Who You Are VS Who They Say You Are

TheRedMageGuitarist

Campfire Attention Holder
Legend+
Nov 6, 2021
189
770
Kansas City
22
Hey there synners and kittens...

I had some deep thoughts that I wanted to share with all of you and maybe you'll find it comforting or helpful, or maybe you'll just have some thoughts to add to it.

Anyway, my life has changed so much since I moved to a new place. It's hard. But in a good way. For the first time in my life, I'm not living under the umbrella of anyone else. Even when I lived on my own several times before, my family ALWAYS had their nose in my business telling me what to do. But now it's different. And that means, for the first time in my life, I can truly express myself and find out who I really am. I'm gonna try to break this down a bit. From what I learned about myself FROM OTHERS and what they told ME I was:

I am a narcissist
I am manic bipolar
I am lazy
I'm unmotivated
I'm a slacker
I have a sugar addiction
I'm terrible with my finances
I'm an impulsive spender
I have depression
I have an obsessive compulsive disorder with my weight


Listen to all of those negative things that others have made me feel believe I am. It's a huge list. Next thing I know, I'm micromanaging every task and thing in my life trying to "fix" these other things people have said about me. And it becomes overwhelming. Just because you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer after work, does not make you an alcoholic. Just because you get random bouts of energy and go on a cleaning frenzy, doesn't mean you're manic. Just because you sulk and you feel for a day or even a month, doesn't make you depressed.

I was talking with a friend a few days ago, and their therapist suggest them to change their coping mechanisms. My friend was told things like "you need to change your behavior" (I'm just paraphrasing what was said), and I told my friend, "but what if this is who you are? Is what you're doing TRULY negative and harmful to yourself and to others?"

At what point do we start changing who we actually ARE in order to be who people PERCEIVE we should be? If you ask me, this seems like this mentality continuously places the blame on OURSELVES instead of OTHERS who have done us harm. We have become a culture accustomed to "self-awareness" and "mindfulness" that we are starting to overlook that well, maybe we're just fine how we are. Maybe this is who we are. And maybe we don't have anxiety, maybe it's trauma from the horrible things people have done to us.

Have you ever noticed that people will say "I have anxiety" instead of "my parents abandoned me and I was raped when I was 12." Or how about people will say "I'm an alcoholic" instead of "my wife stresses me out and I'm really miserable about my job."
I personally feel like when we place this weight on ourselves, we carry that burden of ruminating faults within our very being. I'm not saying blame others for your problems. And if you actually DO have a problem, then it should change.

Like do you have anxiety and randomly lash out and beat your child because of it? Or are you just anxious?
The first example is clearly an issue that needs to change. But the latter is just a personality trait.

Anyway, I'm getting off on a tangent. I hope I'm making sense. What I'm trying to say, is I've learned a lot about myself and I've clarified the following...


I am a narcissist No, I just have confidence and I get upset when people view me as unworthy
I am manic bipolar No, I get motivated and have creative sparks where I realize I took on more than I could handle
I am lazy No, I just enjoy my downtime and relaxing
I'm unmotivated No, I just don't feel guilty for not being a slave to success
I'm a slacker No, I'd rather just be doing something else because the task I'm "slacking on" is of no interest to me
I have a sugar addiction No, I just enjoy sweet stuff as a part of fun things in life. I can go weeks without it if I need to.
I'm terrible with my finances No, I manage my money just fine. I just choose not open up 10 thrift savings plans or IRA accounts
I'm an impulsive spender No, I just find joy in finally being able to afford little things I like for once in my life
I have depression No, sometimes I just feel like sulking and being in thought and reflective
I have an obsessive compulsive disorder with my weight No, I'm tired of being obese my whole life and I'm on an inspired path to change that


I would like to iterate that I am not demeaning or devaluing ANYONE'S mental health or professional diagnosis. I was just truly thinking that sometimes we project our own demands of life onto others. And just because you go to someone else's house and their dishes aren't done, doesn't mean they're a slob.

So my final question is: are you being who you want to be confidently? Or do you ever find yourself changing who you truly are to fit the narrative of someone else that's been in your ear far too much?

I've let a lot of this go, and I've never been happier.
 

iridecently

Hot Topic Tourer
Legend+
Legend
  • Jun 5, 2020
    156
    650
    Groningen
    1
    While I totally agree that it's important to separate other's perception (or at least how you think others perceive you) from your own perception of yourself, it can also be important to reflect on that perception others might have of you.

    I have generalised anxiety disorder. For as long as I can remember I have always worried about the dumbest little shit. Up until a few years ago I would avoid asking store employees for help if I couldn't find someone because in my mind they would think I am stupid, even if rationally I knew that wasn't the case because it is literally their job to help you find shit. Of course this behaviour wasn't exactly harmful, but let's just say it isn't helpful either. I could get through life perfectly fine like this, but that doesn't mean it's not a good idea to maybe learn some tools or behaviours to cope with this better. What I am trying to say I guess is things don't have to be a problem in order for you to want to change them and getting diagnoses or 'labels' can help people cope and understand their own shortcomings better.

    I however totally agree that if people, especially ones that don't know you well, have a laundry list of things that are 'wrong' with you you shouldn't take that at face value. If you know who you are, what you want and are comfortable and happy with where you are then everybody else can go suck a (proverbial) dick.
     

    TheRedMageGuitarist

    Campfire Attention Holder
    Legend+
    Nov 6, 2021
    189
    770
    Kansas City
    22
    Of course this behaviour wasn't exactly harmful, but let's just say it isn't helpful either.
    That's 100% what I agree with. And that's where I think some people have struggles finding the perfect balance. Like, where's the line between self-destructive behavior, being who others want you to be, and then just being happy with who you are naturally?

    I do 100% understand that people have things like GAD, but what I'd like to know MORE of is:
    1: Was their GAD triggered by something traumatic in their life, ex: lack of support, subconscious abuse, etc.
    -OR-
    2: Do they really have an anxiety disorder by nature?

    Because for me, the example you gave with someone in a store thinking you're stupid for asking for help, well, there's been a shit ton of times I've asked for help and I've actually gotten yelled at, cursed at, and so much more. There's been so many times workers will act like I've ruined their life and they're rude. So, when I ask the next worker for help and I'm a little anxious because of it, is it because I have an anxiety disorder or people in the past have been buttholes?

    And that's what I'd like to differentiate. Are we depressed because we have depression, or are we depressed because we've been treated like shit our whole lives? Are we anxious because we're anxious by nature? Or are we anxious because we weren't raised confidently in a sound home?

    Also, I 100% agree that things that aren't comfortable for an individual should always be changed, as long as it's THEM that feels this way and no one else
     

    iridecently

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Legend+
    Legend
  • Jun 5, 2020
    156
    650
    Groningen
    1
    That's 100% what I agree with. And that's where I think some people have struggles finding the perfect balance. Like, where's the line between self-destructive behavior, being who others want you to be, and then just being happy with who you are naturally?

    I do 100% understand that people have things like GAD, but what I'd like to know MORE of is:
    1: Was their GAD triggered by something traumatic in their life, ex: lack of support, subconscious abuse, etc.
    -OR-
    2: Do they really have an anxiety disorder by nature?

    Because for me, the example you gave with someone in a store thinking you're stupid for asking for help, well, there's been a shit ton of times I've asked for help and I've actually gotten yelled at, cursed at, and so much more. There's been so many times workers will act like I've ruined their life and they're rude. So, when I ask the next worker for help and I'm a little anxious because of it, is it because I have an anxiety disorder or people in the past have been buttholes?

    And that's what I'd like to differentiate. Are we depressed because we have depression, or are we depressed because we've been treated like shit our whole lives? Are we anxious because we're anxious by nature? Or are we anxious because we weren't raised confidently in a sound home?

    Also, I 100% agree that things that aren't comfortable for an individual should always be changed, as long as it's THEM that feels this way and no one else
    Of course I can't say this with 100% certainty, but at least my GAD wasn't triggered by anything traumatic. Of course things like this can definitely develop due to trauma or the environment that you grow up in, there is also a genetic and chemical component to it. Honestly sometimes it blows my mind how much you body just not producing slightly enough of something can fuck up your entire system.

    On the other hand I don't think you can really separate having depression/anxiety/whatever 'naturally' or because of something that happened. Either way it's something you carry with you and need to find ways to cope with in whatever manner suits you and your life.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Ed Seith
    I think in this particular case iri I think you may have misconstrued what she said. I don't think she's discrediting anybody's mental diagnosis. I will say that I think in this respect you may have taken it a bit too personal. Nobody has discredited mental diagnosis of anybody. It's just a simple thing that she had noticed that perhaps sometimes some things may be more of a personality thing as compared to a simple mental diagnosis. Some people have specific personality traits that are just something that makes them them. Whereas some things, can actually be a mental disorder but not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing. It's just something to perhaps think about. I think perhaps again, you may have taken this a bit too personal.
     

    TheRedMageGuitarist

    Campfire Attention Holder
    Legend+
    Nov 6, 2021
    189
    770
    Kansas City
    22
    On the other hand I don't think you can really separate having depression/anxiety/whatever 'naturally' or because of something that happened. Either way it's something you carry with you and need to find ways to cope with in whatever manner suits you and your life.
    I guess that's where we can agree to disagree. I personally believe there's a separation there. Because in my experience, I've seen that when someone has had a situation develop due to someone else, (for example, I was 'diagnosed with narcissism but my fucking parents had unrealistic expectations on me) it helped me to say "you know what? That's not my fault." and I can heal a lot better from it.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: iridecently
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    TheRedMageGuitarist

    Campfire Attention Holder
    Legend+
    Nov 6, 2021
    189
    770
    Kansas City
    22
    I think in this particular case iri I think you may have misconstrued what she said. I don't think she's discrediting anybody's mental diagnosis. I will say that I think in this respect you may have taken it a bit too personal. Nobody has discredited mental diagnosis of anybody. It's just a simple thing that she had noticed that perhaps sometimes some things may be more of a personality thing as compared to a simple mental diagnosis. Some people have specific personality traits that are just something that makes them them. Whereas some things, can actually be a mental disorder but not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing. It's just something to perhaps think about. I think perhaps again, you may have taken this a bit too personal.
    Thanks Holly. I specifically tried to express exactly what I was trying to say and I tried to choose my words extremely carefully. But the last thing I wanted to do was undermine anyone in any way shape or form.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Ed Seith

    iridecently

    Hot Topic Tourer
    Legend+
    Legend
  • Jun 5, 2020
    156
    650
    Groningen
    1
    I think in this particular case iri I think you may have misconstrued what she said. I don't think she's discrediting anybody's mental diagnosis. I will say that I think in this respect you may have taken it a bit too personal. Nobody has discredited mental diagnosis of anybody. It's just a simple thing that she had noticed that perhaps sometimes some things may be more of a personality thing as compared to a simple mental diagnosis. Some people have specific personality traits that are just something that makes them them. Whereas some things, can actually be a mental disorder but not necessarily a bad thing or a good thing. It's just something to perhaps think about. I think perhaps again, you may have taken this a bit too personal.
    Maybe I missinterpreted things that Jak said (totally not my intention). But I don't think mental health 'problems' and personality can really be separated, it's why a lot of autistic people prefer to be called autistic rather than as people with autism, because it is an integral part of who they are, how they experience and interpret things, not something that has happened to them and that can be removed or fixed.

    I am definitely not looking to start a heated debate or anything here, just wanting to share my opinion and maybe offer a different view. If I come across as offended or attacking or anything, that's totally not my intention ❤️
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Ed Seith
    I actually really love this post because it definitely puts some thought into what we perceive as acceptable or non-acceptable terms. I know that for one thing, you are definitely not criticizing a diagnosis. You are definitely not discrediting a diagnosis. This is just what we like to call a philosophical conversation regarding this specific topic.
    I was recently diagnosed with PTSD given my past experiences in life all kinds of things that you can imagine, abuse, neglect, rape, drugs and alcohol abuse from parents, all kinds of things like that. We all have a well of demons that we have to deal with. But you are right, it's nice sometimes to think about is it truly a personality thing or is it always what they have to say as a mental disorder. I would like to think that my anxiety and a lot of my issues from this trauma come from the fact that I have been affected by all these other circumstances. I would like to think that I'm a human first before a diagnosis. It's definitely a deep conversation and I absolutely love that you brought this to light. Sometimes in my personal humble opinion the human mind has become a battleground. Where one side wants to fight for something the other side wants to fight for something and then the human itself is caught in the middle.
    Here is a nuanced perspective, since when was it considered lazy to enjoy life? As if we are supposed to go 90 million miles per minute and if we are not we are lazy. And then we wonder why we never enjoy life. Worrying about what every single person around us thinks of our personality, our actions, our movements and our life. It's definitely a conversation worth talking about. Sometimes the world of psychology I feel sometimes at some point has become over analyzed. But, it's definitely a necessity in some regard.
     
    I think at this point though iri, you are starting to kind of swim into an emotional side of this conversation. Now you are bringing in autistic people and things of that sort, which is fine but I think again this is kind of treading into more of an emotional opinion rather than necessarily just to philosophical conversation. I definitely don't want to have any sort of argument over this by any means. And I'm not going to argue what one person wants to be labeled as as compared to another person wants to be labeled as. But this conversation isn't about labels. This conversation is just about a philosophical conversation about a mental diagnosis as compared to perhaps somebody feeling it's more of a personality trait. So again, I think we are taking this conversation way out of context for an emotional direction and personally I'm going to stay out of it. I don't think it's a good idea to make this an emotional conversation. Because this is when people start getting extremely offended over things of nuance words and I don't want this to turn into that. Her post had nothing to do with insulting or changing labels of anybody. Nor did it have anything to do with wrong labels or other things of the sort.
     

    Shawn Lennie

    Free Bird Player
    Dec 12, 2021
    32
    103
    This right here! I have matured to a point in my life where if someone has a problem with what is my personality then it is their problem not mine. Yes if I do something that genuinely hurts someone and is out of character, then that is a different story. But oh boy the things I have to deal with from certain people makes me go "but this who I am". Family is always a tricky one so I feel you there. I feel like I have achieved so much and made my own little family with my partner and kids, but still continue to be the black sheep of the family because I don't have the mentality of "oh it's family so you just have to do these things even if you don't like it, too bad, just sweep under the rug" 🙃😎 does my absolute head in!
     

    TheRedMageGuitarist

    Campfire Attention Holder
    Legend+
    Nov 6, 2021
    189
    770
    Kansas City
    22
    This right here! I have matured to a point in my life where if someone has a problem with what is my personality then it is their problem not mine. Yes if I do something that genuinely hurts someone and is out of character, then that is a different story. But oh boy the things I have to deal with from certain people makes me go "but this who I am". Family is always a tricky one so I feel you there. I feel like I have achieved so much and made my own little family with my partner and kids, but still continue to be the black sheep of the family because I don't have the mentality of "oh it's family so you just have to do these things even if you don't like it, too bad, just sweep under the rug" 🙃😎 does my absolute head in!
    Yes! Exactly!! So glad to hear this insight from you, my friend!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Shawn Lennie
    Synner Endless Summer Collection

    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
    Staff member
    Legend+
  • Nov 11, 2019
    3,119
    8
    5,123
    51
    Marana, AZ USA
    soundcloud.com
    35
    I haven't read the responses yet, but my thoughts.

    There's a DIFFERENCE between what a friend or stranger thinks/says, and what a competent professional counselor or therapist says. It's an important distinction. Friends and strangers will say many things for many different reasons - some selfish, some altruistic. The WAY it's said can be an indicator of their intentions, but not always. Doubly so online, where the inflections of speech and the optics of facial expression are lost.

    Separating anything away from the clinical diagnosis spectrum, I think the Zen goal we should all strive for is to be true to our own vision of ourselves, without letting what others think affect us. Unfortunately, the nature of being human makes that one of the hardest things to actually accomplish.

    I fully agree that the language we choose to describe ourselves and our situations is vital to our progress on that road, and positivity should be a primary focus.

    To answer your ultimate question, "are you being who you want to be confidently?" I believe for me the answer is a definite no, but with caveats (nothing is ever just black and white, of course). There are PARTS of my true self that are expressed in my being that are untainted by the projections of others. There are other parts that remain hidden, hopefully for a limited time forward, as needed by the current circumstances my life's decisions have confined me to. There are other parts that are seriously and darkly fucked up and broken in ways that will probably never come out, and y'all should be fucking grateful for that (no not in a murderous or violent sense).

    I am a work in progress, always, and I need to continually work on being more positive. Great post, Jak! Now I gotta go read everyone else's stuff.
     

    TheRedMageGuitarist

    Campfire Attention Holder
    Legend+
    Nov 6, 2021
    189
    770
    Kansas City
    22
    I haven't read the responses yet, but my thoughts.

    There's a DIFFERENCE between what a friend or stranger thinks/says, and what a competent professional counselor or therapist says. It's an important distinction. Friends and strangers will say many things for many different reasons - some selfish, some altruistic. The WAY it's said can be an indicator of their intentions, but not always. Doubly so online, where the inflections of speech and the optics of facial expression are lost.

    Separating anything away from the clinical diagnosis spectrum, I think the Zen goal we should all strive for is to be true to our own vision of ourselves, without letting what others think affect us. Unfortunately, the nature of being human makes that one of the hardest things to actually accomplish.

    I fully agree that the language we choose to describe ourselves and our situations is vital to our progress on that road, and positivity should be a primary focus.

    To answer your ultimate question, "are you being who you want to be confidently?" I believe for me the answer is a definite no, but with caveats (nothing is ever just black and white, of course). There are PARTS of my true self that are expressed in my being that are untainted by the projections of others. There are other parts that remain hidden, hopefully for a limited time forward, as needed by the current circumstances my life's decisions have confined me to. There are other parts that are seriously and darkly fucked up and broken in ways that will probably never come out, and y'all should be fucking grateful for that (no not in a murderous or violent sense).

    I am a work in progress, always, and I need to continually work on being more positive. Great post, Jak! Now I gotta go read everyone else's stuff.
    Perfectly worded. I have nothing else to say to this, except I love ya, Captain
     

    Chris Johnston

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 11, 2019
    586
    4
    1,450
    27
    North Ayrshire, Scotland
    14
    This is a great topic and question!

    It's really interesting because depending on who is passing their judgement on aspects of your personality, it's tricky to know if it's done by them primarily in malice or as a genuine reaction to something you're not aware of. This is where I agree with @Ed Seith that a Therapist's opinion should be taken differently from a friend/family member, as there can be agendas/emotional baggage in the latter etc. Some families/friends can be really judgemental/cruel with comments.

    However, one thing I do always try and do - as I know that I have a tendency to be immediately defensive of criticism at times - is to actually entertain that I might learn something if the person is telling me the truth - If I'm wrong. This is something I've only started doing that I've matured a bit in my late 20's. I'm open to the fact that I'm imperfect & that I have a lifetime of work to do to be the best version of myself that I can be. I don't believe I'm perfect the way I am, and that's why I get out if bed every day and try to improve 🤟

    In saying that, I think those passing judgement in a nasty way on others personalities should do the above and concentrate on themselves more. There's a way to do it and nobody should ever take abuse.

    Regarding the question at the end, I'd say I'm trying my hardest to be the most authentic version of myself, but what that actually is, is forever being moulded and altered by what I learn. I just try to be as honest as I can and as respectful as I can 😊 It's not easy though, we're all human, with faults and ignorances, but we're all trying our best. It's all we can really do 👌

    Obviously I don't know you on a personal level, but from what I see on here, you're a hardworking, passionate and kind person, looking out for people on this site. (And me? I overuse emoji hands because I'm terrified of coming across dry in text 😂 - there's a peek behind the curtain of my overthinking/anxious mind) ... 👌

    People can say whatever they like but your actions and interections and are all that matters. Keep on doing you Jak 🤟
     
    Last edited:

    William B.

    Hot Topic Tourer
  • Nov 11, 2019
    1,299
    2,214
    16
    It's really thought provoking and hard for me to start writing it down. I just woke up and my minds already racing with thoughts.
    Sitting here 30 minutes thinking about it I'm going to continue for now cause I'm already moving on ( my attention span, maybe )
     

    Rexxavier Mcgee

    Free Bird Player
    Nov 11, 2019
    20
    68
    Hey there synners and kittens...

    I had some deep thoughts that I wanted to share with all of you and maybe you'll find it comforting or helpful, or maybe you'll just have some thoughts to add to it.

    Anyway, my life has changed so much since I moved to a new place. It's hard. But in a good way. For the first time in my life, I'm not living under the umbrella of anyone else. Even when I lived on my own several times before, my family ALWAYS had their nose in my business telling me what to do. But now it's different. And that means, for the first time in my life, I can truly express myself and find out who I really am. I'm gonna try to break this down a bit. From what I learned about myself FROM OTHERS and what they told ME I was:

    I am a narcissist
    I am manic bipolar
    I am lazy
    I'm unmotivated
    I'm a slacker
    I have a sugar addiction
    I'm terrible with my finances
    I'm an impulsive spender
    I have depression
    I have an obsessive compulsive disorder with my weight


    Listen to all of those negative things that others have made me feel believe I am. It's a huge list. Next thing I know, I'm micromanaging every task and thing in my life trying to "fix" these other things people have said about me. And it becomes overwhelming. Just because you enjoy a glass of wine or a beer after work, does not make you an alcoholic. Just because you get random bouts of energy and go on a cleaning frenzy, doesn't mean you're manic. Just because you sulk and you feel for a day or even a month, doesn't make you depressed.

    I was talking with a friend a few days ago, and their therapist suggest them to change their coping mechanisms. My friend was told things like "you need to change your behavior" (I'm just paraphrasing what was said), and I told my friend, "but what if this is who you are? Is what you're doing TRULY negative and harmful to yourself and to others?"

    At what point do we start changing who we actually ARE in order to be who people PERCEIVE we should be? If you ask me, this seems like this mentality continuously places the blame on OURSELVES instead of OTHERS who have done us harm. We have become a culture accustomed to "self-awareness" and "mindfulness" that we are starting to overlook that well, maybe we're just fine how we are. Maybe this is who we are. And maybe we don't have anxiety, maybe it's trauma from the horrible things people have done to us.

    Have you ever noticed that people will say "I have anxiety" instead of "my parents abandoned me and I was raped when I was 12." Or how about people will say "I'm an alcoholic" instead of "my wife stresses me out and I'm really miserable about my job."
    I personally feel like when we place this weight on ourselves, we carry that burden of ruminating faults within our very being. I'm not saying blame others for your problems. And if you actually DO have a problem, then it should change.

    Like do you have anxiety and randomly lash out and beat your child because of it? Or are you just anxious?
    The first example is clearly an issue that needs to change. But the latter is just a personality trait.

    Anyway, I'm getting off on a tangent. I hope I'm making sense. What I'm trying to say, is I've learned a lot about myself and I've clarified the following...


    I am a narcissist No, I just have confidence and I get upset when people view me as unworthy
    I am manic bipolar No, I get motivated and have creative sparks where I realize I took on more than I could handle
    I am lazy No, I just enjoy my downtime and relaxing
    I'm unmotivated No, I just don't feel guilty for not being a slave to success
    I'm a slacker No, I'd rather just be doing something else because the task I'm "slacking on" is of no interest to me
    I have a sugar addiction No, I just enjoy sweet stuff as a part of fun things in life. I can go weeks without it if I need to.
    I'm terrible with my finances No, I manage my money just fine. I just choose not open up 10 thrift savings plans or IRA accounts
    I'm an impulsive spender No, I just find joy in finally being able to afford little things I like for once in my life
    I have depression No, sometimes I just feel like sulking and being in thought and reflective
    I have an obsessive compulsive disorder with my weight No, I'm tired of being obese my whole life and I'm on an inspired path to change that


    I would like to iterate that I am not demeaning or devaluing ANYONE'S mental health or professional diagnosis. I was just truly thinking that sometimes we project our own demands of life onto others. And just because you go to someone else's house and their dishes aren't done, doesn't mean they're a slob.

    So my final question is: are you being who you want to be confidently? Or do you ever find yourself changing who you truly are to fit the narrative of someone else that's been in your ear far too much?

    I've let a lot of this go, and I've never been happier.
    love this dude
     
    Synner Endless Summer Collection