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View of Self

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So I have been thinking and reading about Keirsey temperament theory (yes this is my idea of fun!) and came across a particularly intriguing concept. This idea described the view of self, making the assertion that an inflated view of self causes insecurity, while a low view of self contributes to feelings of guilt and over responsibility. Let me break that down a bit. High sense of self=feelings of insecurity. Low sense of self=feelings of guilt. Insecurity the result of a big ego? That’s a surprising idea-I confess I find myself more frequently on the insecure side than guilty side, but never considered this being the result of an overly robust view of self. Unfortunately Keirsey didn’t expand on the idea much, so in absence of his wisdom I will contribute my own.

Where do feelings of insecurity show up? Imagine going to a party and not making a deep connection, being with a close friend and not experiencing two worlds converging into one, not receiving the deserved praise or recognition at work. Put that way, it certainly does sound like inflated view of self doesn’t it? The growth oriented response when met with such feelings would be, essentially, to not get so worked up. Why is praise and positive feedback required in all interactions to feel content? Perhaps it is about embracing the normality of a social function, or the day to day of input/output at work without needing the earth to shatter. The view that I am a citizen of the world, not the shining star that it revolves around.

In my practice I see more of the opposite- feelings of guilt and over responsibility. Why is this created by a low sense of self? If you view others as more important, more successful, more popular (insert your own “more” here…), anything that could possibly go wrong is because of something you did, or maybe because of some deficiency you have as a person. Let’s say your best friend calls you crying about the distance she feels between you. It may not be a statement about whether or not you are a good friend, whether you are loved, whether you are enough. A person on the low view of self side of things might over apologize, over identify, over internalize the reasons for the upset. Perhaps the true reasons are the result of circumstances both within her and between you. Growth for the low sense of self person would be to explore the reasons that contribute to your friend’s outburst, rather than jump in with an apology and guilty conscience. So that is not to say the way to balance for a low sense of self person is to never say I’m sorry. That would be an exaggeration, and exaggeration of behavior on either side always leads to deterioration of health and balance. The low sense of self person is on the “I’m sorry” extreme side of things, and needs to see where else responsibility exists. In the example I gave here, a low self person should only take responsibility for what truly is hers to own.

Some thoughts on application-

Team Ego inflation:
-Notice when you feel insecure. What was missing from that interaction that you were looking for? What should an everyday citizen of the world expect from that interaction?

And for team missing Ego:
-Notice when you feel guilty or responsible for problems. Who or what shares that responsibility with you? If the same situation occurred in the life of your most beloved friend, how much responsibility would you ascribe to them in that situation?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Feel free to comment and/or send me a note. Also as I’m gearing up my blogging habit, anyone have a topic they would like to see me chat about?
Thanks for stopping by.
Jan

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