Bottom line issues
One of the reasons for interviewing your inner
selves (inner selves) is to learn from them about your bottom line
or life issues and to be able to distinguish these from what may seem
important but which turn out to be only symptoms pointing to the real
Signs or symptoms?
When a protector inner character (inner self) is interviewed, it may talk at length about a particular problem in terms of something that character wants to see changed. But if the problem the character is talking about is described with a broad label like ‘It’s a personality clash." or "It’s a communication problem." this suggests it is only a symptom of deeper underlying issues.
Typically symptoms (rather than bottom line issues) are often externalised (focused away from the individual and outwards to another external person or object) as in "He didn’t ... ; She won’t ....; You always …. We never ....It always ....They keep doing ...".
Additional discussion or laddering down to a deeper level may then identify internalised core beliefs. "I don’t .... I can’t ... I never ....".
Those, in turn, point to the deeper internal ‘bottom line’, a smaller group of basic issues (examples below). So, how does this help?
Bottom line issues and interviewing (facilitating)
Even if the interviewer alone can see the bottom line first, this helps for a start. But if you and the person in the chair can then both agree on and name a bottom line issue, the quality of the interview improves even more as does the awareness gained afterwards.
The sooner a person can recognise, name and describe a bottom line issue (inside them) the sooner they can start to working on it, instead of trying to resolve the symptoms.
Acknowledging changes in the way people cope with their bottom line issues also helps them to measure the degree to which they are making real changes.
Examples of bottom line issues
Compared with hundreds of core beliefs, selves (inner selves) and points of vulnerability, there are far fewer bottom line issues, perhaps ten or less. You will notice a similarity with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Pia Mellody's life issues)
1. Security issues- Safety; Security; Peace; Harmony
2. Self-esteem issues - Belonging; Connected; self worth; Value; Loyalty, Appreciation;
3. Boundary and identity issues - Identity; Freedom; Autonomy; bonding patterns; self-protection; avoiding manipulation
4. Reality issues - Truth; Right-wrong; Justice; Fairness; Openness and honesty
5. Moderation issues - Integrity; Balance, Wholeness; Growth; avoiding "flips" between opposite positions
6. Power and
control issues - Rules; Standards; Structure; Being organised,
8. Self Nurturing issues - Balancing giving and
Bottom line issues, though abstract, are best
described in familiar terms that encourage empathy.
What are your own bottom lines:
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