Marsha B. Sauls, Ph.D.
770-668-0350 x 221
We have all had the opportunity to experience many people in our lives. We have learned from them and in spite of them. The voices we heard from them as children and the voices we therefore have developed as our own, direct our current relationships with others and our ability to function in this world.
The first voices we heard are those of our parents. From them we learned our perception of what is right and wrong. We learned how to make them happy. We learned how to be safe by learning how not to get in trouble with them. Because our parents are our first models of how to be an adult we often talk like a parent thinking we are grown up. When, as adults, we use our parent voice, people usually think we are demeaning and controlling,
Our own little child voice starts so early in our lives. We learn a vocabulary of asking, explaining and otherwise cajoling our parents to tend to our needs. At times even though we may be adults we continue to use our child modes of “getting what we want” whether it works or not. We forget our child voice is born of dependency and that as we get more independent and capable the asking and explaining may not be as necessary. When we use our child voice to try to accomplish adult endeavors people think we are manipulative or complaining.
Our adult voice is born of realizing we are capable of taking care of ourselves, being willing to do it, and realizing that others can also take care of themselves. It knows that just because we think something is good or necessary another may not. It knows we can do things our way, but have to take responsibility for the consequences. Our adult voice realizes that giving someone information or “getting them to understand us” it does not mean they will change their perception or “agree” with us. When we use our adult voice with other adults people usually think we are open, straightforward, and strong.