Some time ago, I learned a metaphor for thinking about people who either tear one down or build one up--basement people are people who suck the life right out of one, with various toxic, draining, unkind methods-of-relating--balcony people are people who somehow channel energy, life, joy, hope, encouragement toward one with their amazing kindness, graciousness, excitement.
Today I realized in a new way that actually the reason any of those things work on me is because I have my own internal basement and balcony people, who love to pick up on the things those external basement and balcony people are saying and doing and use that as further evidence that actually they are right, I should listen to them, etc. etc.
Also noted--my internal balcony person is generally (these days) much more powerful than my internal basement person. When I say powerful, I mean something very specific. My internal balcony person is able to listen with love and without judgment. My internal basement person is pretty much composed of judgments--if he tried to listen without judgment, he would discorporate. I find that the ability to listen nonjudgmentally is astonishingly powerful.