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  1. #1
    Plumage and Moult proteanmix's Avatar
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    Default "I'm Complicated"

    I'm not really sure what people mean when they say this. I heard it again last night by a friend of mine and I puzzled a bit. Usually when someone makes this comment I find they're making an excuse for behavior that is misleading and contradictory. This is not indicative of complexity to me.

    I consider myself transparent person, which means I don't try to hide or obscure the mechanics of who I am. When people say they're "complex" what do they mean? Is saying "I'm complicated" suppose to pass for self-awareness and introspection? Is it saying that I'm a deep and thoughtful person, or is is a warning that they're really self-involved?

    That phrase is almost beginning to sound hackneyed like "I'm an out of the box thinker." No one really knows what that means, but nearly everyone thinks they do it.
    Relationships have normal ebbs and flows. They do not automatically get better and better when the participants learn more and more about each other. Instead, the participants have to work through the tensions of the relationship (the dialectic) while they learn and group themselves and a parties in a relationships. At times the relationships is very open and sharing. Other time, one or both parties to the relationship need their space, or have other concerns, and the relationship is less open. The theory posits that these cycles occur throughout the life of the relationship as the persons try to balance their needs for privacy and open relationship.
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  2. #2

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    I'm not sure about "I'm Complicated", but I use "It's Complicated" as a subtle warning that the time and energy needed to explain something is large and likely not worth our effort.

    I assume "I'm Complicated" is a self-referential version of that.

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  3. #3
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I don't know, ygolo. Some people ARE complicated in how they think.

    But I think the average person uses this line in order to excuse their inability to rationally/consistently explain why they are behaving the way they are. It is mostly a lazy fluff comment meant to avoid embarrassment or deflect criticism. That is the context under which I have generally heard it being used.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  4. #4
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Default

    You covered most of the possibilities for what that phrase might mean, I think.

    There are different vantage points by which to view people. On one level our needs are simple, but there is a lens through which any person is complicated. Someone declaring themselves complicated can mean something a little different from simply 'being complicated'. Wanting that as a personal label could be a way of excusing inconsistencies or lack of forthrightness.

    People are complicated when they have multi-layered processes that influence their thoughts and behaviors. Childhood experiences that impact deeply stay with a person for life, even when they are unaware of it. Basically any self-destructive tendency results from a very complex layering of influences and attempts at coping. We keep a lot of impressions buried in our subconscious. I suppose when these are not reconciled with our deliberate thought processes, then we can think and behave in ways that baffle us.

    The basis of personality complexity seems to result from being required to reconcile polar opposites, whether as a result of natural ability/deficits, or from conflicting experiences. Does that sound plausible?

    Examples of complexity resulting from reconciling polar opposites:
    The brilliant mathematician who cannot solve a cross-word puzzle
    The philanthropist who cannot form an intimate relationship
    The renowned performer who is too shy to engage in small talk
    The athlete who suffers chronic pain
    Or even a gifted composer (Beethoven) who is deaf
    Granted these are all exaggerations of plausible people, but the concept of reconciling opposites creates a continual inner negotiation that people with consistent abilities and experiences are not burdened by.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    I sometimes say it, not because I think I am but because other people tell me I am all the time, and it seems to help them understand ... something, I don't know what. I don't use it as an excuse, but more an explanation. And I mean it in the way Toonia describes - the layers, man, the layers.

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    "I'm an out of the box thinker." No one really knows what that means, but nearly everyone thinks they do it.
    But I do!!!! Dammit, don't take away from me the only use I have in this damn world!
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  6. #6
    Senior Member cafe's Avatar
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    I don't use "complicated" I use "conflicted." I recognize my contradictions and inconsistencies. If I could figure out how to make myself uniform and consistent I would, but I'm not there yet. I'm beginning to suspect it's not ever going to happen for me.

    Are there people who are not complicated?

    Edit: I also do not consider the inner workings of my psyche anyone else's business. It's my psyche and if I don't want to share it I will not. I'm no more obligated to be transparent about my thoughts and feelings than I am to strip naked on demand.
    “There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.”
    ~ John Rogers

  7. #7
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    AKA "Don't put me in a box", AKA "You just don't understand me".

    Also see; "I have no reason to believe these things but trying to explain them would expose me, so I'm not going to."

  8. #8
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    When somebody says that, I alway reply that being complicated is not equal to being unexplainable. By all means, tell me your contradictions so that I can understand why your behavior is not logical. Many times the label is masked as unwilligness to talk about an issue that is being hidden under a different justification/cause.

  9. #9
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    When somebody says that, I alway reply that being complicated is not equal to being unexplainable. By all means, tell me your contradictions so that I can understand why your behavior is not logical. Many times the label is masked as unwilligness to talk about an issue that is being hidden under a different justification/cause.
    Aw nuts, I know that one - I've seen it so many times and come to dread it - the ENTJ standing with his arms folded, raises one eyebrow and gestures with a hand, saying, "Try me." Yah. That really reassures me and puts me in the mood for the kind of voluntary vulnerability involved in self-disclosure!

    I still don't know why it is that I love ENTJ's so much... hahaha...
    Also, I have to say regarding this:

    Quote Originally Posted by proteanmix View Post
    I consider myself transparent person, which means I don't try to hide or obscure the mechanics of who I am.
    ...that you should consider yourself lucky that you're able to feel that way, and try not to judge people if they don't feel they have the luxury of being that way. Some of us have spent a lifetime being punished for who we are, and learned that hiding and obscuring the mechanics of who we are is the only way to survive. For people like me and like Jennifer, perhaps, making ourselves 'transparent' means a heck of a lot of overcoming very ingrained, very real fears based on a lifetime of wretched experience.
    Ils se d�merdent, les mecs: trop bon, trop con..................................MY BLOG!

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    I will help you if I can" - Leonard Cohen

  10. #10
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    Aw nuts, I know that one - I've seen it so many times and come to dread it - the ENTJ standing with his arms folded, raises one eyebrow and gestures with a hand, saying, "Try me." Yah. That really reassures me and puts me in the mood for the kind of voluntary vulnerability involved in self-disclosure!

    I still don't know why it is that I love ENTJ's so much... hahaha...
    ahhahahahaa, shall i give my entp friend an hug next time? ahahahahaa

    In any case, I'm "complicated" too in certain matters, usually F-related.

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