Do you know who you are? - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 12:51 AM Thread Starter
 
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Do you know who you are?


I'm 27 and this may or may not sound daft, but i've had SA for as long as i can remember. Because of this i've spent so long trying to act confident when im not, please others or do what they want instead of what i want, biting my lip in case i say something stupid or offensive, and also all the many many things i've avoided down the years, I genuinely don't know if i actually 'exist' as a real person. I feel more like a messed up construct of trying to be something i'm not.
Does anyone else feel like this, or can relate?
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post #2 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 01:13 AM
 
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Re: Do you know who you are?


I think everyone has felt like that at some point in their lives... even non-SA people. I went thru a few years where I had a hard time figuring out who I was, too. I know what you mean about your sense of self being overwhelmed by your need to conform to others' ideas of who you should be. It's hard to know who you really are when you spend all of your time and energy trying not to offend others. After being on meds for some time now I've made a lot of progress tho. One of my shrinks made me try this assertiveness training thing that I hated at the time, but now looking back I can see that it's helped me a lot. I'm sure once you start getting things straightened out, you'll figure out who you are too.
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post #3 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 06:03 AM
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Re: Do you know who you are?


Hi Ricki,

At least you realise it. Most people don't get to really see that they are just blindly following the crowd and not really being their true self. -Your honesty is admirable and I tend to believe that it is from this point that a person can become self-made.

Nietzsche said: "In order to become who one is, one must not have the faintest idea who one is."
And I read a similar idea that was that people choose to 'forget' who they are otherwise they could not create themselves as they are.

And i think that this is why the Buddhists practise giving-up the 'self' and also conceptual thought or the mind. God is said to be the mind, just like it is our beliefs or our perception of what exists. And, likewise, it is necessary to give-up thinking you know what exists or who you are in order to then create who you are afresh, in the ever-changing world.

You seem to therefore be doing what you need to do. -at least, this is my understanding.


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post #4 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 11:11 AM
 
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Re: Do you know who you are?


Rickin

YOU definitely exist.

HOW you exist is the question you want answered. The real you lays dormant within, unseen, unknown.

The person we mould ourself into because of 'what others think' exists as the ignorance of our mind, this self is a phantom and does not actually exist. Why? Because this self is merely a creation of our mind. Built and created by a mind engulfed by anxiety, a mistaken mind. But because we believe it to really exist, it functions to exist, almost like how kids believe in make believe things and they come into existence.

But it's this person/self we grasp at strongest in times of provocation and so on. We hold a really bad self image, we carry it around and never really question HOW it exists, is it true? Why such a permanently fixed self image? So we continue to believe in non-sense, confused and tired.

Your real self is not separate from anyone, your real self is limitless, a vast untapped potential. It currently is not experienced due to the sediment of negative minds, so remains dormant but is always there like the sun hidden behind the clouds.........................................


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post #5 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 03:01 PM
 
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Re: Do you know who you are?


I lose sight of who I am if I am under stress for a prelonged period of time or if I over analyse myself and thoughts. You can get to a point where you don't know who you are, or why. You can't remember what you believe in or why you do or like any of the things you do.
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post #6 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 03:01 PM
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Re: Do you know who you are?


I think I am whoever I'm being. I don't believe in souls so I'm just this material human behaving the way this brain is operating. I haven't been a relaxed, uninhibited kind of person for ages too. I wouldn't say that my 'real self' is relaxed and uninhibited though. I don't see any reason to believe that.

Otherwise everyone in the world would say their 'real self' is an all-good, always-relaxed, always-kind entity... and they're just temporarily 'not being themselves' when the imperfections come up.

I am a fearful, socially anxious person. I need to change who I really am.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aron James
Rickin

YOU definitely exist.

HOW you exist is the question you want answered. The real you lays dormant within, unseen, unknown.
That's the crucial point where I think buddhism and hindu advaita has it dead wrong. That 'YOU' (often capitalised to get us feeling rather than thinking) doesn't really exist, it's just feelings in the brain. We are material things, human organisms. There is no real 'me' or 'ME' soul or entity, it's just the constant illusion of the brain functioning. The more precise question would be 'what are we'... the 'who' stuff is just human feelings.
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post #7 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 03:44 PM
 
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Re: Do you know who you are?


Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday
Nietzsche said: "In order to become who one is, one must not have the faintest idea who one is."
Nietzsche also said that you have to go under to go over. So the way I see it, you're definately headed up!
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post #8 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 04:46 PM
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Re: Do you know who you are?


Hi Recluser,

I haven't comprehended well all of your ideas about 'Me' and the soul -especially your last paragraph.

But I happen to have experienced finding such a thing so I just don't agree with your opinion that Buddhism is wrong. And there does exist the 'real self' that we cannot pin point and that therefore to our mind is unseen or 'doesn't exist'. In fact, this is the whole point: our mind can't conceive of our real self because it only knows what is knows.

What I believe that is with inspiration, perhaps 'faith in the unknown', that a person can set about building up this more genuine self from 'nothing'. And in fact, this is the only way a 'real self' can be 'made flesh' or made manifest.

This takes bravery and a resolute conviction that such a real self exists and that whatever 'negative' thing happening in our life cannot touch this real self. And then, from 'nothing' is created 'something'.

This requires total belief that the unknown is not to be feared and that the known is meaningless and an illusion. And because it is an illusion, we can live with what appears to happen to us outwardly, without being dependent or reactive towards it but instead from the position of choosing our actions and reactions -or, 'good' and 'evil' are only ever relative to our own point of view and there is no-longer such a 'black-and-white' separation of these.


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post #9 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 04:53 PM
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Re: Do you know who you are?


Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday
Hi Recluser,

I haven't comprehended well all of your ideas about 'Me' and the soul -especially your last paragraph.

But I happen to have experienced finding such a thing so I just don't agree with your opinion that Buddhism is wrong.
I don't want to turn this thread into a debate about buddhism but I did mean to mention that I totally accept that there is a real 'experience' - an altered-state of consciousness - enlightenment - which seems to support the buddhist/advaita beliefs. But that experience in no way makes the ideas true. In my opinion it's a real state of delusion.
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post #10 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 05:10 PM
 
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Re: Do you know who you are?


I know who I am and what I want to be but I dont know who I am but I know what I want to do.

I know what you are talking about but i'm not that way. If i'm pissed off or depressed people are going to know it. I'm not going to act all bubbly and happy when i'm dead inside.
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post #11 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 08:58 PM
 
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Re: Do you know who you are?


I think I get what you're trying to say. I feel like I faked my way through life. The real me could not admit to being afraid, of not being able to do something so I did things despite the great amount of stress and anxiety it caused me or I avoided them like the plague and did what ever I could to NOT have to do something but all the time lieing to myself or others about the reasons why I did certain things. I thought I was just a freak. Eventually my mind could not take it anymore and I had a major breakdown at 35. People always see me differently than I see myself.
No I really don't know who I am or what I'm cabable of doing if I could just let go for a while, release myself from my brain and just DO.
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post #12 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-30-2007, 12:50 AM
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Re: Do you know who you are?


I don't know who I am when I am stressed and my SA is taking over. but when I am money socially and SA is low, I feel like I know exactly who I am and what I want. SA is so lame....

HOLLER
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post #13 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-30-2007, 03:38 AM
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Re: Do you know who you are?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Recluser
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyTuesday
Hi Recluser,

I haven't comprehended well all of your ideas about 'Me' and the soul -especially your last paragraph.

But I happen to have experienced finding such a thing so I just don't agree with your opinion that Buddhism is wrong.
I don't want to turn this thread into a debate about buddhism but I did mean to mention that I totally accept that there is a real 'experience' - an altered-state of consciousness - enlightenment - which seems to support the buddhist/advaita beliefs. But that experience in no way makes the ideas true. In my opinion it's a real state of delusion.
I apologise for hijacking your thread -however, having had a 'peak experience' which I remember vividly and which I have gotten some (though not many) spiritual understandings from... it isn't so much a state of delusion or insanity. If anything it is rather that the person realises that they are insane or out of their mind. And at precisely this point that they acquire 'no mind' have they gotten a 'new mind' as to what reality is. And with it a deeper and most definetly more beneficial perspective on their situation.

And it most certainly does equate to realising 'perfect love' or 'unconditional love' or as you put it: "all good", "always relaxed", "all kind" entity ; in fact without such a belief in unconditional love, a person could have no objective view of themself within their situation. -you wouldn't know what was real or 'good' or 'bad' without unconditionally accepting all of it, because you would be giving yourself nothing to choose from.

And if you don't believe me: I've already done this once in my life and I've seen the results with my own eyes. I don't need to understand it in a complicated way -I've seen it and understood it in a simple way, and it worked and still does work.

I'm sorry if this sounds arrogant, but while you theorise, I already have the proof of my experience.


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post #14 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-30-2007, 05:14 AM
 
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Re: Do you know who you are?


All

Buddhism and delusions have been mentioned here so i just thought i would say a little about delusions, just to clarify.

A delusion functions to distort our reality, makes our mind unpeaceful and uncontrolled. It distorts how we see ourself and everyone else. Delusions are functioning in our mind all the time, we know this from our own experience, hardly ever content, always confused about who we are and so on, anger, jealousy, hatred are examples of delusion. They can function on subtle or gross levels, we may not even be aware we have them. We see ourself and others through the lens of our delusions. Living with a distorted view of ourself as being the most important person in the world, disregarding others happiness and wishes is one of our main delusions.

Delusions cause us so many problems and pain. The opposite of delusions are positive states of minds such as love, consideration for others and so on, which are based on the true nature of how things are. They cause happiness for ourself and others.

People tend to listen more to those who do not illuminate such an inflated view of themselves; those who care about others happiness and wishes. Those people understand the true enemy is delusion, not others. Therefore, those people radiate love are a real example of the truth of their words. They don't need to prove the truth of their words, everyone knows it through their example of love.

Aron
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post #15 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-30-2007, 05:48 AM
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Re: Do you know who you are?


(To the buddhists, I've had a peak experience myself. I'm happy to leave it at your posts. Back to the topic.)

Rickin and others, Don't you think 'knowing who I am' is a bit overrated? Don't you think 'who I am' tends to be a emotion-fuelled fictional story? Isn't everyone a bit neurotic in some way?

I don't think most people can really answer the question "who am I?", without using phrases of comparison with other people. I think that shows how tenuous the whole idea is.

I wouldn't fret over not knowing 'who you are'. The mistake might be thinking other people do know. I think the problem is social anxiety, not ignorance as to 'who you are'.
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post #16 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-30-2007, 08:14 AM
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Re: Do you know who you are?


I'm a ***** I'm a lover
I'm a child I'm a mother, I'm a sinner I'm a saint, I do NOT feel ashamed, I'm your hell I'm your dream, I'm nothing in between.


Kinda sums it up. I think "Knowing who you are" is a bit over rated, I think accepting who you are is much more important. If you go on a trip of "Who am I" you're going to be spinning, rather sit back and learn who you are when you find yourself in a given situation. I starting to find my center, where I feel solid, not saying I don't have fear. I do.

I'm starting to look at myself as the world sees me, the POSITIVE, not so much the negative (it's a starting point) I'm always told Im well liked, this that, so, I'm going to accept it, actually I was in a position where I had to call in my "Personality" I was glad it was there.

I accept when I am wrong, I KNOW when I am wrong, I admit to when I am wrong, I try to stand on my personal integrity, I may not always do the right thing, but if questioned, I'm not going to lie, twist and turn to make me come out looking great. When I am wrong, I will apologize, it may take me a while to see this, but I will apologize.

Most recently, I found I had more, tactics in me than I thought, I acted on it, I knew fully well what the consequences would be, what the man would attempt to do, but, I was one step ahead, and I loved it, I'm still loving it, and, I'm not done, again, I'm not saying I'm not scared, I'm scared to death BUT. I just have to be, a bit more, discrete, so I plot too.

I'm almost OK with who I am, accepting it fully, I'm NOT always the nice person I was told I had to be "Be nice", growing up, why...... when I'm not nice there's a reason.

When I'm your friend, I am your friend there's not much I wouldn't do. Usually the people I know, if they do something wrong, it's for the right reasons, my friends have integrity, and I would back them with most anything, I may say Hey, I think you're screwing up, but I understand, just be prepared. I guess I'm saying I'm loyal. I don't like being jerked around, I don't like being toyed with, I don't ask for anything I'm not willing to give. So, I don't know who I am, but I accept who I am, and it's OK;_)

Mental illness is what some have, not who they are.
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post #17 of 49 (permalink) Old 08-31-2007, 09:02 AM
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Re: Do you know who you are?


Interesting discussion so far. Where is this "self" thing? I want to see it!

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He ran because it grounded him in basics. There was both life and death in it; it was unadulterated by media hype, trivial cares, political meddling...It was all joy and woe, hard as a diamond; it made him weary beyond comprehension. But it also made him free.
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post #18 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-06-2007, 03:07 PM
 
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Re: Do you know who you are?


Yes, to this day I still do now know who I am. Like there is this emptiness inside me. I know who I want to be but I can't seem to become that person. I just want to be someone without sa.
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post #19 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-09-2007, 08:04 PM
 
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Re: Do you know who you are?


The trouble isn't finding out who you are, the trouble is finding some basic, solid, core that you can lean on. A foundation that grounds all your other perceptions and allows you to act as a single entity in a world of other individual entities. I'm not so much concerned about who I am, but I am concerned about finding this foundation or this core from which I can act. I realize the self may be a fiction, but without this necessary fiction I feel like a mass of fragments, perceptions, and ideas that don't quite fit together. On the whole it just leads to feelings of emptiness, disorientation, and fear.
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post #20 of 49 (permalink) Old 09-10-2007, 06:43 AM
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Re: Do you know who you are?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Scattered
The trouble isn't finding out who you are, the trouble is finding some basic, solid, core that you can lean on. A foundation that grounds all your other perceptions and allows you to act as a single entity in a world of other individual entities. I'm not so much concerned about who I am, but I am concerned about finding this foundation or this core from which I can act. I realize the self may be a fiction, but without this necessary fiction I feel like a mass of fragments, perceptions, and ideas that don't quite fit together. On the whole it just leads to feelings of emptiness, disorientation, and fear.
Very well said;-)

Mental illness is what some have, not who they are.
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