I watched Kak Azlin Malik ‘s live video, where she talked about the deep reasons why we care what other people think of us. In it, she mentioned a very subconscious tactic our mind uses to perceive our outside world. It reminded me of a video by Jason Silva. It’s fascinating. And once you read this you’ll never see your reality the same way again.
Looking-Glass Self Theory. A concept that will make you rethink your whole identity.
Are you really who you think you are? Do you know who you are? Who are you?
When you read that, your brain pauses for a while. Some of you might ponder upon that question for a while, while some others might immediately come up with an answer.
“I’m a teacher”
“I’m a smurf”
“I’m a Harry Styles lover”
“I’m a carrot enthusiast”
Your brain immediately comes up with its attachments, identifications and labels of self. Do note that the word “attachments” and “identifications” often get a bad rep, but they simply show you how you perceive yourself; ie. You identify yourself as your name.
Some of them are plain observations, nothing particularly conflicting.
However, your outlook of yourself is more subconscious than you think. You may not even be aware of some very predominant and adamant proclamations of the Ego. For example, someone might consciously say that they want to be famous, however deep within there is a belief that “I don’t want to be seen because I will be rejected, etc etc”
Or someone might say that they want money, but then subconsciously avoiding it because of their deep belief “I have to be humble, and money makes me arrogant, or people who make money are evil because they take away from others etc etc.”
(All Ego means is how you see yourself and the world around you. For this read, drop the idea of Ego being a bad thing, because all it is is the mechanics behind : Why we do what we do. )
But where does this come from?
The answer is simple: Looking-Glass Self Theory
You are not who you think you are.
You are not who others think you are.
You are what you think others think of you.
Our brains have primitive instincts, and one of our very core human need is connection. We are a social species. So other people’s approval is crucial to our survival according to our amygdala (functions to process emotions, found in the brain). This article shows the chemical reactions that take place in your brain when you get rejected : http://bit.ly/2jmsrr5
That’s why “You are the average of your 5 friends”. Influence is ubiquitous. And that’s why our minds are highly impressionable.
For example, if you were born in a society that believes purple is evil, you will likely grow up believing it until you can be convinced that it is not necessarily true. Or if the people around you identify you as “Smart”, “Stupid”, “Polite”, “Aggressive”, or whatever it may be, you will believe that too!
The thoughts we have about ourselves are just self-concepts. Whatever you perceive of yourself is what you think other ppl think of you, and that is based of how you were treated in the past. But how other people see you/treated you is also how they see themselves, which was also caused by how others had seen them!!!!
Can you spot this domino effect we have on each other?
It makes me think; some parts of who we are is just a persona created so as to meet up to the expectation of the world around us. And in that process we accept the parts of us that is acceptable, and hide that which is disdainfully looked down upon. It creates a split between who we really are, what we want and what we have to be to fit in.
Written by : Mirrah Irdina
Video credits to : Jason Silva