Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Paper Towns-tacular

[reply to this thread]

I think we are infinitely too complex and our personalities too faceted to be completely understood by somebody else. There's just too much to factor and consider. We too often label people as one thing, and I think this is completely unfair and judgmental. Nobody is that shallow and flat, nobody can be described as one thing. Sure, that thing is part of their personality, that thing influences how they act, but I don't think we should use those things to define a person. It's totally restricting.

About the empathizing, yeah, I think we can be capable of that, to an extent. It can never be completely full or true empathy, but we can try. There are degrees, I think. Like with labeling and stereotyping. Not straight-up empathy, but something.

And singular personalities, IMO, don't exist. We're influenced by our environment. We can't cut that off or block it out. It's too much an integral part of our lives, it IS our life, in a way. There's this theory about role identity, how we construct who we are, "The looking-glass self". It's basically the idea that we adjust ourselves to what we think society'd like best. It's broken down into 3 phases:
1. We imagine what we look like to others
2. We imagine the judgment of that appearance
3. We change/fix/develop ourselves accordingly

I think this is a flawed process. Not that this theory isn't correct, I think it is a lot of the time, but that it shouldn't be, that this is not how things should go. There are huge problems with steps 1 and 2. Imagining. Misimagining. Assumptions. Bad. Very hard to gauge. It's kind of taking the whole idea of PT and extending it, going another step in the wrong direction. After misimagining others, we use that flawed information, that skewed view, and apply it to ourselves. It's an infinite mirror effect, we base ourselves of of incorrect viewers of others, they do the same, etc, until we are not ourselves at all any more.

Bleh. I explained that horribly.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. Sometimes it's much safer to say what people (and God even, for that matter) aren't, rather than what they are. We define and define, even when we don't need definitions, don't we?

    Ever heard of an asymptote? In the mathematical graph of this, the line continues to get closer and closer to "zero," but never joins or becomes it. This is like our ability to know each other (and even God perhaps?)....always more, but not completely.

    On the "looking-glass self"... seems to me that there are at least some who look at themselves, trust their eyes, and go from there, rather than depending on vain imaginations about what others think...Just a thought....but, then again, I'm an idealist :D



say a thing say something say it say it right now