Sunday, 22 November 2009

Thoughts on identity...

Hi everyone. :)

I thought I'd just write a little bit to go along with the song I've just posted. - Not so much an explanation, but other thoughts on identity etc....

You probably already know that it's something that interests/puzzles/frustrates me. Lol. "Pushing, pulling with my conscience just to find what's underneath..." Trying to work out who you truly are...feeling as though you have to find a place to fit it...maintaining your uniqueness...

It's all a bit confusing really. If you worry too much about being true to yourself, ignoring influences/advice from others, you can end up isolating yourself - and feeling unhappy about who you are.

Sometimes I feel as though I'm deceiving people with my appearance/the way I come across...I think that's why I like to try out lots of different styles. I'm showing people the different sides of me, and exploring my identity at the same time.

I have a friend who (no, it's not me. Lol) genuinely thinks she's inferior to those around her, and can't seem to value herself for who she is. She doesn't seem unhappy, but has sort of accepted herself as 'inferior' and just carries on leading her life, goes out, has fun as per norm. I get a bit frustrated with this, and try to ask exactly what it is that makes her feel a lesser being than those around her...but she just says..."I know I'm not really, but it's hard."

And I was thinking then - 'who am I to talk?' I'm always trying to stop myself feeling inferior.

Anyhow. I'm trying to say stuff, but I don't think I'm actually saying it. Lol. So I'd best be off for now...if you have any thoughts on the topic, then they'd be great to hear in the comments box - perhaps we could have a little discussion. :)

TTFN xxxxx

P.S - These lyrics just came on the ironic... Lol

Everybody's searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone to fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me


Larry said...

I have a comment, and I doubt that it will be of much help though. Being in my 60s, I have seen a lot, and my perspective seems to be slowly and constantly changing. It seems like only yesterday that I struggled with these same ideas. The point is, I feel that the teen and early adult years were the most challenging for me. It was like I was trying to 'put myself into a box' of description. Which was cool. The only problem was that I was changing and developing too fast to fit anywhere. Only recently, can I really feel that I can define myself in totality.

Maybe a main factor here is easier said than done until later years. And that is to quit being concerned about it and being oneself. I like to do that, and live by the little advertising phrase of long ago that says, "What you see is what you get." Yes. After all, isn't it really going to be that way anyhow? Well, assuming one has progressed beyond the point of 'playing games' and 'putting on airs' to try to impress others. That usually passes away with age and maturity, but not always.

The easiest, happiest and most successful existence comes from just being honest and being oneself, imho. While it is true that not everyone will like us, those people can just go away. Good riddance.

Oh my, I am getting carried away here! :)

H said...

Hi Larry, yes definitely - it does feel like I should be fitting myself into some kind of's like you're trying to fit in with other people/society, but missing the point that you should be finding your own little space in the world, and realising that it belongs to you. You aren't like other people. No one is.

My age feels so strange at this I'm in limbo. Not yet an adult, comfortable with my own identity, but not a carefree child either...

I think when you're growing up it's a hard thing to accept; that not everyone will like you. - I don't like conflict at all, and feel terrible when I think I might have upset someone. I'm a kind of...I don't know how to say it - compromising person...I look for the best in people and always find something to like. But some people form an opinion straight away and don't try to understand others, which upsets me - and I guess makes me feel a little insecure.
I'm a very shy person to talk to. It feels as though I don't let people get to know me very's kind of a protective thing really...everything's on the surface...I don't express myself very well, so I'm worried they won't understand me and therefore won't give me a chance.

I have to learn to be more bold and just put my opinion out there, realising that not everyone will like me.

I think my motto should be 'Go with the flow'! Lol. The more conscious I am about being myself, the more I'm deviating away from actually BEING that person.

Anyhow, thankyou for your comment Larry, I fear this comment is like a waffly essay. Lol. xxxxx

Larry said...

Not waffly at all to me. As I said, I have been there. What you are experiencing now is one of the hardest things you will ever face. It is natural and necessary part of development and maturation, and the ideas and ideals formed at this time will govern the rest of our lifes.

It might be hard to accept the fact that not everybody will like us. Just as we will not like everyone else (if we admit the truth). But it is something that must be realized. It is normal and natural. What is *not* natural is being a 'people pleaser' because we seek acceptance from others. Many people live this way, like your friend. And by so doing have stunted their own emotional development. Also note that their are multitudes of people who will spot and use this to their own ends. They are 'manipulators' and need to be typed with the 'good riddance' bunch.

You will outgrow what you are feeling now as long as you do not let it bind you right now. It is something we all must pass through and it serves to build our character and strengthen us for the days ahead. I feel that there is no harder time to get through in life, but none that is more important to set the stage of life.

There are many people that do not like me, and there are many people that I do not like. And that is OK! That fact is what must be learned from this experience that is common to all of us. If we learn it, we move on and up. If we do not, we are bound by it and cease to move anywhere in our emotional lives. imho. :)

Larry said...

Oops. Forgot to say in reply to your comment about 'trying to find our own little space...'.

We do not have to try to find it. We are already in it! Let the others deal with that fact. Let the 'keepers' stay, and let the trash be put out. We do not owe anyone except our maker, anything.

wolfgang said...

Identity seems to me always to have a double face. An individual one and a social one. And one difficulty is, that we cannot really divide these two parts in a clean way, they are always interconnected. I a m in a certain way the expectations, that other project on me or the adorement for other persons and I a m someone making highly individual experiances, that are not communicable to other persons or only to few.
We are invadable, that is a blessing a n d a curse. And we need to find gatekeepers to decide which "information" is good for us and which is toxic. Toxic information can often be recognized by confronting us with unsolvable problems, catastrophic expectations or moraline acid.
My mother is a real specialist in infiltrating such information and brainwashing (=killing the gate
keepers) up to that point, where you cannot recognize, what is up and what is down.
The things always turn out to be the same. We get insecure (which means our compasses are destroyed) and than we are an easy prey.
Holly, you are a gifted woman and that necessarily makes the thing not easier. You will be different from others, b u t the other side of the coin is, that you are able to express yourself.
In my work I wish I would like to have a confidence injector.

Mehr fällt mir im Moment nicht ein und aus der Küche kommen verführerische Essensdüfte.

wolfgang said...

Regarding to your friend: The lack of confidence or better self-confidence also could (!!!) be an indicator for a anxiety disorder, depression and eating disorders like bulimia or anorexia or ... Often knowing consciously, that inferiority is not true, this knowledge doesn't help, because the f e e l i n g of being inferior is so overwhelming.

xenonrush said...

The words of Bob the Bard in To Ramona have always rung in my ears as a song about self and self confidence:
Yet there's no one to beat you.
No one to defeat you,
except the thoughts of yourself feeling bad.
I've heard you say many times
That you're better than no one
And no one is better than you.
If you really believe that,
you know you have
nothing to win and nothing to lose.
From fixtures and forces and friends,
your sorrow does stem.
That hype you and type you,
and making you feel
that you gotta be just like them.
Never really had much time for introspection but I know that ‘who am I’ is a concern for many people. I was always too busy being me to wonder who me was.
Interesting that Larry uses the phrase “What you see is what you get”. A U.S. colleague said that of me many years ago when I was working for the Yankee dollar and I took it as a slight until he explained what was meant by it. I had thought he was saying I was shallow and lacked depth whereas I knew my depth was so vast as to be unfathomable.
I agree with Larry that “The easiest, happiest and most successful existence comes from just being honest and being oneself”. I think I shall have to call Larry ‘O Wise One’ from now on, although it’s a bit long for a nick name, since I agree with quite a bit of what he writes here. Don’t worry about not being liked by everyone. Nobody ever has been.
I am amazed that you say “I'm always trying to stop myself feeling inferior” since your level of achievement for a 19 (just) year old is very impressive and puts you well into the upper quartile. You are very talented but that won’t stop the knock backs in life. There will always be opportunities you wanted that you won’t get but like most of us you’ll just have to take it in your stride. Tomorrow has always been another day and I am sure that on balance you will do very nicely thank you very much.

TV said...

I have to agree with you about the "social and individual face", Wolfgang. But it's a thing, that leads and follows you through every age. I recognized it around the age of 10, I think. And this time I tried to do some experiments with people's personalities. I never had any friends up to the 11th grade, I was terribly unpopular, so I had the chance to try the impact of different behaviour.
After I came closer to some people, I was able to do some comparison. And I learnt, that social behaviour is almost everytime built on fear.
I developed a major cruelty in my early years, I guess :D Because I tried to erase that social mask and replaced it with my very own face. The cruel thing about that is: As soon as you are narcissist enough to put your inner self to the outside, you become offensive. You grow a seed, that other call people consider most negative, borderless egoism. That wipes social fears away (for example those "I don't express myself very well, so I'm worried they won't understand me and therefore won't give me a chance" ones), but it causes a lot of trouble, if you are not stoic :D honesty is not a beloved thing.
But is has one benefit, that relativizes the "other people are upset" thing. You are a semi-outcast, and with that, you become your own best friend and you don't have any trouble with "finding yourself" or "what shall my appearance be". You don't need those thoughts, because negative feedback is just for your amusement.
I have a great amount of fun with that, it's pure freedom and playing with other people's fears is one of the funniest things to do on this whole planet.
The only hard thing about it is, that I am 19 and still a virgin :D

wolfgang said...

TV, what you said is very interesting. Peter Sloterdijk once wrote: "Identität ist eine Selbstverständlichkeitsprothese in unsicherem Gelände." We need this prothesis, if we are in fear or uncertain, otherwise it is useless. or women it is quite more difficult, because they are much more trained in "being good". I can watch this every day at my work,with hundreds of female workers playing the "I'm not good enough"-game, which keeps everything running." The pasha of manager only needs to show his long baboon teeth...
Gitta Mühlen-Achs wrote a book about this item: "Geschlecht Bewusst Gemacht" with many, many pictures. A real treasure.

H said...

Wow! Very wise words everyone. I often think - wouldn't it be great it we could wave a magic wand and suddenly be in the same room having a nice cuppa and a chat. :)

Lol - I love your take on things TV. That's a very honest way to be. - At least whenever you meet people they know exactly what they're getting - and you know they want to be your friend for exactly who you are. :)

I'll be back later today to do a blog. :)

TTFN xxxxx

wolfgang said...

Holly berufe uns einfach ein! Du hast die Macht.