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Thread: Fake it til you make it part II

  1. #11
    ish red no longer *sad* Array nightning's Avatar
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    Apr 2007


    Quote Originally Posted by Eldanen View Post
    I believe that it was the mannerism, personally. The jacket is mostly ordinary, as you said. You know how things go. I was putting myself rather intentionally in that mindset, so no doubt I was projecting certain things in my body language. I can be a good actor, if I want to be . (And if I can suppress my current emotions long enough to take on the other character's emotions, bleh! )
    Makes sense. Experts do say, at least 95% of communication is from body language and not through words. If you're in a particular mood, your mannerism changes and people can pick that up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Genesis View Post
    No, there's a difference. Trying to improve a specific part of yourself, like confidence, is different from changing all the aspects of how you interact with other people, which is generally what the PUA community tries to promote. Its very specific, just a bunch of techniques and pre-meditated responses for specific situations. For me, my "mold" is my idealized version of myself, yet I don't care so much about the "result", and instead focus on whether or not I'm following my own ethical code, so there might be a difference between us. Ugh, I can't really explain it too well.
    Ah! I think I get what you mean... it's kind of like that "Ship of Theseus" story... Who you are is made of many different aspects of personality... alterations of parts of it over time is nature... just the process of self-learning. Go in and rip everything out and replace it with something new however, you've destroyed the integrity of the individual and you don't have original "ship of Theseus" any more. Something like this?

    Oh, ok, I got it now. People generally want romantic relationships to be genuine, and there's a certain negative connotation with "faking" who you really are. It just feels under-handed, and most people may view this as you lying about who you really are. Also, there's the idea that because you're so unconfident in yourself that you have to generate this alter-ego, you're not worth the effort (that sounds harsh to me). Again, most people seem to believe that relationships just happen, and that purposefully acting like someone you're not is wrong, because you're not being yourself. False pretenses and such.
    *nods* What's your take on this? Do you agree with these people that trying to generate an alter-ego is un-genuine behavior?

    Quote Originally Posted by Aimahn View Post
    I think a lot of people are focusing too much on the ethical aspects of "faking", that would be wise if you are going under the false assumption that a large majority of people do not doubt themselves when confronted with "scary" things such as new relationships.

    In order to not needlessly self-doubt yourself to an alarming degree, I think personally, that you need to have a positive view on the person you are. Alarmingly so to a certain extent because when we have a perceived notion of ourselves succeeding at a very high level we circumvent the natural self-doubt that occurs as a result of pressure and anxiety.

    It's a tactic when used with reasonable ethics can produce excellent results and one that is a staple to most people who are very successful in life even taking to account less than stellar situations.
    True, I think people generally underestimate the impact of their state of mind on their responses and thus whether they're successful or not. Much like what my fencing instructor told me. Fencing isn't a physical sport, it's a mind game. You've won if you can make your opponent think they will lose.

    Here's a curious thought... if positive thinking is such a great thing, how come so very few people believe in it?

  2. #12
    Senior Member Array ThatsWhatHeSaid's Avatar
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    May 2007


    Nah, I don't think you should ever really fake. You just end up trapping yourself. I try to take that effort and put it into being a friend to myself and making balanced appraisals of my gifts and faults.

    If you're on a first date (or performing some other courtship display), then don't fake who you are, but make calculated and balanced disclosures. Don't just say "hi, I'm Edahn and I have immense social anxiety issues." Instead, find ways to reveal yourself in ways that seem less apologetic or pathetic. You could say "I get shy sometimes, but it's adorable" or "yeah, I get shy sometimes, other times I'm totally obnoxious, so it balances out." These disclosures have to be made at the right time, too, after there's a little bit of trust. If the person doesn't know that you're somewhat socially capable, screaming that you're socially inept will color their perception of you unfairly.

    Establishing that trust isn't a matter of faking, but of doing your best given your situation and limitations. You can acknowledge your feelings and thoughts as they run through your body and mind without being a slave to them and submitting to their will. For some people, information like that clicks right away; other people have to learn it through trial, error, and experimentation.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Array Simplexity's Avatar
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    Jul 2008


    I think you don't realize that you are in effect building yourself up and thinking of yourself in a positive light. That is the general essence of "faking" in the romantic sense, understanding we are humans with faults but noticing we also have positive traits. "faking" is understanding that, while others without a strong self knowledge may not realize it.
    My cold, snide, intellectual life is just a veneer, behind which lies the plywood of loneliness.

  4. #14
    Emperor/Dictator Array kyuuei's Avatar
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    Aug 2008


    Kay, I haven't read everything. Sorry.

    Kora, you make a great point. What I'm going to say excludes this, only because in my eyes someone who has no confidence would, theoretically be unable to have too much. Though, I very easily see the reality being that in the course of faking they push too much fake confidence than comfortably necessary, or that faking works so well that they become arrogant.

    I think at some point in time you need to break that threshold of what's comfortable with you. You need to take a step through the front door, and some times we're all comfortable just being inside. Some people have no problem going in and out, and enjoying both places equally.. for those who don't, it's necessary to make that move yourself. You may get rained on, or the sun may shine on you, but it's absolutely necessary to decide to make it out there on your own. If that means pretending to like the outdoors to get what you REALLY want.. then so be it.

    I think we all want to say that you shouldn't be fake, you should be real and true to yourself.. but it's not always wrong to fake things. Just like it's not always wrong to lie, but it's preached not to do so as a general rule of thumb.
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  5. #15
    soft and silky Array sarah's Avatar
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    Sep 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    A continuation of our exploration on the idea of Faking it until you make it.

    Most people agreed that we should try to overcome our shyness and self consciousness by acting out confidence until "the act" becomes second nature to us... that is we have become what we initially tried to act out. It's really not so much "faking" as learning new skill sets via practice. What happens if I take the question one step further?

    Should we fake confidence in order to attract potential mates?

    It's common knowledge that women typically prefer men with self confidence and charisma. This so called "alpha male" phenomenon.

    This idea is explored in some interesting readings... such as Neil Strauss's "The game: penetrating the secret society of pickup artists". Clearly not all men are naturally charismatic... why not fake it? You'll eventually make it...

    Yet most people react strongly against this, even though they've fully agreed with what I said in the first case. Why? What's the difference between the two?

    I would think most people who react against this probably don't like the idea of being told to behave like a superficial pickup artist who treats others like they're pawns in his game in order to get positive attention.

    But if "faking it" means simply channelling the most confident version of yourself whenever you feel a lack of confidence, then it can't really be all that fake. It's just you choosing to behave like you when you're feeling most open and secure.


  6. #16
    Senior Member Array
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    Oct 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by nightning View Post
    Ah! I think I get what you mean... it's kind of like that "Ship of Theseus" story... Who you are is made of many different aspects of personality... alterations of parts of it over time is nature... just the process of self-learning. Go in and rip everything out and replace it with something new however, you've destroyed the integrity of the individual and you don't have original "ship of Theseus" any more. Something like this?
    Yes! Exactly. I mean, we contantly change, so modifications to our personality are natural, to be expected. I just disagree with someone else coming in and dictating how you're supposed to be.

    *nods* What's your take on this? Do you agree with these people that trying to generate an alter-ego is un-genuine behavior?
    It depends. I think its genuine only if those actions/words/mannerisms are already a part of you. Kinda like developing your inferior functions. Honestly, I don't think its that bad, even if its ungenuine, as long as you focus on changing what you don't like about yourself. If you want to be more confident, *be* more confident, even if you have to fake it at first, but don't let it overtake who you are. For example, I'm an INFP, but I wouldn't act like a stereotypical ESTJ just so I can be more confident. I'd just act like a confident INFP.

  7. #17
    Senior Member Array Anja's Avatar
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    May 2008


    Here's my take and it's broader in scope than finding mates. It's more about finding one's self. Once we discover our true selves everything else has a better chance of falling into place relationship-wise.

    And it's never as simple as an either-or thing because we humans are always in flux.

    One of our jobs as young adults is finding our voice. How we roll. In the process we will think of ways we want to be, values we have, things we do well that we want to emphasize. We may even find mentors we want to emulate.

    I think it's best to avoid thinking in that judgemental manner of being "real" or being "fake." It may be a hindrance to trying on new behaviors and attitudes.

    Because no matter what you are working on doing differently it will be certain to feel unreal and awkward. If you berate yourself for your discomfort it will make change more difficult. You know, it's a process, and doesn't happen as easily as changing your style of dress.

    But, yes, it can start there. Maybe many have noticed that wearing a certain item of clothing creates a subtle change in attitude or behavior. Rule makers have known this for a long time and that's why there's such a thing as a dress code!

    It's truly not about how others perceive you, although that can be a good motivator. I think it's more about how I feel in my skin.

    When we "fit" within ourselves that can be a very attractive appearance. A non-tangible, yet I would guess everyone knows the measure of it from a personal perspective. And, oddly enough, many others "know" it also even if we try to hide it.

    When you "match" - inside and out it feels right and looks right.

    And I believe its a lifelong process of growth and change. We all know those who become stuck in some mode and that can be unpleasant to ourselves and others.

    I think, as I type, that people here are very fortunate to be working on finding themselves. There are many for whom it never occurs at all. They seem to be little stamped out productions of what they think they are expected to be. Scarcely an individual in there.

    The trick, I think, is a certain lightness about it. Not taking one's self or others too seriously. And patience with self and others.
    "No ray of sunshine is ever lost, but the green which it awakes into existence needs time to sprout, and it is not always granted to the sower to see the harvest. All work that is worth anything is done in faith." - Albert Schweitzer

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