There’s a scene in the movie Its Kind of a Funny Story that I keep coming back to. The main character is recalling himself in a fort as his five-year-old self (I can’t remember the set-up exactly). In the scene his adult head rests atop his child body. I love this image because to me it’s such a great reflection of what being “all grown up” feels like sometimes. It can feel like there is a huge divide between what our grown up head tells us we should do, think, or say, and what the heart, with its tender child-like qualities, yearns for.
Imagining the inner-child in our friends, partners, co-workers, or family, can really help to soften our triggers with them. Adding the twist of imagining their inner child with their adult head bobbling around works even better for me! It’s so silly it has the power to disrupt the knee-jerk reaction that may have otherwise have happened, and lets us imagine what the five year old inside them might be asking for.