You’re Not Who You Think You Are

Who do you think you are? I mean that literally.

Do you think you’re a good person? A loving, caring person? A generous and kind person? A humble and selfless person?

Maybe you don’t think so highly of yourself. Maybe you think you’re an awful person. Maybe you’ve done some things that, in hindsight, you can’t even believe you could do those kind of things.

The thing is, how you think of yourself isn’t often the way other people see you. And I think, deep down we know this, actually. I feel like a lot of us know that WE ARE hiding things or keeping parts of us closed off to the world and other people.

But it’s not the kind of thing that you know that you’re conscious of doing, it’s more like, we don’t know what we’re hiding….. we just know that something’s off. 

And this really is a kind of a weird idea, I know. How can you not know something about yourself, at least in the sense that, you’re hiding something? It’s kind of like the idea of, how can you not know that you’re  lying, if you don’t even know the truth?

 Again, it’s often just an intuitive feeling. It’s a feeling you get when you’re talking with and sharing with somebody, you might  feel like something’s missing. You feel distant to them, though you can’t quite put your finger on why you feel this way, so you often shrug it off, or refuse to say anything.

And this distance, over time, can actually become somewhat of a dangerous thing. It’s this distance that I  think we unconsciously put between ourselves and others, that allows us to so easily cut people off and walk away, a lot of times, without warning. 

And maybe this doesn’t apply to all people, but it does apply to me, and I’ve come to realize that a surprising amount of people have no problems cutting people off, or, if we’re going to use the modern term, “ghosting” people.

If we’re gonna be honest here, that kind of behavior is NOT healthy behavior. Not only does it lead to the destruction of possibly a close friendship and/or relationship, but it often leads the other person wondering “what did I do?” And although the other person might have done a few things wrong, I still don’t believe, in most cases, it’s a reason to disregard  their existence entirely, and cut them off.

So the big question is, what causes this unconscious distance we put between us and other people? And I don’t think there’s an obvious answer for that, though I have a few suspicions of what causes this. 

I think it comes from the very idea that I introduced in the beginning of this post:  who do you think you are?  

 I think it comes believing that you are “this type of person”, but people treat you as you’re “that kind of person”, and this doesn’t necessarily imply anything negative. But what it does is it makes you feel as if you’re not understood.

So, the first moment you begin to feel misunderstood, you form an unconscious (or conscious) gap between them. And as the relationship continues you found more and more cases where you feel like you’re being treated differently than how my perceive yourself, in essence, you feel inauthentic to who you really are when you’re around this person, thus, the gap widens. 

That makes me wonder, what would be the solution for this problem? 

Luckily, the cause of the problem may be complex, the solution, I think, is quite simple. Now this will take a bit of self-awareness on your part, but I think everyone can do this. You need to observe yourself as if you’re observing another person. What I mean is that, although you have a fair bit of control over what you do on a day to day basis, nearly all your emotions and motivations, you don’t really have control of. 

And that’s a strange observation to make: to realize we don’t have much control over most of our thoughts, but rather, we’re just an observer of our own mind instead. That’s why most of the time an idea “hits you” rather than you forming it yourself, and if you wanna read more, I actually wrote a post on that here: What is Conscious Thought?

Going on though. I’ve been told that this methodology of analyzing yourself in such an intricate way, it’s just overthinking, and maybe it is, in a lot of ways.

But, like all things, there’s a balance to be found. Because although taken to the extreme it might be considered overthinking (and it really is), having no self-awareness of yourself and your actions and how it affects others is ignorant and a little psychopathic.

So when you begin to feel distant in any kind of relationship, here’s what you need to do: swallow your pride, take a risk, and tell how you feel in the best way you can. And it might be sloppy at first, but if you’ve been observing yourself from that outside perspective and really tried to figure why you feel the way you do, it’s only a matter of simply sharing with your friend or partner how you feel…which can make you feel extremely vulnerable, a feeling that we all have troubles dealing with. 

There’s a lot of way to approach this problem, but the easiest would probably be to take it head on; tell them how you feel. The funny thing is, they might even feel the same way about themselves and the relationship you have with them. They probably feel like there’s parts of their self they’re hiding as well. Who knows?

All in all, what’s the takeaway message in all of this?

I think the message here is that communication is essential with everyone including both friends and romantic partners. But what may be even more essential is the communication with yourself, and the parts of yourself that we all often refuse to look at. And these might be our deepest and darkest insecurities, fears, and past regrets. The worst part about it all is they never go away unless you self reflect and, ultimately, face them.

So go out there, stop hiding yourself, even if the the very person you’re hiding from is, in fact, yourself.

thanks for reading,