About Outer Child Introductions

Outer is the impulsive, obstinate, self-centered ten-year old within all of us. Outer wants what Outer wants NOW, and will overrule you, the adult, in getting it.  Outer prefers to binge on candy when you are steadfastly sticking to a diet (or so you thought). Outer says yes to a third glass of wine when you, the Adult, had decided on a two drink limit.   


Outer Child is born of unresolved abandonment. It wreaks havoc in your relationships when it acts out your inner child's primal fear of abandonment.   For instance, when your Inner Child craves love, Outer foils this need by chasing the unavailable.  And when your Inner Child feels needy, Outer aims its emotional suction cups at your partners and scares them away.  
Outer Child is a revolutionary self-awareness tool. In discovering your Outer Child, you get a leg up on overcoming your self-defeating patterns, improving your relationships, and becoming the self-possessed adult you always wanted to be. If you’ve been reading Susan's books Taming your Outer ChildJourney from Abandonment to Healing;  Journey from Heartbreak to Connection; or take one of her abandonment recovery workshops, you are already learning to effectively target your Outer Child patterns.  
In taking the Outer Child inventory, you undertake the first in-depth self-reckoning of your lifetime. As you gain Outer Child awareness, you own up to character defects most people prefer to deny. You learn how to deal with traits that until now formed an invisible infrastructure of self-sabotage deep within your personality.  

Don’t expect Outer to take this sitting down. Outer fights change – especially change initiated by you, the adult. Outer balks at doing the right thing and only wants things that are bad for your health, figure, or bank account. By bringing Outer out of the bunkers and into the daylight, you get to subvert its mission, rather than let it subvert yours.  

Outer Child and Anger  

Outer is fueled by emotion. Take anger. Outer either overreacts or under-reacts to anger. For example, abandonment survivors tend to be too insecure to risk expressing anger or assertiveness directly to someone because they fear it might break the connection. Outer takes advantage of this fear and gets you to take your anger out on yourself, damaging your self-esteem. Conversely, Outer displaces your anger on innocent bystanders and makes you look like a monster.   


Outer is the “yes but” of the personality.  If you let it, Outer ties your life up in knots.  
Outer Child likes to play games, especially in relationships. It wears many disguises including "hard to get" and "Florence Nightingale" (where Outer panders for ‘love-insurance’ by over-caretaking).  It poses as your ally, but is really your gatekeeper. Its covert agenda is to maintain your patterns – albeit your most self-defeating ones. By deconstructing your Outer Child defenses, your Adult Self has the opportunity to guide your behavior, rather than remain driven by your hidden nemesis.  
Susan continues to collect data on Outer Child, so please email us with your own unique Outer Child characteristics as well as your comments. Thank you for your help.   


(Be sure to take the “Outer Child Inventory.”  For more about Outer Child, read: Taming your Outer Child: Overcoming your Self-Defeating Patterns (Ballantine 2010);  Journey from Abandonment to Healing (Berkley 2000);  and WORKBOOK, Journey from Heartbreak to Connection: A Workshop in Abandonment Recovery (Berkley 2003).