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6:21 PM


Critical Parent Ego State - The Critical Parent ES is that network that has recorded on it all of the childhood messages of parents and other authority figures -- in other words an Introject.

Many of the messages were assimilated (accepted as part of self)... "look both ways before you cross the street". Others were "taken in" but not assimilated (introjects) because they created limitations and barriers to intimacy..."don't talk, don't trust, don't feel".

These are also known as Internalizer and an Externalizer but we tend to fall closer to one end of the continuum than the other.

Internalizers tend to turn their critical parent messages inward to create (Introjection) and perpetuate what we know as low self-esteem and negative self-talk.

Externalizers turn their CP messages outward (Projection) to create and perpetuate what we know as grandiosity or narcissism. These characteristics of self-centeredness (aka "Big Ego") are created by the psychological defense mechanism of reaction formation.

Angry/Defiant Child Ego State - The Angry/Defiant Child is the network that developed somewhere in the modeling period between 9 and 13 years old...usually closer to 12 or 13. It's the part of us that learns to resist and endure abusive, hurtful behavior from others.

If we grew up in a family where expressions of anger or defiance were strictly prohibited, it was important to repress our Angry/Defiant Child ego state. Another term for this is disowning a part of ourself.

Repressing our Angry Child frequently results in the polarizing effect of strengthening our Vulnerable Child -- another reaction formation.

With a Pronounced Vulnerable Child and a Repressed Angry/Defiant Child it becomes difficult, it not almost impossible, to set healthy boundaries and protect ourselves -- our anger helps us set our boundaries so we can maintain our separateness or autonomy.

Vulnerable Child Ego State - The Vulnerable Child is the network that developed during the the imprint period -- 1 to 7 years old...usually between 3 and 6 years old.

If we grew up in a family where tears, crying, and other expressions of vulnerability were prohibited then we had to learn to repress, or disown, our Vulnerable Child ego state.

Repressing our Vulnerable Child frequently results in the polarizing effect of strengthening our Angry/Defiant Child -- again, a reaction formation.

With a Pronounced Angry/Defiant Child and a Repressed Vulnerable Child it becomes difficult to feel compassion and empathy for others -- Our ability to be vulnerable allows us to let the walls down so we can connect emotionally to others in a healthy way.

Psychological Defense Mechanisms & Ego States

Digging in even deeper...

My Critical Parent messages are internalized. I'm guessing the other person's Critical Parent messages are externalized. I can definitely vouch for my Angry/Defiant Child being repressed during my teenage years, which causes the Vunerable Child to come more to the front. To my understanding this person had to instead repress their Vunerable Child, causing the Angry/Defiant Child to be pushed more towards the front.

These roles also fit in nicely with the roles in the drama triangle.
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