Can we truly know ourselves? | INFJ Forum

Can we truly know ourselves?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by TinyBubbles, May 26, 2010.

Share This Page

Watchers:
This thread is being watched by 1 user.
More threads by TinyBubbles
  1. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Threads:
    245
    Messages:
    9,346
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Trophy Points:
    966
    MBTI:
    ^.^
    Enneagram:
    .
    I read a quote once which said "other people are the lenses through which we see ourselves" meaning we realize who we are from the perspectives of third parties... & implying we cannot see ourselves directly. Like the reflection in a rusty mirror we'd have a picture shone back to us in the form of the attitudes and perceptions of other people - the accuracy of this picture (the shininess of the mirror?) would depend on:
    1. The number of third parties you're involved with
    2. The accuracy of their judgment
    3. Your ability to accurately interpret their judgment

    Since we're limited to the number of people who we know and CAN know and interact with, that would affect no.1 (also by third parties I don't mean actual people - even a paragraph in a book describing personality types had to come from a person who had a certain image of the person you believe yourself to be. I guess a better way of saying it is, the number of opinions of yourself you're exposed to, in whatever format.)

    The accuracy of their judgment would always be put into question, as human beings are not unbiased creatures - age, mood, personal history, past events, etc.etc. would affect our motivation and ability to directly express what we see of others... it's like taking a paintbrush to the mirror and scribbling all over it, messing up what is there with what YOU are (and what you want).. also certain judgments would be out of our direct control, such as subtle changes in body language when you're around a person you really like.

    no.3 - your ability to interpret others' judgment accurately and thus see the picture in the mirror as, say, a lion and not a kitty cat, would also be subject to your own psychological biases; you won't necessarily see what's there as opposed to what you are. Do you know what I mean? Your focus would already be on a certain part of the picture based on everything that's already happened to you, based on the way your brain is wired, based on what gets your endorphins flowing and what doesn't - so what is THERE (what they see) and what your eyes can see might be two very different things.

    Also it might not be true that we can't know ourselves directly, after all personality theories like the one this forum is based on are founded on that very premise - that individuals know their own minds better than anyone else (and some part of our ego I'm sure would agree with the notion - nobody wants to feel like somebody else knows them better, do they? Or maybe they do?)



    Uh.. getting off track again. Anyway, what do you think, can people truly know themselves? And what does "knowing yourself" really mean, anyway?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  2. Skathac

    Skathac <font color=#27A601>Community Member</font>

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Threads:
    4
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    215
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Knowing yourself to me is understanding your desires, wishes, fears, and motives.

    I reckon if of the right mindset one can completely know oneself, at least better than anyone else could. Sure there are cases where you can lie to yourself but unless an outside force is causing an alteration in your perceptions you know it is a lie.

    Sometimes a person may become heavily scarred emotionally and this could cause them to gloss over parts of themselves, effectively being unable to see themselves completely.

    I suspect to suggest otherwise, such as someone telling us that they know us better than we know ourselves, is an insult as what could we really know better than our own mind and body?

    My best friend, I feel like I know the best of anyone I have ever met. I am certain though I have insights into aspects of his personality he refuses to acknowledge, still he knows himself better than I ever could. This being acknowledged, I find it the duty of a close friend to offer these insights when asked or the friend feels it is truly needed to help growth emotionally or otherwise.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. Gaze

    Donor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Threads:
    2,391
    Messages:
    28,225
    Featured Threads:
    99
    Likes Received:
    22,286
    Trophy Points:
    1,906
    MBTI:
    INFPishy
    Agree.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Threads:
    245
    Messages:
    9,346
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Trophy Points:
    966
    MBTI:
    ^.^
    Enneagram:
    .

    great post. when we are young maybe people know us better than we know ourselves, since few toddlers are very self aware! likewise perhaps an older person or one with more experience in whatever we're doing would understand our motivations and perceptions better than we do. it could be an insult if you think you know yourself inside out and have intimately connected with yourself (that sounds wrong..lol) but i also feel that all points of view could add something, however minute, to your self awareness - even if you don't immediately agree with them (might turn out later on, you change your mind and realize they were right.)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  5. Skathac

    Skathac <font color=#27A601>Community Member</font>

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Threads:
    4
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    215
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    That is why I feel it is important to only surround yourself with good friends you know you can completely trust. This is the only way you can be certain that any insight into yourself that they give has no ulterior motive.

    Trust sure ain't easy, only a rare few make it to the core of the onion.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Threads:
    245
    Messages:
    9,346
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Trophy Points:
    966
    MBTI:
    ^.^
    Enneagram:
    .

    but how would you discern who is a 'good' friend? good means different things to different people - at different times. what you want of a friend one day might be different to what you NEED, and what you might need or want the next day, etc. also people can have the best of intentions but still make terrible friends..
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. Skathac

    Skathac <font color=#27A601>Community Member</font>

    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Threads:
    4
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    215
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Good points May. Its difficult to describe outright but I'll give it a shot.

    My best friend astrologically speaking is a polar opposite to myself, he is a Taurus. There have been times that we have fought verbally till we're about ready to go at each other with whatever sharp instrument is at hand. This has been few and far between though. Somehow we found a level of comfort in the fact that there are parts inside us that irritate the other yet we can be brutally honest about it. We find no need to compete and see one another as equals whom could not accept being under either one's leadership. We share many similar views on everything yet there are many differences of opinion to value as well. At the core of this particular male bond we'd go to bat for the other so to speak, there is no favor that couldn't be asked if the friend was truly in need.

    Oddly enough I met the fellow when he was going to college and working at a gas station during the graveyard shift. At the time I was teaching violent mentally disabled children independent living skills. This always seemed to be one of those oases I could stop at and collect myself after a grueling fifteen hour shift had really worn me down. We struck up a conversation one day because he was considering working there due to the pay and how you could squeeze in 30 hours of work in two days on the weekend. Maybe my honesty about the job is what started the bond, some people that do similar things try to make themselves look like saints where I explain it can be nerve wracking as hell and how very difficult it is. In any event a few months of discussions at 11pm-1am and we got to know each other pretty well, ending up with a friend that has never let me down. Maybe its luck or fate in this particular case, but I've met other people in similar circumstances where the feeling of honesty and trust just were not there.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    #7 Skathac, May 26, 2010
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
    TinyBubbles likes this.
  8. DoveAlexa

    DoveAlexa Chaz's Lovey Bunny
    Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Threads:
    30
    Messages:
    1,996
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    9
    Many people have told me to STOP listening to what others say about me. I think relying on others to know yourself leads to only being concerned with what others think about you, and thus not being true to yourself.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  9. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Threads:
    245
    Messages:
    9,346
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Trophy Points:
    966
    MBTI:
    ^.^
    Enneagram:
    .
    could you explain what you mean by being true to yourself? i've heard that a lot and i don't really get it, how can you be other than "Yourself?" :m075:
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Poetic Justice likes this.
  10. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,792
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    950
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    I can only 'know' myself relative to other things.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  11. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Threads:
    245
    Messages:
    9,346
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Trophy Points:
    966
    MBTI:
    ^.^
    Enneagram:
    .
    yep that was my interpretation also, although not only to things but to people too
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  12. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,792
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    950
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    My interpretation of 'things' includes people, lol.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  13. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,792
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    950
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    Brings another question to mind:

    How well can you unknow yourself?

    Hehe.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  14. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Threads:
    245
    Messages:
    9,346
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Trophy Points:
    966
    MBTI:
    ^.^
    Enneagram:
    .
    oh ok ;) i think some people might object to being referred to as a thing tho :p although i guess if you don't specify a difference between living and non living matter, then everything's a thing. XD technically maybe we are things, since we break apart physically and react to physical stresses like every'thing' else. is consciousness a thing?
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  15. 88chaz88

    88chaz88 Back for a limited time only
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Threads:
    141
    Messages:
    4,872
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1,223
    Trophy Points:
    766
    MBTI:
    ????
    Enneagram:
    9w1
    I shall let this guy answer for me:

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2xOw-VXe_g"]YouTube- One man band (cigo man band)[/ame]

    As you can see, he makes a compelling argument.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  16. DoveAlexa

    DoveAlexa Chaz's Lovey Bunny
    Donor

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2010
    Threads:
    30
    Messages:
    1,996
    Likes Received:
    271
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFJ
    Enneagram:
    9
    If all you care about is looking good to others, how care you attend to the things which actually make you happy and mentally healthy? You lose what you want when you care all about what everyone wants out of you.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  17. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Threads:
    245
    Messages:
    9,346
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Trophy Points:
    966
    MBTI:
    ^.^
    Enneagram:
    .
    unknow youself? well whatever do you mean, mr. NAI? i'm assuming it's either not knowing yourself or unlearning something you do know (which maybe you can't do). how well can you not know yourself... hmmm id say people have an infinite capacity for ignorance, especially when it comes to themselves (and probably people they love)
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  18. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Threads:
    245
    Messages:
    9,346
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Trophy Points:
    966
    MBTI:
    ^.^
    Enneagram:
    .
    but you're assuming what you want isn't what everyone else wants of you... say your happiness derived from being what others wanted, looking good to them- then you'd be being untrue to yourself by not trying to impress them
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  19. OP
    TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Threads:
    245
    Messages:
    9,346
    Featured Threads:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2,229
    Trophy Points:
    966
    MBTI:
    ^.^
    Enneagram:
    .
    hahahahah i loved that! definitely brings something new to the table XD
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  20. NeverAmI

    NeverAmI Satisclassifaction
    Retired Staff

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Threads:
    197
    Messages:
    8,792
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Likes Received:
    950
    Trophy Points:
    0
    MBTI:
    INFP
    Enneagram:
    5w4
    Yea, you are right, bad choice of words on my part!

    For me, it is to shed bias. To look at yourself freshly each time. Not to say 'I am this' and 'I am not that' in relation to something; such as existing in a point and time outside the relativity of everything else as far as possible.


    In terms of the OP, VERY few know me well enough to make any sort of accurate judgement. I don't let much be known about myself, I didn't quite realize how much that is the case until recently. Either way, people can only judge me within the confines of the context in which my actions were observed by them. This means that their frame of reference for a certain set of actions on my part is extremely limited and they typically are quite far off unless I divulge to them that extended frame of reference.

    So no, it is more of me providing them a way to know me. Some people may be more accurate at calling up fine/minute details of that frame of reference that I may forget, but unless they somehow acquired that from me from the start, or had spent a substantial amount of time witnessing my interactions with a vast array of experiences, they really don't have much to offer in terms of psychological analysis.

    You could say 'you were in this certain frame of mind at the time.' But you can't assume to tell me 'You are this.'
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
    Poetic Justice likes this.
Loading...

Share This Page