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  • Writer's picture Zalman Nelson - Therapist

How to Heal Your Inner Child: Listening

listen to inner child

We all have an Inner Child. It's who we were until around 12 years of age; the part that absorbed all the formative messages and experiences growing up and through the school years. The good stuff about who we are, the unmet emotional needs that we continue to struggle with, that go unmet, and are at the heart of the emotional triggers in all of our relationships.

Working With Your Inner Child

How do you work with your Inner Child and heal her? A key part of healing is to validate her by hearing her. Like with a good friend that's struggling and comes to talk with you. You put down your phone, are present, and tune in. The hearing and paying attention are validating. It's a statement that your friend is of worth: worth your time to stop what you're doing and turn in. Our Inner Child – think 7-year-old you – needs the same thing: to be regularly treated in ways that demonstrate she's worthy, valid, lovable, cared about, safe, secure, and matters.

Hear, Listen, and Understand Your Inner Child

Listening, hearing, and understanding are essential. When someone comes to you to talk and share what's on their mind or what they are going through, you don't have to "do" anything other than hear, listen, and understand. Of course, bear in mind that hearing, listening, and understanding doesn't mean 1) that you agree; or that 2) you forfeit your right to share or have your own view and opinion.

And when you hear, listen, and understand someone you've just done for them so much. You don't have to fix the issue or give the advice to make it go away. That's step two if the speaker even wants advice and help. Rather, what needs to be done for someone, first and foremost, when they share is just to hear, listen, and understand. You've given them so much: a sense they count and matter, are important, are allowed to feel, are cared about, and more.

Use Triggered Moments

The same applies to your relationship with yourself, your Inner Child. When feelings come up, when you're triggered, when you notice yourself overreacting, that's your Inner Child trying to communicate with you. Try to work on giving him/her the same hearing, listening, and understanding you give to others when they come to talk with you.

Use the feelings chart in The Trigger Method, or try any of these four statements, next time you sense triggered emotions come up for you and you try to connect with them.

#innerchild #innerchildhealing #innerchildwork #emotionaltriggers #emotionalvalidation


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