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Sep 29 2011

It’s a question of identity? Part of a series…

 

Do you try to fix people’s identities to make you feel more comfortable?

I have always been interested in gaining an understanding in how people work.  I would try to understand how a person operates within themselves, then how they interact with others, then the environment and then in the world.

 

To gain an understanding seems to suggest that once I have understood, I then know and can move on.  In another words, what has been understood remains fixed.

 

A false sense of security

In my childhood and early adulthood I can clearly remember having this view point of people and the world.  I can also remember the pain it caused me.  As I would believe ‘this is how the person is; this is how they behave and therefore this is how they expect me to behave’.  This gave me a false sense of security around that person and anything to do with them.  Eventually, or sometimes quite soon, that person would act in a way that did not fit in with my understanding of them.  I would then feel betrayed, let down, not important and even not loved by them.

 

If I had ever discussed with them what I understood to be them, which I never did, I suspect that they might of agree with some parts and not with others.

 

By early adulthood I had learnt that I often needed to expand, develop and widen my understanding of another person.

 

Can understanding another person ever be achieved?

With one particular significant relationship I gradually realised that I was never going to achieve an understanding of them.  So I let go of trying to.  Which even though I needed to keep remaining myself to let go of trying to; I found it resulted in me feeling much less anxious.

 

I did generalise this new concept of trying not to understand people to quite a proportion of new relationships in my life and to a much less degree to old relationships.  However I did not do this with all my relationships I had with people in my life.  I was trying to understand the rules by which people operated to be able to know how I needed to act around them.  As I believed that this would make me safe, liked and maybe even loved by them.

 

Its a question of identity

I realise now that I was giving people identities.  As by labeling them as X, I would probably have a whole range of behaviours and expectations conditioned in my brain, by society, of what X meant.  By giving them an identity I would have a fixed idea of who and what they were.  If the person acted how I then expected them to act and I acted how they expected me too, then we would both be comfortable with each other as this is what we have been conditioned to do.  

 

Does identity leave any room for exploration?

For about the last few years I have been conscious as to not label people as being of any fixed identity, or identities.  Instead I have been trying to keep an open mind and explore who people may be.  However, over the last four days at a conference for people who are Bisexual, I realised that my brain puts a label on people so quickly and that I then act according to the label as quickly, that I am unconscious of this whole process.  This was brought to my attention when my brain was not able to put a label on someone and I was left feeling uncomfortable that I did not know how to act or what to say.

 

Through this experienced I realised that I am not being totally open to their exploration of themselves and their life.  

 

What is exploration?

An exploration of myself means to accept whatever I am experiencing in any moment and allowing myself to express that.  The opposite of this is to believe and identify that I am, for example, a women and believe that this means that I have to behave, think and act in a certain way.  By doing this I am putting myself in a socially accepted box, that is full of conditions of how I should behave, think and act; in which I, me, Fiona is lost.

 

I, You and everybody are constantly exploring who we are, how we fit into the world and how they want to fit into the world.  If you can explore all this with an open heart and mind and allow it, even expect it, to constantly change and develop you will be much happier and people around you will be more at ease.

 

Happiness is Opening Your Heart and Mind

If you want much less fear and anxiety in your life and a lot more fun, creativity and maybe even spontaneous behaviour and events in your life open your heart and mind: this can be achieved much more quickly in one to one sessions with me.

 


 

2 comments

1 ping

  1. Jayan

    I want to send you an award for most helpful intneert writer.

  2. Fiona Maguire

    Thank you Jayan, award gratefully accepted.

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