We all have an inner child and for a lot of us that child feels lost, lonely, rejected, unloved and very frightened. Most of us have spent our lives criticising and berating that little child – when all that child wants is to be loved unconditionally.

Most of us learnt as children not to express our true feelings. We were constantly told things like ‘don’t be sad’, ‘oh please don’t cry’, ‘calm down’, ‘cheer up’, ‘don’t be angry’, ‘take that smile off your face’, ‘be quite’, ‘you keep your mouth shut’, ‘speak when your spoken to’, ‘don’t be afraid’, ‘if you don’t stop crying I’ll give you something to cry about’, etc.

And when verbal, physical or sexual abuse were inflicted upon us, a lot of us coped by cutting off from our feelings completely. Consequently a lot of adults find it hard to cope with feelings – their own and other peoples’.

As children, all we want is to love and be loved. To be accepted exactly as we are. However very few of us were given unconditional love and to try and get the love and attention we wanted, we learnt to play games to get it. Typical games with roles such as:

The Pleaser
The Rebel
The Driver
The Layabout
The Victim
The Rescuer
The Rationaliser
The Manipulator
The Persecutor/Blamer

For a lot of us, when we tried everything and still felt unsafe and unloved, we then built a large wall around ourselves to protect our hurt inner child. Then as adults we wonder why our lives don’t work. The inner child can cause havoc in our lives and we need to learn what games that inner child is playing and to learn to love that inner child. When we didn’t express our true emotions those emotions are still being held in the body. We need to find out what feelings we have buried from the past and release them.

The more we learn to love ourselves and that inner child the more we can allow ourselves to get in touch with these blocked feelings. Once we release these blocked emotions we find we become our true selves, we get in touch with the power within, the great potential within each of us. We have learnt these behaviours so well as children that as adults we carry on these behaviours on an unconscious level unaware of how we are causing the havoc in our own lives. It is just like when you are first learning to type. You are very aware of the home keys and which finger you use to press which key. However, when you have learnt to type, you do it unconsciously without thinking about it. In fact, if someone were to ask you which finger you use to press the letter C, you would have to stop and look before you could tell them, yet you do it all the time without thinking. You have learnt it so well you do it unconsciously. So it is with the games we learnt as children.

The Rebel decides the best way to get attention is to go against the norm. To stand out in the crowd. Although this gets them attention it is usually not ‘good’ attention, however even bad attention is better than no attention.

The Pleaser learns to do just that – to please everyone but not themselves. They say ‘yes’ when they really want to say ‘no’ because they are afraid they will upset the other person and that person won’t like they anymore. They continuously do things that they don’t really want to do just to please the other person. They get their needs met by other people liking them. However after years of this type of behaviour they can lose their own identity and end up not knowing what they want from life.

The Driver grows up feeling not good enough and is always seeking that love and attention mainly from their parents. They are striving to achieve more and more. Better qualifications, better job, better home, better car, etc. There is nothing wrong with this if that is what people want and let’s face it most people do. However with the driver, they are doing it just to prove to others that they are good enough. When people who are drivers realise the game they are playing they often admit that they didn’t really want all those qualifications; that they were just trying to prove themselves to others especially their parents. The ‘I’ll show them’ syndrome.

The Layabout or sometimes known as the lazy layabout. This person has usually tried all the other behaviours and didn’t get the love or attention that they needed. So they decide ‘what’s the use’ and give up on life. They drop out of school or college, become unemployed. The ones who lay about on the settee all day watching TV and forever saying that they are bored.

The Victim – Many children learn to become a victim. They get their needs met by other people taking care of them. They feel they can’t take responsibility for themselves. It’s the ‘poor me’ syndrome. They feel helpless and look to blame others for everything that goes wrong in their lives. When other people try to help them, they always come up with excuses for not taking responsibility, such as, ‘yes but’ and ‘I can’t do that’.

The Rescuer gets their needs met by taking care of others. They rush in to try and solve others problems and look after them. This keeps them from looking at their own problems. They do things for the other person rather than show the person how to do them for themselves. This keeps the other person stuck so they can keep looking after them. The rescuer is actually a victim in disguise.

The Rationaliser learnt at an early age to cut off from their feelings and go into their head to figure things out. This is their protection from feeling emotions. However, they are likely to attract people to them that display the emotions that they are holding onto. These people will press their buttons to get them in touch with their buried emotions. When they allow themselves to express those emotions they won’t have the need to attract these people into their lives.

The Manipulator gets what they want by manipulating the situation to their own advantage. They don’t ask for what they want directly. They can get very upset when the other person doesn’t fall into the trap and they then accuse the other person of being selfish.

The Persecutor/Blamer says nothing is ever their fault. They always pass the blame onto another person or thing. It is much easier for them to do this than to take responsibility for their own actions.

The game that is played most of all in any type of relationship is the victim, rescuer, persecutor/blamer and this is how it works.

As I said before, the Victim needs someone to look after them and the Rescuer needs someone to look after. This way they both get their needs met. So the victim invariably attracts a Rescuer to them. This arrangement works well for a certain length of time and then the Rescuer gets pissed off with putting their own life on hold all the time and they move down into the position of Persecutor/Blamer and start blaming the Victim for everything going wrong in their life. The Victim then becomes very uncomfortable with this as they don’t want to loose the Rescuer so they then move into the position of Rescuer themselves. This makes the Persecutor/Blamer feel better and they then move into the position of Victim. So now the roles have been completely reversed. The one who started off as the Victim is now the Rescuer and the Rescuer has now become the Victim.

This strange triangle continues endlessly until one person wakes up to the fact of what is going on (sometimes they never wake up). This person will then either decide to leave the relationship or will decide to stay in the relationship and break the chain anyway. If they decide to stay in the relationship it can take all of their strength and courage to change this situation, however it can be done.

This is why it is so important to learn to communicate with the inner child and discover what games we are playing and learn more healthy ways of getting the love and attention that we want and getting our needs met. A healthy emotional inner child creates a healthy emotional adult.

We find as we learn to love ourselves and the inner child, others treat us with love and respect. We start to take responsibility for our lives and we start to create the life we have always wanted for ourselves.

And the most miraculous thing is… IT WORKS!

Author's Bio: 

I have 15 years experience as a metaphysical counsellor and tutor. I run regular workshops on You Can Heal Your Life, Manifesting, Anger, Relationships and the Inner Child. My broad range of skills and training include: Louise Hay Teacher & Personal Coach, NLP Practitioner, Reiki & Seichem Master & Teacher, Bowen Therapist, Meridian Therapist EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Advanced Practitioner of EMF Balancing Technique (Electro-magnetic Field) and a Minister of Spiritual Peacemaking. I was born on a farm in Ireland and lived there until I came to England in the 60’s. At 12 I nearly died and had to relearn how to function as a ‘normal’ child after a long recuperation. At 14 I was attending college and running an 80acre farm by myself.

In 1990 I began my path of self development and have turned my life around completely, from being one of the ‘living dead’ to a person who is committed to assisting others in developing and using their own inner power to create what they want in life.