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Ask the Relationship Expert: 'I Can't Stop Letting My Inner Child Take Over When I'm Feeling Down'

Temper tantrums are impacting this entrepreneur's relationship at work and at home.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What happens when running a business gets in the way of your romantic relationship, or vice versa? In this new weekly column, relationship expert Marla N. Mattenson responds to entrepreneurs with love dilemmas -- because the hidden power of successful businesses are the stable, loving relationships behind the scenes.

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Dear Marla,

I notice that whenever I feel put down, ignored or disrespected, my inner child has a tantrum and I want to attack and blame my staff, colleagues, kids and especially my wife, even though I'm aware she does SO much for me and our family. It's starting to cause a lot of problems, especially at home. How can I act as my most responsible mature self when the "little me" wants to run the show?


Inner Child In Charge

Dear In Charge,

What amazing awareness! Here's the thing, our inner child often has a lot to say, and when we really listen, there is an inner commentary on almost everything. When we realize that inner little one is taking over the show in our outer life, it's time to give him a voice in an appropriate and loving way. When you feel him taking over, take about 5-10 minutes to sit alone with pen and paper to write about your experience as described below.

Related: Ask the Relationship Expert: 'Work Stress Is Impacting My Enjoyment in the Bedroom'

Writing with pen and paper, the old-fashioned way, is essential. The head-heart-hand connection activates creativity, allowing for a different flow of thoughts than happens with electronics. Set yourself (and your inner little one) up for success by starting in a quiet location free from distractions, and power down all electronics. It's only 10 minutes! Using your dominant hand (your natural writing hand) write one question at a time to your inner little boy. For example, I'd like to hear what's going on for you, will you share your thoughts with me? or What do you need in this moment to help you feel safe, calm and secure? Any similar question that feels good to you will work. Then switch to your non-dominant hand to answer in writing. This is a powerful technique that helps to access more of our subconscious programming and bring it to the surface.

Related: Ask the Relationship Expert: 'I'm a Financial Risk-Taker, But My Partner Prefers to Be Cautious'

Let your inner little boy vent and get ugly; allow him free rein. Don't make anything wrong that emerges. Whatever comes out of his mouth through your writing, have a soft internal yes for him. Then, write him back with your dominant hand with love and comfort. I'm here for you. I love you. You are safe. Thank you for sharing this with me. I understand -- let's move through this together as a team. Are you available for that? Then go back to the non-dominant hand for a response. Do this back and forth as many times as necessary. Be sure to end your writing exercise with your dominant hand as your most responsible, mature, adult self. Let me know how this works for you!

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