You Are the One You've Been Waiting For Book Summary - You Are the One You've Been Waiting For Book explained in key points
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You Are the One You've Been Waiting For summary

Richard C. Schwartz

Applying Internal Family Systems to Intimate Relationships

4.7 (44 ratings)
18 mins
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    You Are the One You've Been Waiting For
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    Intimacy problems start when we exile our most vulnerable parts

    Let’s start with a metaphor. Imagine that you have a magical kitchen. This kitchen can provide you with any type of food, in any quantity, whenever you want. You inherited it from your parents, so you never wanted for food growing up, and neither do your children today.

    One day, a man knocks on your door and offers to give your children all the ice cream and pizza they want, if you will take care of his emotional needs. Of course you say no thank you – your children are happy and full, and you have no need for his junk food.

    Now imagine that you do not have that magic kitchen. You are poor; your children are constantly complaining of hunger. You even lock some of the smaller children in the basement so you don’t have to hear them crying – that’s how your parents taught you to handle your problems.

    Knock knock. It’s that pizza and ice cream man, looking for someone to fulfill his emotional needs. Suddenly those needy children are fed, and the crying stops for the first time you can remember. Even though the man is demanding, and he grows increasingly stingy with his low-quality food, you can’t bring yourself to kick him out – you can’t let those children starve again.

    To conclude this odd little metaphor, the food here is love, and the children are your different parts – the extreme emotions and thoughts we hold inside ourselves. These could be any insecurities or vulnerabilities – a need for attention, or shame in expressing emotion, for example.

    We learn – through how we’re treated in childhood, or from expectations placed on us by society – to exile these parts to the basement of our psyches. But they are always there, needing to be fed.

    If you have a magic kitchen, then you can provide these parts with the love they need. But if you’re like the second person in the metaphor, then you will take any outside source that nourishes these crying exiles.

    This causes us to choose or stay with the wrong person, or become addicted to things that harm us.

    The parts themselves are not the problem. Intimacy troubles start because we exile these parts, and deny them the love they need. Once you learn to love and accept these vulnerabilities for the part of you that they are, they can actually be a good thing. For what is intimacy if not the sharing and acceptance of vulnerability?

    In the next section you’ll see what happens when exiles take control, and how you can start learning to accept them.

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    What is You Are the One You've Been Waiting For about?

    You Are the One You’ve Been Waiting For (2008) lays out the secret for finding happiness and intimacy in modern romantic relationships. Using the established Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, it shows that true contentment and compassion come from understanding and trusting the Self – your compassionate center of peace and clarity. By adjusting your perspective and completing some practical exercises, your relationship can start to flourish like it never has before.

    Who should read You Are the One You've Been Waiting For?

    • Couples who feel unable to connect despite their best efforts
    • Therapists, psychoanalysts and armchair psychologists looking for a unique perspective on relationships 
    • Those who feel unresolved inner turmoil holds them back from maintaining loving relationships

    About the Author

    Richard C. Schwartz is an academic and therapist specializing in families and relationships. He developed the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, which focuses on the different parts within each individual, and how these parts relate to each other. His other books include Internal Family Systems Therapy and No Bad Parts: Healing Trauma and Restoring Wholeness with the Internal Family Systems Model.

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