You answer these questions with your non-dominant hand (Inner Child). You’ll do this every day for the first four weeks. Going back and forth four times should take anywhere between 10-30 minutes, or sometimes more. The goal here is to develop the voice of the loving parent and to start listening to the Inner Child. It’s the interaction between these two voices—this dialogue—that will lead to self-love. You will become empowered to talk to yourself in a loving way. You’ll learn how to navigate your own emotions; you won’t have to run to a boyfriend or a friend or a therapist. You won’t need to run. You’ll learn to talk yourself through challenging life situations. That’s what Naked Dating is all about. You have the power to transform yourself from the inside out. How cool is that?
You need to choose a name to call your Inner Child. It can be anything you’d like—Little Debbie, Mini Me, Buster, etc.. Many people call it Little (Your Name) or they use a childhood nickname.
Healing happens at the emotional level.
Perhaps you’ve realized that talking yourself into feeling a certain way doesn’t work. That’s because healing happens at the emotional, not the intellectual, level. Have you ever tried to convince yourself to just “get over” a bad breakup or a fight with your boyfriend or girlfriend? It doesn’t work, right? You can’t just push your hurt feelings away. The only way to get yourself to feel better is by first allowing yourself to feel your emotions and then applying love to the wound. Love is sort of like the salve that helps heal you heal your emotional wounds. The Switching Hands Technique allows your wounded Inner Child to express and feel your painful emotions. Then, the Loving Adult responds by giving the child the love it never got.
But this process feels weird.
When you first begin to do the Switching Hands Technique, it will feel awkward. Naked Daters know that they need to trust the process. Whenever we begin doing a process of any kind, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable. This is intentional. Most people tend to over-intellectualize their problems. The trouble with intellectualizing is this: If we already knew the answer—if we could rationalize our way out of a funk—we wouldn’t be stuck. Techniques or processes like this one are meant to get us out of our rational thinking mind and put us into a mindset that feels unfamiliar.
As you dialogue between the two parts of yourself, you will hear yourself say things you weren’t even aware you were thinking. This can definitely feel awkward, but that’s okay. As I mentioned earlier, this process is supposed to make you feel strange. Growth is uncomfortable. Change is uncomfortable. It’s when we are able to get into our discomfort zone that we can begin to learn new things about ourselves. Techniques like this one feel awkward and don’t seem to make sense, so many people resist doing them. Even though you might not like doing it, you need to trust that the process will work. If you do, you will reap the benefits of Naked Dating: real growth and change.
Works Cited: Recovery of Your Inner Child
Lisa Shield, MA, CPCC
Transformational Dating and Relationship Coach