As already covered, you have 4 different parts within you. You have a feeling part, a thinking part, a sensing part and an intuitive part. Each of these parts have either an introverted orientation or an extroverted orientation.
It’s important to note that each person has 2 parts within them that are introverted in orientation and 2 parts within them that are extroverted in orientation. In other words, not one person is completely introverted or completely extroverted. This is a great thing, because the Introverted and extroverted orientations are opposite ways in which we relate to ourselves and adapt to the world around us. With only one orientation, we would be either completely self consumed or would have no identity of our own. Both introverted and extroverted orientation is needed so that we can make decisions and collect information in relation to both ourselves and the world around us.
Introverted orientation means that thoughts, feelings, decision-making and information collection is directed inwards. It’s as if “the inner world” of thoughts, feelings and actions is “the real world”, and “the outside world” only exists as an extension of “the inner world”. Many introverted people feel exhausted when they don’t get enough alone time with their thoughts and feelings. Introverts can feel like “the outer world” is this big unknown threat where there are too many moving parts and survival is not guaranteed.
Extroverted orientation means that thoughts, feelings, decision-making and information collection are directed outwards. It’s as if “the outer world” of thoughts, feeling and actions is “the real world” and that “the inner world” only exists as an extension of “the outer world”. Many extroverted people feel exhausted by detailed examination of feelings and thoughts. They may feel like “the inner world” is a drag that forces us to slow down instead of enjoying the life of external interaction.
I believe that our orientation is largely a result of the “Nurture” effect. There seems to be a correlation between the family and the society in which you were brought up, and how your personality developed to utilise these 4 parts of you in different proportions in orientation.
I feel it’s important to state, though, that where you are right now as a starting point does not have to be your destiny. You - depending on your level of commitment to your personal development journey - can change any circumstance over time, just as long as you understand the role of each of the 4 people within you: the Adult Self, the Inner Parent, the 10 Year Old Inner Child and the 3 Year Old Inner Child.
The Adult Self is the most fluent part of you. It is the part of you that sets the direction of your life as who you are as a person. It is the part that you use most easily, and the one that is usually the most developed. This part of you is usually the one that most people think about when they think about you In other words, this is the part of you that guides most of your actions in the outside world. How you operate in the outside world, and how most people perceive you, is usually through thought, feeling, intuiting or sensing. In other words, your Adult Self is either a decision making part (feeling or thinking), or an information collecting part (sensing or intuition). Your Adult Self also has an introverted or an extroverted orientation, and it is generally the orientation of the Adult Self that determines if we appear either introverted or extroverted to the people around us.
To balance out the Adult Self, you have another well developed part of you, which we call the Inner Parent. The Inner Parent’s job has two purposes: it is there to balance out the Adult Self, and it acts as a bridge between the Adult Self and the Inner Children. The Inner Parent is the opposite of the Adult Self in functioning and in orientation. What I mean with this is that if your Adult Self is a decision making part of you (feeling or thinking), then the Inner Parent is automatically an information collecting part of you (sensing or intuition), and vice versa. Also, if your Adult Self is an introverted part of you, then your Inner Parent is automatically extroverted in it’s orientation, and vice versa.
Next, let’s take a quick look at your Inner Children. Alongside the 2 strongest parts of you, the Adult Self and the Inner Parent, are what we call your Inner Children. These Inner Children take 2 forms based on these parts’ respective cognitive ability: the 10 year old, and the 3 year old.
The 10 year old Inner Child is a part of you that has experienced life just enough to feel like he or she has knowledge about how life works. Just like many 10 year old children, the 10 year old Inner Child has experienced enough cause and effect in life to think that they know how most things work. This makes the 10 year old Inner Child behave in a black and white way in it’s approach in life. The main role of the 10 year old Inner Child is to support the grown up parts of you, and to keep in mind the cause and effect of everyday life. The orientation of the 10 year old Inner Child is the same as the Adult Self’s: if the Adult Self is introverted, so is the 10 year old Inner Child, and if the Adult Self is extroverted, so is the 10 year old Inner Child. The function, however, is opposite to the Adult Self’s. If the Adult Self is an information collecting part of you (sensing or intuition), then the 10 year old Inner Child is automatically a decision making part of you (feeling or thinking) and vice versa.
Finally, to complete the picture of the 4 people within you, let’s take an overview of the 3 year old Inner Child. The 3 year old Inner Child is the least fluent most vulnerable part of you. Just like many 3 year old children, your 3 year old Inner Child is very easily influenced by your thoughts and your surroundings. The role of the 3 year old Inner Child is to balance you out and to provide depth to your life’s purpose. Just as the Adult Self and the 10 year old Inner Child are the same in orientation but different in function, the same is true for the Inner Parent and the 3 year old Inner Child. If the Inner Parent is extroverted in it’s orientation, so is the 3 year old Inner Child, and if the Inner Parent is a decision making part of you (feeling or thinking), then the 3 year old Inner Child is automatically an information gathering part of you (sensing or intuition), and vice versa.
Remember, to be balanced and happy human beings who respect themselves and others, we need all parts of us - the feeling, thinking, sensing and intuitive parts. We also need both orientations: to be able to introspect through introversion and communicate with the outside world through extroversion.
So, to recap how the different parts and the orientations relate to one another, let me give you an example of my own personality type: my Adult Self is an introverted intuitive part, my Inner Parent is an extroverted feeling part, and that means that my inner children must be introverted thinking 10 year old and extroverted sensing 3 year old.
Can you begin to understand that you have 2 parts of you that make decisions (feeling and thinking) and 2 parts of you that collect information (sensing and intuition)? Can you also see that in order to balance out both the decision making and your information collection parts of you, it is useful to know which one of them lands in which position within the inner family? Imagine knowing that one of your inner children has been predominantly in charge of your grown up decisions, and that the other inner child has been collecting information through it’s fearful bias of “I can’t trust anyone”. This was pretty much what my reality was. I kept making bad decisions based on the fear of my inner children, and I burned myself out. Once I realized that balancing out the feeling, thinking, sensing and intuitive parts would result in better boundaries, clarity of thought, greater presence and ability to relate to others in a more meaningful way, my whole life experience changed. My fate was no longer a question of chance. It became a powerful choice.