Last night I watched a movie about a young women whose
personality had fractured into 3 distinct people and it
started me thinking about what it is that makes up an adult
What is it that makes you…You or me….Me?
Clearly we All have our different sides, elements of us that
we present to different people for different reasons but how
many different sides or faces of me, does it take to make the
I like to think of these different ‘sides’ of ourselves in
terms of hats. We select to wear different hats for different
occasions, just as our personality pops on a different you
depending on the encounter.
I wear my Mum Hat when with my boys, My Nana Hat with my
grandsons, another for my husband or friends and yet an
entirely different one when working. In fact I could probably
fill a hat store, if I listed them all.
Each time we don a different hat, it is for a reason, a way
for us to cope in a particular situation. My Mum Hat, enables
me to nurture, love & fiercely protect my children; My Work Hat
displays more distance and objectivity; my Husband Hat...well
that one is pretty much the entire store, we’ve been together
so long. 🙂 but i am sure you get my drift.
We have emotional hats too:-
A Rain Hat for example is tough and impenetrable, it protects
us from the wet. So when we wear this we probably feel in need of protection from a situation, its our vulnerable & defensive side.
A Straw Hat we wear on sunny days, perhaps indicating we are in a happy more carefree mode.
These sides of ourselves, these metaphorical hats we wear,
form a coherent personality, swapping in and out as need
be, providing us with the skills we need in any given situation
enabling us to navigate our lives. They are generally not
fractured as they were with the young woman in the movie but
working together to make us a coherent whole.
But who has control?
Surely there has to be a manager of this store, some side of
our personality who decides which hat is being worn and when?
Who is the boss of you?
I suspect for most of us, it is the side we call experience!
The managerial hat of experience has learnt what hat needs to
be worn in each situation and sends you out correctly attired.
So why sometimes do things go wrong?
I feel personality disorders can stem from lack of management
or from mis management. With the young women in the movie, a
significant event in her life had sent her manager into hiding
and there was no longer a coherent whole. Once this happened,
different side / hats start to emerge as separate or distinct
personas, each vying for a spot in the hot seat.
To a lesser degree, I feel that this can happen to us all.
Have there not been times in your life when you don’t feel like
you (the manager) has control? Have we all not experienced
times when one or other of our emotions or hats takes over
management and screws us up?
Perhaps the Helmet of Fear keeps you from doing something or
encourages you to run? And because fear is a basic human
emotion, it is strong and suppresses all other sides in doing
so? But Fear is not a good manager and makes bad decisions.
It dominates and does not allow other hats to come forth so we are now trapped wearing a hat that is inappropriate for other situations. We end up becoming stuck inside the protection of our helmet. Once fear gains a foothold, its a tough hat to penetrate or remove. Its only interest is survival of self at a very basic level.
I feel that all hats have their place, we need the facade, the different faces to navigate our world. However when the wrong side of you shows up at the wrong occasion…….problems usually ensue. Keeping control of the many sides of our personality is not always an easy task and sometimes it can become just too difficult and problems begin. Certainly a key event in our lives, or perhaps just a long drawn out stressful situation, something that stresses us beyond our ability to cope, can trigger a lost of control.
And Our manager goes on strike!
NOTE: I am not a psychiatrist these are just my thoughts based on my study of physcology, observations and my experience as a coach. Many people come to me stuck inside the Helmet of Fear, if that is you, or if you feel you are losing control, please know there is help available. You do not have to manage the situation alone.