Do we ever really know ourselves?

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    Oct 20, 2012 7:13 PM GMT
    I certainly haven't - in gay denial for more than half my life. And yet I've always imagined myself to be very self-aware, very coldly objective in evaluating myself with great accuracy. I couldn't be more wrong, as the gay denial proves.

    Another example: last night we were at a monthly gay networking reception, at which my partner spoke at the microphone. And when he was introduced, the host (publisher of half our gay rags in South Florida) recognized me to the audience, too, and commented, among other things, about my "lovely smile."

    LOVELY smile??? That he pointed that out??? I have a fucking awful smile. I hate it. And I was so embarrassed that people were looking at me, expecting me to flash this smile I don't have.

    But later it made me wonder once again: do I really know myself? Do any of us really know ourselves? I certainly don't, despite my long-held belief that I do. The older I get, the less I trust my judgement.

    And what about YOURselves? Do you really know who you are? Or does the mirror reflect back what you want to see, and not what's really there?
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    Oct 20, 2012 7:25 PM GMT
    Nobody ever truly knows who they are or how they're presented to other people in my opinion. If someone says they know themselves they're lying.

    Not too long ago when I was convinced to go to church with some friends, a group of older ladies came up to me and said I had the most beautiful smile and to never stop smiling. Me? I have the ugliest smile ever! I was so embarrassed but when I left I felt fantastic.

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    Oct 20, 2012 7:31 PM GMT
    There's that old saying.. You are you're own worst critic.

    Or maybe that guy was being sarcastic.
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    Oct 20, 2012 7:39 PM GMT
    JumpMan_Josh saidNobody ever truly knows who they are or how they're presented to other people in my opinion. If someone says they know themselves they're lying.

    Not too long ago when I was convinced to go to church with some friends, a group of older ladies came up to me and said I had the most beautiful smile and to never stop smiling. Me? I have the ugliest smile ever! I was so embarrassed but when I left I felt fantastic.

    I wasn't sure if I felt fantastic last night, more like uncomfortable. I still think of myself in photographs, where I'm fugly.

    Which brings up another issue. When I look in the mirror I see a Bob who's kinda OK, like about 10 years ago before I got really old & heavy. But when I see Bob in a recent photo, it's like Quasimodo.

    For some reason the mirror image is morphed in my brain, to an earlier more favorable self image I have of myself. But that magic doesn't work with a photograph, where the ugly present reality is unmistakable. Does anyone else experience that disparity between mirror image and photograph?
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    Oct 20, 2012 7:51 PM GMT
    I know myself very well. I very much do.
  • rnch

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    Oct 20, 2012 7:57 PM GMT
    "perception vs. reality".

    Oh for the ability to see myself as others see me icon_exclaim.gif
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    Oct 20, 2012 8:04 PM GMT
    whatever3009 saidI know myself very well. I very much do.

    I hope so, and perhaps you do. I thought I did, too, but I was very much mistaken. icon_sad.gif
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    Oct 20, 2012 10:17 PM GMT
    I sometimes wonder, especially when the reactions of others seems out of sync of how i feel. I wonder if they are inept, or if I don't project myself like I think I do
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    Oct 20, 2012 10:20 PM GMT
    mikeinslc saidI sometimes wonder, especially when the reactions of others seems out of sync of how i feel. I wonder if they are inept, or if I don't project myself like I think I do

    Yeah, where''s that mirror that reflects us as we really are? It likely doesn't exist, so we are left to do the best we can ourselves, and to select our critics carefully.
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    Oct 20, 2012 10:34 PM GMT
    ART_DECO saidDo we ever really know ourselves?


    Alas, only biblically.
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    Oct 20, 2012 10:47 PM GMT
    _SAGE_ said
    ART_DECO saidDo we ever really know ourselves?

    Alas, only biblically.

    Well, there is that. But I was thinking in the deeper philosophical sense, or just the simpler "Who am I?" sense.
  • rnch

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    Oct 20, 2012 10:53 PM GMT
    _SAGE_ said
    ART_DECO saidDo we ever really know ourselves?


    Alas, only biblically.




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