Thoughts on Self-Perception

 

I’m realizing there are a lot of people who can’t see past the end of their own noses. I’m not even talking politics right now. These people, they’re completely unable to view themselves from the outside.

How do people perceive you? I don’t mean that in the shallow way. I mean that so many people are completely self-UNaware. Some of us (ahem, like me) are far too self-aware.

Let’s take, for example, my grandmother. I love the woman so much. But she is really difficult to understand. There’s no arguing that she had a rough upbringing–from the stories I’ve heard, her mother was pretty nasty to her. But when she, more than once, said in front of me that no one loved her, no one cared for her, and that she was completely alone, I was really insulted. Not just for myself, but for my mother and my uncles who have taken such excellent care of her. I couldn’t fathom why she would say that. Alas, it seems this isn’t a rare occurrence among humans.

Is this selfishness? And while we’re on the topic, what makes a person selfish? We are all, to a certain extent, selfish creatures. And rightfully so–that’s just survival. But some people, even when they’re nurturers, don’t see anything other than their own perceived suffering. I always fall into the trap of feeling badly for those people. I want to help them, take care of them. But I’ve found that these kinds of people will never be “helped,” no matter how much they’re taken care of, no matter how much attention is given to them, no matter how much support they have. There is never enough. There is never enough affection, attention, or sympathy for them. What is this innate need for attention, and where does it come from?

I feel like this kind of person should be rare. And yet I’ve had three in my life in as many years. Sometimes I worry that I’m one of them–and then those people do something that completely blows my mind and I jolt back to reality: Oh hell no. I am so not like that.

Is it better to be too self-aware or completely blind to your own selfish psychosis?

I’m leaning toward the former.

My only conclusions is this: Do what’s right for you. (Selfish much?)

Sometimes people are worth keeping in your life. I will never, for example, turn my back on my grandmother if she needs me. She has shaped me in a lot of ways. Of course I want her to be in my life! Not only has she shaped my mother, but the time I’ve spent with her mano-a-mano was valuable and personally informative for both she and I. But when it comes to friends, after the last few really frustrating situations, I have a tough time keeping them in my life. I spend enough energy dealing with my own drama and my closest friends’ drama. I feel like I don’t have the energy to expend on people who want to do nothing but say “no, you’re wrong” to me, to never even consider what I’m saying about a situation. There are only so many times you can say “there there, it’ll be okay” before you finally push someone away and say, “I give up on you!”

So: Would you rather be extremely insecure, or would you rather be completely ignorant of your selfishness? 

Discuss.

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