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Thread: Sense of Self

  1. #1
    Striving for balance Little Linguist's Avatar
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    Default Sense of Self

    Well, maybe I should put this in the psychology section, but we'll give it a go here first.

    Although I fear I'm the only nut who has problems with this, and I feel almost bashful about posting this in an open forum, I have a little issue, and I'd like to get some ideas from you guys on how any of you overcame it or knew people who did.

    I have an unstable sense of self. There. I said it.

    My concept of who I am depends on where I am, often wildly. I assume this is not at all normal and is rather disconcerting. And when people ask me what *I* think, or what *I* want, I sit there dumbfounded like, *gulp* um...I don't know. And then people wonder wtf is wrong with you because, damn it, you should know what you want.

    This is so extreme that my personality shifts in different phases of my life depending on who I'm with. And it makes me quite uneasy. I'm also shifty in the goals I have in life, especially under acute stress.

    Has anyone had these issues, and if so, how did you/those people overcome them?

    Disclaimer: No, this is not a joke and I'm not saying this to get empathy or attention. I really wonder if this is becoming a problem and how to get over it.

    I'm actually so embarrassed that I have second-guesses over whether or not I should post this.
    If you are interested in language, words, linguistics, or foreign languages, check out my blog and read, post, and/or share.

  2. #2
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I have to run to a meeting, but I ran across mention of psychologist R.D. Laing the other day. He coined an interesting phrase called "ontologically insecure" (vs ontologically secure).... a sense of self that isn't grounded in any permanent sense and constantly feels as if it were being lost.

    Anyway, I'm sure others will chime in. I struggle with the same thing -- wondering if NP increases the possibility for it, + having one's desires denied in childhood.
    "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

  3. #3
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Could you give a few examples of what questions you would be unable to answer when you have lost your sense of self? Do you notice the loss or lack yourself, or does it become apparent to you only when asked something that sparks an investigation of the self?

  4. #4
    meinmeinmein! mmhmm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Linguist View Post
    I have an unstable sense of self. There. I said it.

    My concept of who I am depends on where I am, often wildly. I assume this is not at all normal and is rather disconcerting. And when people ask me what *I* think, or what *I* want, I sit there dumbfounded like, *gulp* um...I don't know. And then people wonder wtf is wrong with you because, damn it, you should know what you want.

    This is so extreme that my personality shifts in different phases of my life depending on who I'm with. And it makes me quite uneasy. I'm also shifty in the goals I have in life, especially under acute stress.

    Has anyone had these issues, and if so, how did you/those people overcome them?
    when i'm alone and don't have an audience, it almost
    seems like parts of me become almost inaccessible
    --it doesn't mean it's gone, but it just doesn't surface
    as easily when i have someone to bounce off. people
    kinda just serve as a mirror to my emotions. different
    people for different emotions.

    but at the same time i think it also has to do with my
    crazy imagination--like i can't stop imagining, so i really
    need a strong creative outlet, and through experience
    i have a vague idea of what each person's quota is on being
    that outlet. i deal with people according to the level of
    understanding i have for them. that's part of the reason
    why my behaviours are different around different people.


    i'm not uneasy with the shifting though. i like it. or else it'd
    be terribly boring to be the same 'ol mmhmm all the time.
    i'm only uneasy if i self-doubt. but for me, self-doubt is easily
    eliminated. it has to do a lot with not having a detached
    perspective as one of my core strengths. it's oh so very, very
    hard for me to relate to something from another's point of view.
    so dealing with different people based on different understandings
    really help me expand my perspectives.

    and i definitely don't think most people have an accurate first
    impression of me, the persona that i've cultivated isn't too
    expressive of the person i experience myself to be. most people
    just see parts and smidgins, and i'm the only one that gets to
    see everything put together. it has to do with how i store the
    things i understand in my head. i mean it all makes sense to
    me but it's like all in post-its you know? no form of organization
    in my head at all, so i have a difficult time articulating it out.

    my biggest issues has always been that i need be close
    (to somebody) but at the same time i need to be free.
    this is probably the most prominent internal conflict
    i have, and i actually notice it after the fact that it's
    created complications for me in interpersonal relationships.

    i just don't like relationships that are overly defined
    or confining in anyway at all. i must always feel i am
    free. my point is... somewhere in there.
    every normal man must be tempted, at times,
    to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag,
    and begin slitting throats.
    h.l. mencken

  5. #5
    resonance entropie's Avatar
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    I dont think that especially you have no sense of self, you rather have no sense of how you are perceived by others and by putting too much importance on the opinion of others, you become insecure. Opinions always have to be put into a context, if a 19 year old tells you something about yourself you cant take that the same way like if your husband would tell it to you. Being a self, means to just be one, there is no encrypted genetical makeup you have to find first, no its by the actions you show what person you are.

    It's a thing often misunderstood on this page and it follows a kinda religious dogma. Its that people constantly try to search for something when looking at their personality, not understanding that they are the ones which are at the same time the quest and the questing one. It's like a belief in a greater power or an inherited joke that makes people tick like they do, without understanding that the smithies of our luck is nobody than we ourselves.

    You have clearly identified your problem above, so self-awareness aint your trouble, now be a self !

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cwjiC397dE"].[/YOUTUBE]
    [URL]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tEBvftJUwDw&t=0s[/URL]

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmhmm View Post
    my point is... somewhere in there.
    This elicits my platonic love for you.

  7. #7
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    I am a little bit like that. This is why it is important for me to take some time to re-group and do things that I love to do I guess.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  8. #8
    Senior Member IndyGhost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    I am a little bit like that. This is why it is important for me to take some time to re-group and do things that I love to do I guess.
    Ditto. I've always felt as though this may be a problem common to insecure Fi. But I'm not too certain of that.

    I DO know that when I spend too much time interacting with others and not enough time by myself to think and digest things, that I often have this feeling of being lost. I won't know who I am anymore or what I want or what I believe in. So, time to myself is really important to me to have a stronger sense of self.
    "I don't know a perfect person.
    I only know flawed people who are still worth loving."
    -John Green

  9. #9
    Senior Member Neutralpov's Avatar
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    Is ESFP one where the introverted function is perceiving? I thought this was because in my cognitive function order my extroverted function (Fe) was judging and the introverted one (ni) perceiving, therefore always taking in information not making the decisions hence a lack of a introverted judging solidness (like Ti appears to me).
    Extroverted (E) 67.74% Introverted (I) 32.26%
    Intuitive (N) 51.72% Sensing (S) 48.28%
    Feeling (F) 51.61% Thinking (T) 48.39%
    Judging (J) 69.44% Perceiving (P) 30.56%

    Type 1 Perfectionism |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
    so/sx/sp

  10. #10
    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HeatherC View Post
    Is ESFP one where the introverted function is perceiving? I thought this was because in my cognitive function order my extroverted function (Fe) was judging and the introverted one (ni) perceiving, therefore always taking in information not making the decisions hence a lack of a introverted judging solidness (like Ti appears to me).
    No, ESFP is Se dominant (extroverted perceiving) and Fi aux (introverted judging).

    It's kind of the opposite for you.
    "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

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