what they can expect others will say to them, based on  past experiences. Examples: “People never trust me so I can’t trust other people” ; “I will get hurt / ripped off/ ignored unless I get in first”. 


Polarised or Black and White thinking and Flipping

Parts that are too young emotionally, usually take a child-like polarised black or white approach to problems. Usually there is a long distance between the two opposite positions and little or no flexibility.  This can lead to a number of related problems, in particular flipping.

That is when two opposite emotionally younger parts or systems if left to drive your bus, can flip backwards and forwards quite suddenly between two polarised (too far apart) points of view or positions. This leads to a very rough trip.


Too much intensity or ‘revving the engine’  

All the above are more intense if there is more hyper vigilance resulting from a higher level of childhood trauma.  The level of intensity is a useful measure of the degree of trauma experienced in childhood

Emotionally younger parts   tend to get energised very rapidly, you can often feel them ‘rev their motor like a racing car’.  


Engaged becomes Enmeshed -  too much connection, too often, too intense or too long

Something we all do, called ‘engaging’ can become too intense. You can engage with a friend, a partner, a client, a boss or a customer in a positive and functional way. That’s really just another way of saying you concentrate your attention as closely as you need to get the most out the connection.

But if you put too much intensity into the connection it can change into enmeshment. You get locked into the connection far more than you wanted or needed to. Even in your mind you are unable to escape from the feeling of being too connected. Thoughts about the person, what they did, what you wish you could say to them all keep running through your head, over and over and over.

Example: A strong desire to get even with someone who has hurt us.


Things go wrong   - How often does this happen ?

At these times things that you do or that people do with you seem to go wrong.  Too often things don’t turn out the way you hoped they would.  What you  hoped for or really wanted to happen, or the words  you really hoped for were not spoken.


Back to Front Activity

Sometimes a person will think back over events and realise “That was something I know I didn’t want and yet I found myself trying to get it” (or the other way around)


Not Noticing – Unaware

If an Emotionally young part is in charge one of the things you may not notice is how often you fail to notice a lot of things that you should be noticing, until it is too late!


Body pain in a specific part of the body - an “un-healed emotional wound”.

Emotionally younger parts will often experience severe pain in a specific place in the body, a feeling inside that people describe as an “un-healed emotional wound”. This is a real physical pain, even though it is emotionally based. Quite often the wound is located at a specific spot somewhere deep inside your body. And it feels as though it will never heal.

If you think back you may remember having that same pain for many years, usually back into childhood. It’s a big help if you can recall the situation or the time in your life when you first felt that pain and who was around you who may have been connected with the initial wounding. 


Repeated Patterns of Self defeating behaviour (RSDP) or shooting one’s self in the foot.

An Emotionally young parts may follow a number of RSDP patterns including one or more addictive cycles

If something doesn’t seem to work very well or not at all and yet a person keeps repeating the same pattern this is an indicator that warns us that it could be an emotionally younger part driving the bus.

Only an emotionally young part keeps expecting the same unsuccessful behaviour to ‘work better next time’ even though it never worked in the past. Only an emotionally younger part gets disappointed and puzzled why repeating the same pattern is less successful each time.

More on RSDP (Click here)


Unbalanced problem solving   or reasoning

Emotionally younger parts   often feel unable to come up with logical or reasoned ways of explaining things  but may instead put forward child like explanations, attempting (unsuccessfully) to explain for example   “Why” or “Why it won’t work”. Many of these “reasons” may include the false argument that a situation is impossible to change.


Fling it Away

This is often followed by a “fling it all away” statements like “I can’t do this any longer

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It’s OK to feel “young at heart” as long as your emotional tool bag
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