Do you know your Inner Dummy? Do you know who or what an Inner Dummy is? I thought not. Let’s take a look.
I have an Inner Dummy, and you, and everyone for that matter, have an Inner Dummy. Mine is pride, or I should say false pride. Pride is a good thing. One should be proud of good personal attributes, such as integrity, self-discipline, work ethic and loyalty. False pride is really different. False pride is feeling others should honor you, appropriately (in your opinion) respect you, submit to you or even subordinate to you. If false pride is your Inner Dummy, and someone does not honor you, appropriately respect you, submit to you or subordinate to you, then you may experience a feeling of being dishonored or disrespected, which, in turn, may cause you to become defensive (withdrawn) or even aggressive. You may even lash out at the perceived perpetrator, feeling that person could not possibly care for you and disrespect you at the same time. There are many other Inner Dummies. Perhaps your Inner Dummy is based upon fear, either fear of rejection or fear of abandonment, or perhaps some other fear. Maybe your Inner Dummy is guilt or shame based. Only you know.
You may be wondering if you have an Inner Dummy. I can tell you how to spot your Inner Dummy. Want to know? It’s simple.
What behavior of which you are not proud do you engage in on a repetitive basis? What bad behavior of yours do you not want broadcast on a reality TV show? Now, be honest with yourself. If you tell yourself you do not engage in such behavior, then you might want to ask yourself if denial is one of your bad behaviors. Picture a video crew following you around 24/7, recording all of your behavior. Is there any your behavior that video crew would capture that you would really rather not be broadcast all over the world? If that “misbehavior “does not pop into your mind, then stop, close your eyes take a deep breath and honestly recall the most recent time you acted in a way with respect to a spouse, child, family member or really close friend in a manner you would not want broadcast on national television. All of us engage in behavior of which we are not proud. Almost all of us engage in that behavior on a repetitive basis. What is your repetitive behavior that leaves you feeling, after reflection, less than proud, and which behavior you would not want broadcast on some reality TV show.
Now that you can visualize that behavior, let’s explore how you feel a minute or two (or even a few seconds) before your bad behavior pours out of you. Are you ready to do that? I get a knot in my stomach and I feel as if I am being cornered, or, perhaps better said, pressured to assert myself. When I feel I am being disrespected or dishonored by those close to me (spouse, family or friends), I feel threatened and react with a “need” to assert myself and “demand” the respect to which I believe I am entitled (I am a lawyer, so when I feel that way in a business context, I have an entirely different response: I calm down, get objective and develop a plan that neutralizes my perceived threat) . It’s in my personal world that I am less objective. How do you feel immediately before your Inner Dummy takes control of you? Do you get tense, knot in the stomach tense? Do you feel yourself melting into a puddle of helplessness? Do your thoughts begin to run together, overlap and get loud so that your brain sounds to you like a fast moving train? Or do you latch onto a singular thought and forget everything else? How do you feel immediately before your bad behavior takes control of you?
Now that you have identified that feeling you have immediately before your bad behavior, what do you believe triggers that feeling? Is your trigger what is going on around you or what is going on inside of you? I say it is what is going on inside of you. External circumstances change constantly. If you repetitively allow bad drivers and bad traffic conditions to annoy you to the point of frustration and even acting out (the hand gesture aimed at the guy that cut in front of you), you probably also have the same feeling, and therefore behavior, when it’s really busy in the supermarket, or the kids are running around like human tornadoes or multiple, conflicting demands are placed upon you in your workplace. The facts are different, but that feeling you have in response to those external factors and the behavior you demonstrate as a result of that feeling are more likely than not very constant. True? So, what is going on inside of you that causes you to feel that way? This is the critical question because your odds of controlling your bad behavior are slim to none if you don’t know what causes your Inner Dummy to gain control.
I can’t help you with that, and certainly not via the Internet, but there are those who can help you discover what lets your Inner Dummy run wild. My favorite is Pathways Core Training, Inc. , a non-profit organization that conducts experienced based trainings within a safe environment that allows you to explore who you are at the core of who you are. There is no therapy involved in these trainings as it is up to you to create your own training within a series of processes that are directed by experienced facilitators. I am biased because I have completed the Pathways trainings and because I sit on its Board of Directors. I encourage you to find out more by visiting their website at www.createagreatlife.org and calling them at 972.791.0337.
If you found this post interesting and want to learn more, please send me a comment and I will be happy to respond the best I know how.