Parts Negotiation

Win the battle of will power and succeed with inner alignment. Eliminate self-sabotage and liberate energy for commitment and innovative problem solving. Enjoy the pleasures of life, knowing that you are leading a balanced life. This happens when your parts are working together effectively. A part is a constellation of motives and attitudes, and can be largely subconscious. It may be irrational according to your consciously-held standards. It includes a state that you can recall experiencing and associate into when needed.

Select the behavior. 

Select a behavior that you feel is detracting from your success or excellence, and that represents two aspects or parts of you.

Identify the parts.

Determine what part primarily supports this behavior and prevents alternative behaviors. 

Also identify the part that creates your concern about this behavior. This second part is expressing your distress at not achieving something or at being poorly aligned with your higher values. 

Specify the outcomes that the parts desire.

Describe what each part wants. Think in terms of outcomes. You can identify with (or associate into) a part, and speak from its point of view to get a rich expression of outcomes in terms of VAK, values, and situations that trigger the part. Do this for one part at a time. 

What outcomes does it promote? 

This can include positive outcomes, even if it is failing to produce them. Don’t assume that a part actually intends to produce negative outcomes. They may merely be side effects. However, if there are gains (like avoiding effort or confrontation of some kind) from the negative outcomes, then that is a clue as that the part may be causing (or at least failing to pre-vent) these negative outcomes.

Identify the meta-outcomes that the part is contributing to.

As you’ll recall, a meta-outcome is a higher-level outcome. For example, if a part wants an outcome of eating carbohydrate-rich food before bedtime, the meta-outcome might be that it has learned that this will reduce your anxiety from having unstructured time at night, and even help you sleep. If you thought the meta-outcome was to make you fat, this is probably actually an unintended out-come. 

On the other hand, some people feel vulnerable when they lose weight. In that case, the meta-outcome of getting or staying fat would be to feel less vulnerable, and perhaps attract less interest from the opposite sex as an immature means of being protected from child abuse that actually ended a long time ago.

Create inter-part understanding.

Make sure each part understands the positive values and roles that the other part is responsible for. 

Convey to each part how their behavior interferes with the activity of the other part, and how this lies at the heart of the problem.

Negotiate an agreement.

Negotiate an agreement between the parts. Start with a question such as, “If the other part agrees to refrain from interfering with you, will you refrain from interfering with the other part?”  

Get an internal sense of the response. Work with these parts until they reach an agreement. 

The better you understand the needs that these parts fill (by understanding their positive intentions and roles), the more effective you will be at facilitating this negotiation.

Seal the deal.

Ask each part for a trial period during which it will commit to cooperating. Also, get a commitment to signal you if it is dissatisfied for any reason. That will be a point at which negotiation will be needed again.

In the coming days and weeks, see if your problem behavior improves and if you have new, more resourceful behaviors. Notice any ecological problems or other nuances that require you to do more parts negotiation. Notice if there are any additional parts that need to be involved in negotiating on this issue.