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The signs are much the same whether you are noticing your own, or someone else’s selves. Although the examples are about spoken interactions, you could observe the same pointers if you were reading the words.
1. Are the words being spoken reflecting polarity? Are they describing things as good or bad; right or wrong; one thing you must do but the other you must not do, one will work and the other will fail? Are they reflecting judgment or criticism of another person?
2. Is a speaker’s intensity or energy projected outwards towards the other person? Is the conversation about what the other person is doing, about their actions or the impact of what they have done or said? Is the talk mostly about why the other person should do differently or ought to change? This is one of the most significant pointer is that tells you that the inner selves rather than grown-
3. Does the speaker project a want, a need, an intention, or concern related to the hoped for results of this communication? In particular is it about wanting someone else to change so the speaker will then feel safer or better about themselves? The level of energy related to this intention may be strong or weak, but if you can see, hear or feel it, that suggests a self is involved in making the proposal.
4. Are words, phrases or reactions familiar , do they seem like replays of previous reactions, a repeat of similar past behaviour patterns? Each self, being a specialist has a very limited repertoire of responses. Is your response to the same kind of self in someone else similar?
5. In TA terms, is the emotional age of the speaker more child like or more parent like, than grown-
6. Does the level of power between speakers seem unbalanced? Do interactions with the other person seem to push each of you into either a polarised ‘stronger or more empowered’ or ‘low energy’ position (or you switch back and forth between each one in turn).
7. Are the ways power and control are being handled also familiar? For example -
8. Is there an emphasis on ‘doing’ things? Selves are more interested in actions and outcomes than allowing time for you to just ‘be’ yourself.
9. Is the level of energy or confusion more intense than you might expect in regard to this particular situation? Is that particular kind of intensity or confusion a familiar pattern? (See Cannons, Crucifixes or Concrete on page 1-
10. Does it look or sound as though there is a self trying to protect you in some of the other ways that have been explained in this section? The list on the page, (note links still to be added here) ‘ Things the Inner Selves Do For You’ summarises these.
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