In my work with weight loss clients, I teach a tool called the dictator, the wild child and the watcher. The dictator is that voice inside your head that scolds. She says things like “what were you thinking, you fat slob.” Or worse. She has your best interests in mind, she thinks, but will stop at nothing to make sure you behave. There’s another voice inside your head called the wild child. The wild child loves to have fun. She also has your best interests in mind, she thinks. She wants you to be free, free, free! She says things like “Oh just eat it, you had a long day and you deserve it.” She and the dictator are constantly at odds.

I tell my clients to hold out the palms of their hands and picture them – the dictator, four inches tall, standing in your left palm, the wild child, four inches tall, standing in your right palm. Look at them. What do they look like? What are they wearing? What are they saying to you? Now notice, if you are neither the wild child nor the dictator, who are you? You have assumed the role of the watcher. The one who observes these two. Who offers them both compassion.

Who doesn’t buy into either of their crap.

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  1. Amy Johnson says:

    It’s so interesting to note WHEN they both make their appearance. I think my wild child speaks up most often when I’m not allowing or giving voice to my feelings. Like the little kid who isn’t validated, the wild child comes to the rescue. And I think my dictator shows up most when I’m under stress and having more “adult” issues. I’m guessing it’s pretty personal and different for everyone though.

    This inspires me to consciously be the watcher much more and get to know the ins and outs of my dictator and wild child a little better.

  2. Amy Johnson says:

    It’s really cool to observe these two chicks, both part of you. It’s interesting to notice which situations bring out the dictator and wild child for you personally. For example, any kind of situation where people are agreeing in large numbers (e.g., organized religion, any kind of ‘movement’) automatically brings out my wild child. I have to use my own logic and reign her in a little. Other situations naturally trip the dictator in full force. Interesting. Thanks for the demo on speaking to them!

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