Liked Storytelling — Cringe and the Banality of Shadows (ribbonfarm)

There is an approximately accurate mental model of shadows I find useful to work with — your shadow is the union of all your pushable buttons, and that’s all it is. So long as you have a single button left that anyone can push, you haven’t integrated fully your shadow in the Jungian sense. You can reconcile this with the common “buried demons” mental model of the shadow by thinking of each button as triggering a specific little demon. And they are mostly genuinely little. And harmless. Not big, mysterious demons that drive you to serial killing. Of course, there may be major ones too, like the button that when pushed unleashes a Hulk-like rage because it’s hooked up to the demon of some unprocessed schoolyard bullying. But the shadow is mostly the long tail (heh!) of smaller demons. The larger, more charismatic demons get all the attention, but they’re not that important, and mostly not even real.