Your "child's" view of life as being positive or negative is related to your script being for a "winner" or a "loser." Our life script not only unconsciously controls the role we play but it also manipulates others into playing the roles needed for our script. For example, if your script depicts others as disliking you, you may act in irritating ways that insure a negative reaction from others. Yet, all we see is that "people don't like me." It may seem to us as though we are planning and living our lives rationally as adults but perhaps we aren't. If you experience
the same kind of things happening over and over again with different kinds of people, suppose they all show little interest in being friendly, you should start looking for an underlying script. In any case, being aware of possible unconscious scripts should be helpful.
The child will try to meet the parent's unmet psychological and emotional needs in order to get love. This is why we can often have the gnawing feeling as we walk through our life that we are false, that we are acting or performing our way through our lives to get love and approval. As we grow older, we find the words and the elaborate stories for why we feel deficient and in pain. Every single human being on earth - saint, sinner, guru or street person - has a false core belief about themselves and an entire personality/false self system that is built on top of this feeling of lack, emptiness and fear of inner pain and separation from the love of life. This is our paradoxical human journey.
The patterns(scripts) that we carry around in our heads have an incredible power. If they are strengthened by repetition, and especially if they are associated with strong feelings, they seem to take on a life of their own. You carry around, inside your central nervous system, patterns representing every significant person in your life, not only the ones you are close to now, but those whom you were once close to and have been separated from. You carry around family members who have died, old lovers, favorite school teachers, childhood friends, and many, many more... all as patterns. One of the strongest patterns we carry is the self-concept, which we could also call the self-pattern. It is the sum total of all the experiences, knowledge and feelings I have about my self, or you have about your self. Just as we instinctively protect our bodies from attack, we also instinctively protect our self-pattern from the invasion of painful data.
For example, a young person who believes that her parents love her will go to great lengths to ward off any information which might challenge this part of her self-pattern.She may be ignored in her adolescent years and be given very little "quality time" by her parents. Still she clings to her self-pattern. These efforts to ward off intruding reality are called ego defenses, and we all have them. But ego defenses learned in childhood can become destructive later in life. They can lead to the denial or avoidance of any kind of experience that might be associated with a threat to the self-pattern, such as agoraphobia, fear of flying, psychosomatic illness, pathological lying and much more. In fact, the effort to defend the self-pattern against "reality" is the root cause of much mental illness.
Psychologists also speak of the true self and the false self. The false self is a pattern or mask we wear to impress others – the Latin word "persona" means an actor's "mask." This pattern has been learned in order to elicit desired behavior from others. A common example is "the good boy" who is really a little demon inside. His parents see only the good boy and do not believe others who say he is really a little demon.
The idea of a false self is to ward off mounting anxiety, to help a family to maintain its denial of problems or to keep the true self safe and often hidden. That's why a child might create one in the first place, to please and placate the family system. The sad outcome however, is that the false self becomes so well constructed and adapted, or garners so much acceptance and sense of place and even power within the family that spawned it and relies on it to maintain their status quo, that eventually the true self becomes lost to us. We hide our true self so effectively that even we can't find it.
We all need an ability to mask or control our baser emotions so that we don't blurt them out inappropriately where they can get us into trouble. The real danger lies not in creating a mask or false self, we all do that somewhat. The danger lies in mistaking the false or idealized self for the true self. Because it isn't safe to be open about what is going on in the emotional atmosphere of the family or for that matter to even feel what is really going inside themselves, these children may learn to live a sort of emotional lie because unconsciously, they fear that letting in the truth will overwhelm them or those they love. Family members silently collude in creating the sort of false sense of normalcy that they feel is lacking in their family. Staying safe and "looking good" become of paramount importance. To this end children and even adults become what will please and protect the system rather than who they really feel like on the inside.
When the false self perpetuates into adulthood, as it almost always does, it can cause many problems. Not only do other people misperceive the individual because of the false self, but also the individual exerts a great deal of energy maintaining the false self, all the while suffering anxiety because he knows consciously or unconsciously that this self is false.
The true self is the authentic self. It is the self which is at one with its true feelings and strengths. It is a consistent pattern, a consistent order of personality and behavior. The true self can be asserted by an act of will or discovered through maturation, but usually uncovering it requires extensive psychotherapy, because we are so adept at deceiving ourselves even more than we deceive others. In the same manner as the self-pattern, you carry around experiences and events which were significant in your life or had strong feeling components. Your graduation from high school. Some important victory in athletics or academics. Learning to drive a car. Your first intimate sexual experience. Your marriage or your divorce. Even though I do not know you, I know that you have many such powerful patterns inside you, for this is the essence of being human.
Over time, past-patterns strongly influence present perceptions. Each new person you meet is perceived in terms of patterns of people you have known before. If you are seeking a mate, your perceptions of possible partners are strongly influenced by your internalized patterns of your opposite-sex parent. If you are a woman, you tend to seek a man who had the positive qualities you admired in your father but not the negative qualities you did not like. If you are a man, you tend to seek your mother-pattern in the same manner.
This patterning can exercise some strong forces on our present behavior without our realization. A boss at work may unconsciously remind us of an overbearing father, even in a slight way, but sufficient to bring back into force our anger and hatred that we felt towards our father when we were a child. Even a sentence, repeated often in childhood and by a domineering parent and experienced with pain, such as "What's wrong with you – can't you do anything right?", can trigger powerful reactions without our realizing why. When someone who has become dependent on false self functioning goes into therapy they can go through a period of feeling very vulnerable and shaky because they are removing their coping strategy and exposing the pain underneath it. But over time new emotional habits get created and new ways of healthy coping get practiced and adopted. And this person can become much more comfortable "living in their own skin". Even if you are not what is called a neurotic, and there are only minor deviations ,it will be very useful for you to understand all this and to meditate on it.
Lerner, Rokelle Daily Affirmations(Health Communications, Inc 1985) says:” I have appeared safely incognito before others--in many safe disguises. And I now see the danger in this, the risk that I will become disguised to myself, that I will camouflage myself with thin, pleasant smiles and superficial chatter. In doing this, I counterfeit my life, disguised both to others and to myself. I remove my masks today, for the masquerade saps me, consumes my energy, keeps me tense, guarded and apprehensive. I take a deep breath and take the plunge. I can be me, the real me, spontaneous without disguise, intimate without masks.I accept who I am: not a fixed, rigid, cardboard entity, but a person of many moods and emotions, a person of will and talent and energy, a person of integrity and flexibility.”