Each and every one of us is born with a so-called ‘shadow self’, defined by many psychologists and experts as the darker side of our being, which lives comfortably (or not so comfortably) alongside the brighter, sunnier aspects of ourselves. Knowing how to manage this shadow self can take work, but the benefits are tremendous. Here’s our brief guide to the dark side
Can ‘bad’ be really part of ‘good’?
By now you may have got some idea on Replacing Fear with Love
, let’s dissect this bit further and take a closer look at the complexity that awaits us through this interesting & important journey. Before dwelling into understanding, identifying and managing ‘Shadow Self
‘, let’s first break down what exactly is this damn thing!
Each and every one of us is born with a so-called ‘shadow self’, defined by many psychologists and experts as the darker side of our being, which lives comfortably (or not so comfortably) alongside the brighter, sunnier aspects of ourselves. Knowing how to manage this shadow self can take work, but the benefits are tremendous. Here’s our brief guide to the dark side…
Understanding the sneaky ‘duality‘
None of us is simply one thing, and once we accept this fact, life becomes both more complex and simultaneously, much simpler! Noted psychologist Carl Jung first coined the term ‘shadow self’ to describe those aspects of our characters which we are less comfortable with, or may even try to deny for the sake of emphasizing the more positive elements of who we are and what we care about. According to Jung, the unconscious is fragmented, giving us several different sides which are less dominant than the main aspects of our character. These ‘other sides’ are frequently more negative, a literal ‘dark side’ which many may even wish to keep permanently concealed.
Identifying the shadow self
There are a few simple ways to start conceptualizing this often-hidden aspect of your own character. Firstly, identify a few key qualities you pride yourself on having. Perhaps you love your generosity, your kindness? Next, consider the opposite of this positive trait. These negative character elements are your shadow self in its purest form – the parts of your identity which you keep subconsciously concealed. Developing your awareness of the shadow self is an important first step to learning how to handle it in your daily life, and could prove very helpful in addressing long-buried resentments of these negative traits, particularly when you identify them in others around you.
Managing the shadow self
Learning how to manage your shadow self takes work, and could also take time. Human beings are complex creatures, and far from perfect. We all have traits which we don’t like, and obsessing over them is not good for us. However, learning how to manage and ultimately pacify your own dark side is very important for living a healthy, fulfilled life. Giving too much credence to your shadow self will lead to toxicity in every area of your life, so instead learn to take steps to change these negative traits to ensure you achieve the growth and contentment you truly need.
Tip to work with it: Embrace the Shadow Self but don’t be too comfortable with it.