You’re not hearing me!

I teach and use persona work pretty much every day. When someone is really stuck in an issue, it’s liable to be because a persona has been activated. Since our most difficult personas originated when we thought our survival was threatened, rigidity and unwillingness to soften are pretty clear signals that a persona has seized the steering wheel.

I don’t mind playing with a lot of my personas. My Airhead, Agnes Angst, Mrs. Victoria Hudson-Smith and Mr. Fix-it can be a lot of fun to play with. I don’t take them very seriously anymore when they decide to make their appearance.

But there are a couple of personas I have that I don’t enjoy. To quote Katie Hendricks, “You know you’re really in the grip when it’s not funny.” This week I came face-to-face with “You’re Not Hearing Me!” You know how it goes–you’re not hearing me so I HAVE TO TALK LOUDER!! As you might imagine, You’re Not Hearing Me has just about a .000 batting average in ever getting heard.

So I went back to the basics, being with it for awhile, then finally (with the help of my friends) getting down to the unarguable truth. Adding the dollop of appreciation allowed for real shifts to happen.

The good news of the week? You’re Not Hearing Me got heard. By me.

2 thoughts on “You’re not hearing me!”

  1. This resonated deeply with me and I realize why I become so reactive when certain ‘personas’ are activated. Can you explain more about these states and perhaps how to calm these more deep seated fears? My ‘you’re not hearing me’, ‘you’re hurting me’ and ‘you don’t love me’ personas were created in my early teens before a suicide attempt so they’re awfully tender and fairly prickly girls…

    1. Hi Peggy,

      You bet! The way I see them is that each persona was born when something emotionally overwhelming was happening for you. Instead of totally breaking down, you created a persona. Good thinking! (And–reading about your suicide attempt, I can hear how bad things felt for you at the time.)

      What I’d do now is to create a relationship with each of those personas. Talk to them. Treat them like dear friends who do their best to take care of you (even if sometimes their efforts are misguided). When they go into Reactive Brain, take time to be with them, reassure and soothe them, help them to calm down. Ask them what they really want.

      There’s a wonderful Persona Interview by Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks that I describe in my book, The Relationship Ride. Taking time to sit down and interview each of these parts can give you invaluable information about where they came from and how they’ve been doing their darndest to take care of you.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top