Hybrid identities: Ever feel as if you're existing between worlds? | INFJ Forum

Hybrid identities: Ever feel as if you're existing between worlds?

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Gaze, Oct 16, 2010.

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  1. Gaze

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    Hybrid identities: Ever feel as if you're mentally living or existing between two or three cultures of consciousness or worlds . . . not metaphysically :D?

    For example, migrating to a different country almost 15 years ago, from a place with starkly different values or beliefs than the one i'm living in, over the years i've felt displaced and disconnected from everything, unsure where to fit. I often feel as if i'm split between two or three different cultures of consciousness, and neither one feels completely comfortable or accepting. Sometimes feel as if being torn in many directions. Existence sometimes feels like a continous experience of morphing or shift shaping to fit the worlds you are socializing in with a strained and uncertain sense of identity.

    Have you ever felt this way? How and why?
     
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    #1 Gaze, Oct 16, 2010
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2010
  2. Praefect

    Praefect Sparkles

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    Yeah, for similar reasons as yourself. I was an Army brat. Born in the States, brought up in Germany. When I was among Americans I was "the German" and when I was among Germans I was "the American". And when the war with Afghanistan broke out and Germany and the USA nearly cut diplomatic ties, when next to the collage on base, just outside the security fence, there were 20 feet high letters sprayed on a wall telling me to get out of Germany... well... I found myself trying to be a bridge builder. With Americans I would make them try to understand the German viewpoint. With Germans, the American. I didn't make many friends in that time ;)
     
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  3. OP
    Gaze

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    Yeah, i'm sure that was a much more difficult experience than mine. Whenever you try to fit in each, there's always the sense that you're an outsider. Of course i don't think we need to fit everywhere we go, but it's difficult to always be sitting on the fence, rather than having the choice to be accepted on one side or the other without judgment or question.

    I don't fit in my native culture anymore. But i don't fit in this culture either. So, it's a constant battle or balance trying to manage a middle ground between them without feeling displaced.
     
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    #3 Gaze, Oct 16, 2010
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  4. Praefect

    Praefect Sparkles

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    It wasn't really difficult. I used it to my advantage.

    "Who's this bozo? Oh, he is American/German? Really? Oh my, you speak American/German so well. And your accent. SWOON" :m085:
     
  5. OP
    Gaze

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    Ah, well, the German accent is nice. :)
     
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  6. Siamese cat

    Siamese cat Madame Cat strikes again

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    Well I always feel like I could live almost anywhere, that I can blend in almost any culture or respect it enough for them to accept me. People in general accept me very easily, but I always have a feeling like the place that I belong is bigger than one I am at that moment. I have a feeling that I grow out of every place I go fairly quick after I got there.

    I'm a big proponent of cosmopolitanism.

    Not sure that this was an adequate answer to your question though.
     
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  7. OP
    Gaze

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    I studied cosmopolitanism in grad school, and it's a very interesting persepective - the citizen of the world approach to movement across the regions of the world. I'm not sure i'd be a great cosmopolitan because i've still held on tightly to specific cultural traditions and perspectives. On the other hand, when online especially on forums like this, i often feel more cosmopolitan and less restricted in my identity. I feel i can move around a little more freely, construct, and occupy different identities simultaneously.
     
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    #7 Gaze, Oct 16, 2010
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  8. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    Yes, I feel this way. Part of this comes from many years of studying other times and other cultures, part comes from experiences with people today from the days when I worked on short-form documentaries. I gleaned much from these experiences...so much so that feel like I live in the midst of all these varied influences, even moreso that they are all somehow connected in heart and spirit.

    I feel out-of-step at times, but more often I feel enriched and rooted in something bigger than I, something timeless, trustworthy and profound. I kinda like it.
     
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  9. Odyne

    Odyne ===========
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    Story of my life.

    I have mixed heritage, I lived in different countries, and friends with people from all over the world.

    Hybrid is an understatement. More like International. lol

    As cool as that may sound, it always makes it difficult for me to find a place to call home, or easily get along with just about anyone. I have to spend time figuring out my environment and the culture I am immersed in, or the people I am with. So, i end up feeling like an outcast for sometime, until I get it all down right.

    Hmm. "Odyne without Borders"....sounds like a good usertitle. lol
     
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  10. aeon

    aeon Ooh, a bunny!
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    Yes, but not because of travelling between or among countries or cultures. My sense of this came from my experience as a child as I transitioned from home, where I was abused, to the outside world (school, etc.) where I did my best to appear and act normal.

    Part of that was, e.g., lying to classmates when they would ask what I had done the previous weekend. I would make something up so I didn't have to reveal my secret and shame that I had spent the weekend locked in a closet.

    In class I could excel and be myself, often finding special status with a teacher, but at home I had to really concentrate on not expressing myself, trying my best to self-nullify and meet the ever-changing expectations.

    In the end, there was the outside world, the home world, and then the world I escaped to in my own head. Looking back, it amazes me what I could endure as long as I could secretly slip into a world of depersonalization where everything was OK.

    That said, sometimes it all made sense, and sometimes I felt like was going mad and losing myself, forgetting who I actually was.

    There was also another world where I kept the secrets of my babysitter and her friends. I never told anyone that they cut my pills in half because I was small, or that I knew how to roll a J.

    Still, I wouldn't change a thing now, even if I could.


    cheers,
    Ian
     
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  11. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    My story is similar to Odyne's, but I mostly lived in the US. I had no similar cultures with which I could identify growing up, and I felt painfully out of step. When I did hang out with someone of a similar racial background I was woefully - and painfully - out of the loop. :D Never got the jokes, never got the lingo...you know the drill. But when I tried hanging out with the other group I was labeled with the other racial background, tho' I never identified with the culture.

    So...I remember a little German (I was fluent at 7 years' old). I know how to perform the Jewish shabbat and Erev shabbat. I know a lot of Jewish songs and I've been through several Seder meals and ceremonies.

    Growing up was exceedingly difficult, but I've found I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything else. They opened up my love for travel and allowed me to enjoy different multicultural situations. Now, I still have problems fitting in with my extended family (big time) but I've realized my family is beyond blood relatives as well.
     
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  12. Nixie

    Nixie Resurrected

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    I've had to filter the dominant culture out of most everything I did. Many of the ideals of American culture are contrary to my Native beliefs and how I see the world. I never felt out of place though because I knew who I was and where I came from. It is more like an automatic process now. I don't feel stuck of alienated, it just feels normal to have to filter out crap that I don't believe in and embrace ideals that I do believe in.
     
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  13. Inquisitive

    Inquisitive Steering By The Stars

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    I can relate to much of what has been shared here, but oddly enough I think I feel this tension most within my actual family. We have social class issues. We have members who are thoroughly upper class complete with homes with multi million dollar price tags and at the same time, members at the other end of the spectrum who likely qualify for food stamps. During the holidays I can start off an evening in a satiny dress and heels and end it in jeans and a sweater. Seriously, I leave a change of clothes in the car.
     
  14. Claridon

    Claridon Community Member

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    When I moved to Maui I lived, and still live, in rural areas around local people. I was afraid that I would stick out and not be able to fit in, I'm blonde with blue eyes, not like I can blend. But I discovered that since Maui is more rural compared to say Oahu, it has a very small town, country feel. Since I am from a similar area back in Ohio, if I approached people from what I knew, which was very much the same, I got along fine. Maui isn't home, but the local people I know are my family...more so than people from "the States," who have moved here and tried to make it an enclave of where ever they are from. All that being said, I can relate because my identity has shifted from being in a different culture, and an in a inbetween place. Part of life and growth.
     
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