WordFood - how we feed or starve our realtionships

- Julia Hubbel

Julia’s ability to get this group of type-A executives to engage in true networking was incredible. She is truly skilled at motivating the group to engage and interact with each other, and her openness and honesty really come through.

— Shelley Stewart, Jr.,
Senior Vice President of Operational Excellence and Chief Procurement Officer, Tyco

August 20, 2012

When Our Parts are Speaking WordFood

All of us are made up of personalities, or “parts,” and they show up in different circumstances. Psychology today recognizes that this isn’t multiple personality syndrome at all, but the way we all react differently in different situations, and how we may be swept away by an emotion or state of mind.

For example, let’s say you’re a grandparent and the kids are bringing over your two year old cherubs for an afternoon visit. Unfortunately, you and your husband have gotten into a rip roaring argument about the car accident you got into the the day before. There you are in the living room screaming at each other, faces contorted and red, gesticulating, looking like the devil incarnate, when the darling kids hurtle in the door. “Grammy! Grammy!” Instantly you transform into angelic Grammy and sweep them into your arms, your face is transformed, all anger forgotten. Are you schizo? Not in the slightest. These are our parts. One part of you was arguing, the other part of you is Grammy, and they are both perfectly legitimate. They both have unique egos and personalities.

Every day we are subject to the demands of life, and we speak nutritious or toxic WordFood to each other based on which part of us is in play. At times we might think later about ourselves and think, ” What I jerk I was!” But in truth, it was just a part. It’s not the whole of us.

We can get drunk on our egos, get angry at times, and not care who gets hurt. At times like this our egotistical parts can be like an out of control bowling ball and take out everyone in the room, and the next day someone taps us on the shoulder asking for an apology. At that point we’re sober again. “Who me? But I’m not like that! I’m a nice guy!” The truth is, we are like that- a part of us anyway.

We each have within us a multitude of these parts and they write checks in our name all day long. Emotions like fear, anger, frustration, love sweep us off our feet and we end up saying all kinds of things that otherwise might be withheld. It’s the legacy of being human. What’s important is to remember that we’re all like this.

Last night I was having a conversation with a dear friend and I had a part out that wasn’t very attractive. She has been through a lot of losses and it would have served me better to do more listening than talking. But true to her nature she spent a lot of time coaching and listening. It’s instructive when we can look at our parts and see them in action, and learn from them how we interact.

A few years ago during NFL season there was an ad showing cowboys herding thousands of cats. That’s what it’s like, trying to manage our parts. They are unruly, prone to rise based on our emotional state, and we will speak all kinds of WordFood when we are in their grip. If we develop a greater awareness that we have parts that can at times speak out of turn, then we can not only be more accepting of this in others, most important we can accept in ourselves.

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