What if I’m interested in getting to know my subpersonalities, but I’m not sure what they are? [I personally don’t have the problem of needing to identify mine; we are pretty well identified!]
This exercise on Integral Options Cafe about defining the disowned self, or a set of disowned subpersonalities, gets me thinking. In a nutshell, the exercise suggests picking an intimate relationship that you have with a friend, family member, lover, etc. Then list all the ways in which that person pisses you off. In what ways does the person seem contemptible, inferior, weak, whiny, etc.? What don’t you like about this person?
Also, at the same time, collect a list of traits that are the opposite of what piss you off about this person. What’s so good about you? What are your strengths? What are the parts of you that give you satisfaction?
The traits that you identify with and that make you happy correspond to the traits of a primary self, someone that you identify with very closely, maybe even your ego or everyday persona. The traits that piss you off about the other person are still your very own traits, but put in the form of a disowned self, someone that you do not identify with and try to shove away.
The conclusion here is to run toward, not away from, the piss-off traits. The piss-off traits represent the parts of you that you dislike so much that you project them onto other people, claiming that someone else over there is a perfectionist, critical, uptight, unemotional, flat and pedantic problem, not you! The piss-off traits are all you, and, the more you shove them away onto other people, the more they will come back and bite you in the ass. [Suppression never works.]
Self-knowledge lies in the places you least suspect it: the places inside you where you don’t want to go. Potential self-knowledge lies, waiting, inside your faults. If you turn yourself to face you, but you’ve never caught a glimpse of how the others must see the faker because you’re much too fast to take that test [ch-ch-ch-changes], you need to slow down and scrutinize what you hate in other people.
What you hate in others is what you reject in yourself. What you reject in yourself is mostly just parts of yourself marked so strongly by dislike that they seem negative, but they’re not inherently bad. You in your hate just think they’re bad. They’re really not. They’re really value-neutral, and they can be employed beneficially if you look past the coating of hatred and see them for the raw materials they are.
This message has been brought to you by the one who knows these things. Thank you.