Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Linked From Here
I am publishing this earlier post again because there have been a couple of searches for information on self-reflection/introspection and the inability to do this. Another post that is relevant is called Unfinished Business: http://therapiststhoughts.blogspot.com/2011/01/unfinished-business-third-in-series.html
Seeing Your Self
Self-observation is key to personal growth. That is the ability to stand outside yourself, outside your own experience and see, with objectivity, what you do. I will give you two examples, one where the person has this capacity and is using it (it is sometimes referred to as "the observing ego") and another example of a person who has not developed this ability.The first is about two parents having a conversation, discussing their grown child and her boyfriend. In their conversation, they say nice things to each other about him. After the talk ends, one parent is reflecting on it and realizes that, since they both know that their daughter is serious about this man and they love her, they are each trying to find things in him to admire and value; they are working at incorporating him into their family matrix. This only became conscious after the fact, when the one parent saw in her mind, a mini re-play of that part of the exchange and recognized what they had been doing.
The second example is one of a person in late middle-age who feels lonely and disappointed. Most of the people in his life who should be close to him, are not. One after another, the people in his family and friend group have distanced themselves from him. It isn't that he is a bad person. In fact, he does a lot of favors for others. However, he has problems of his own that infringe on his relationships: He is moody and also, sometimes says insensitive, inappropriate, or harsh things to others. As a result, his relatives and friends have learned to be guarded around him and the one thing he most longs for, closeness with others, eludes him. However, he has never been inclined to wonder, since this seems to be a pattern in his life, if he, himself, might have anything to do with it. He does not notice his own behavior. He simply blames the other person or the circumstances and goes on, endlessly repeating the same mistake.
Sometimes questioning yourself can be a good thing.If you have an observing ego but haven't paid much attention to it, you might try to be more aware of those little observations of yourself when they come to mind. You can develop this capacity with a little attention to it.
It is one way that you, yourself, can make your life better.
- Have you been noticing what you are doing?
- Do you perceive any patterns in your behavior?
- Do you like what you see?
- Is there something you'd want to change? Are you learning about yourself?