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I feel that this is a major obstacle for me. I have this self-image of a kind, intelligent person, but I wonder if it could all be a lie. Do I really care about others, or do I just act nice in order to be perceived as good? Am I really "smart" or am I just deluding myself into thinking I am? Just because I was able to make As in a craptacular public school system doesn't mean that I'm smart.

The question of my intelligence is especially important. A lot of things have been going on in my life, so I took a one-year break from college. That year is almost up. I want to go back because I want to have a good career and because my late grandfather would have wanted me to. However, I get so stressed over school. If I screw up more than I expect on a test/assignment or get nervous while taking a test, I start crying. I can't help it. And I doubt that most college professors would want to put up with a grown woman bawling like a baby because she has self-confidence issues.

And then there is the issue of the professors themselves. It's very important to me that I'm able to get along with them. In most cases, that seemed to happen. However, there was this one professor I didn't "click" with. I doubt that this was his intention, but being around him made me feel...inadequate. And if that wasn't bad enough, he actually said once that I was insane. I once starting babbling like an idiot about why I picked certain answers on a test. He gave me a strange look. I jokingly told him not to mind me because I'm insane. He agreed. He also hated anyone questioning his tests-it was right in the syllabus. However, I dared to do it once since I believed that one correct answer was counted wrong. This was based on what he said the answers were right after we took the test. In response, he said that I actually got the question in question :)tongue:) right. I'm not sure if it was my memory failing me or if he was actually trying to cover up his blunder. How do I deal with these kind of professors if I ever come across one like him again?

Back on track...I've also noticed that I work and read more slowly than other people. I'm not sure why. It could be my obsessiveness over correctness. It could be my depression and anxiety interfering with my concentration. My short-term memory might suck. Or (more frighteningly...to me) I'm actually not as smart as I thought I was and a process things slowly. In addition, this especially shows when I'm trying to write a paper. I have a lot of trouble trying to get the words to come out right and trying to fill up the space for papers over a few pages. And then there are citations, the most annoying thing on the planet. So far I've done well with writing my papers, but it was at the cost of a lot of free time.

People tell others to "love yourself for who you are" and that "you're unique and special." This means nothing to me. I don't feel like I've done anything to warrant self-admiration. I don't feel special. I feel that I should subscribe to those words, but nothing in reality seems to support that. On top of that, whenever people say something about me, I wonder if it's really true. Do they really mean what they say? Could they have the wrong perception of me? Who knows?

TL;DR: How can I be more gentle on myself?
 

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I can relate to a lot of this. I am slow when doing stuff like reading and writing. I also like to think of myself as smart but most times I think I am the biggest idiot in the world and get angry at idiots that prove that statement wrong:laughing:. I have called myself insane and crazy and it doesn't really bother me when others think so also. not being book smart or good at test doesn't mean your not smart. Einstein flunk physics and some of his teachers thought he was slow and stupid. Not sure how to go about explaining how to be more gentle on yourself. The self esteem thing I might be able to help a bit maybe. Self esteem and confidence isn't something you can get out of the blue as some people in my life have tried to convince me. Best way to get it is to earn or develop it. Not sure which one is completely correct, but both sound about right. This can be done by improving or accomplishing a task or skill. For example I have been teaching myself piano and Japanese. I am not very good at either one of them but I am better at them from when I first started. Those are only two things have done that have helped with my self esteem and confidence. There is more but that would be boring to describe. People have told me that volunteering and helping others also helps. Also it takes a conscious effort. Question your negative judgments that you have about yourself and the things you have done. Best way to kill a critic is to destroy his/her's argument/statement. Not sure how to deal with the professor thing sorry. Hope this helps. Even if it's curing insomnia by boring you to sleep:laughing:
 

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I think you go a long way not to be selfish, but when you do a random act of "selfishness," no matter how minor it may be, you punish yourself and have a hard time dealing with it. When you can't see a connection between your values and actions you'll consider your actions random acts of selfishness, and you may even perceive yourself as evil. If basing your actions on your values is not an inclination towards good then, hell, we must all be evil. I'm not going to tell you to relax and be yourself because, well, you most likely won't. Perhaps you don't even know who "yourself" really is. I know I don't know who "I" am - I just am who I am.

These lyrics have a bit profanity in them but it's not directed at anyone so it should be alright.
It's simply a message from the vocalist and lyricist of the band Dope stating
"Be who you want to be, be who you are, you are who you are, and screw everyone else".


Dope - "I Am"

Sometimes you don’t understand
Sometimes I am what I am
Sometimes I just can’t be
Everything you hoped I’d be
And sometimes I wish that you could see
I’m not like you - I’m not like them - I won’t pretend

Cause I am
I am what I am
It's all I am

Sometimes I wish that we
Could agree to disagree
Sometimes I wish that you could see what I see
This is who I am
I’ve always been
And I don’t think you’ll ever understand
I’m not like you - I’m not like them - I won’t pretend

Cause I am
I am what I am
I am what I am
I am what I am
I am, I am what I am, I am what I am
I am, I am what I am, I am what I am

Fuck you, I am what I am
Fuck you, I am what I am
Fuck you, I am what I am
I'm not you, I am

You don’t understand
I am what I am
And I don’t think you’ll ever understand
I’m not like you - I’m not like them - I won’t pretend

Cause I am what I am
I am what I am

Fuck you I am what I am
Fuck you I am what I am
Fuck you I am what I am
I am not you, I am​
 

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You and I (ENTP) are very, very similar, although (not sounding like a poo but) I could sense you were an ENFP.

I too have this image dilemma. The idea of what part of me is real, what part is not littered my mind during middle/highschool. Nothing I achieved meant anything to me and I disconnected. I was popular, charming and achieved a lot (so I have heard), but it didn't mean anything to me at the time.

In school:
- I was competitive.
- I wanted to be the best.
- I wanted to be looked up to.

Which meant:
- Over committing to people and over working.
- Being nice when I felt like shit.
- High level of stress to keep up the charade.


I have this self-image of a kind, intelligent person, but I wonder if it could all be a lie.
After years of thinking, I believe the acceptance of this "lie" is what helped me accept myself. This idea of doubting what is real and what isn't is a never ending episode. It is an infinite debate between yourself. I used to consider myself part Joker (playing the people around me) and part real (what ever that was). But the line I found was so blurred I couldn't tell the difference.

Even if you don't like aspects of yourself (because they are different, unpleasant, annoying, etc) the reality is, if you are questioning if they are real because you are unknowingly (at the time) doing them, then the most likely reason is because it is part of you, whether you like it or not.

You have to take a step back, disconnect from your emotions and think. Consequently, as long as I acknowledged these aspects of myself and didn't try to suppress them and (become) content with them, then it will all work out for the better. Like many emotions, if you try suppress your "dark" side, you will soon explode. There needs to be a balance and if that means a blurred line (between what you believe is bad/fake and true/ real) then so be it.


Do I really care about others, or do I just act nice in order to be perceived as good?
This could be all part of the reputation you have to maintain (in your mind).

I still (knowingly) act nice to people even though I don't really like them. (A lot of the time people think I am their friends when I merely see them as acquaintances). You need to take a step back again. Yes, you might be deceptively friendly to people, but they may be deceptively friendly in return. Maybe they too are just giving you the time of day. Thus, don't be so harsh on yourself. It is a part of human nature to appear the ideal, how ever unrealistic the standards may be to maintain.

People tell others to "love yourself for who you are" and that "you're unique and special." This means nothing to me. I don't feel like I've done anything to warrant self-admiration. I don't feel special.
People who say this annoy me because it sounds so scripted sometimes. Even though what I may say next may sound easier than it is to do, it is how I coped.

In my opinion I conquered these ideas by thinking about myself from a different angle.
What are my personal guidelines to withhold this rep?

For me, instead of the "guidelines" being my end goal (which it was at the time):
- to be the best.
- to be looked up to.

It change to:
Have fun, try hard, do things for myself and no one else, be realistic, stay competitive (for drive) and when all seems to go to shit, take a step back and embrace it to set another (realistic) goal.

In my mind you have to think, are you doing this for other people or yourself?

Are you setting high standards to impress your colleagues or yourself?

By embracing this, I realised that by doing the things I enjoyed or looking at certain "failures" in a different light, my mood and perception of myself changed.

Sometimes, you realise things and change as you experience certain things in your life.
Perhaps you shouldn't "dwell" on these things too much, because in retrospect you will realise that these small things don't matter that much to you...
 

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I feel that this is a major obstacle for me. I have this self-image of a kind, intelligent person, but I wonder if it could all be a lie. Do I really care about others, or do I just act nice in order to be perceived as good? Am I really "smart" or am I just deluding myself into thinking I am? Just because I was able to make As in a craptacular public school system doesn't mean that I'm smart.

The question of my intelligence is especially important. A lot of things have been going on in my life, so I took a one-year break from college. That year is almost up. I want to go back because I want to have a good career and because my late grandfather would have wanted me to. However, I get so stressed over school. If I screw up more than I expect on a test/assignment or get nervous while taking a test, I start crying. I can't help it. And I doubt that most college professors would want to put up with a grown woman bawling like a baby because she has self-confidence issues.

And then there is the issue of the professors themselves. It's very important to me that I'm able to get along with them. In most cases, that seemed to happen. However, there was this one professor I didn't "click" with. I doubt that this was his intention, but being around him made me feel...inadequate. And if that wasn't bad enough, he actually said once that I was insane. I once starting babbling like an idiot about why I picked certain answers on a test. He gave me a strange look. I jokingly told him not to mind me because I'm insane. He agreed. He also hated anyone questioning his tests-it was right in the syllabus. However, I dared to do it once since I believed that one correct answer was counted wrong. This was based on what he said the answers were right after we took the test. In response, he said that I actually got the question in question :)tongue:) right. I'm not sure if it was my memory failing me or if he was actually trying to cover up his blunder. How do I deal with these kind of professors if I ever come across one like him again?

Back on track...I've also noticed that I work and read more slowly than other people. I'm not sure why. It could be my obsessiveness over correctness. It could be my depression and anxiety interfering with my concentration. My short-term memory might suck. Or (more frighteningly...to me) I'm actually not as smart as I thought I was and a process things slowly. In addition, this especially shows when I'm trying to write a paper. I have a lot of trouble trying to get the words to come out right and trying to fill up the space for papers over a few pages. And then there are citations, the most annoying thing on the planet. So far I've done well with writing my papers, but it was at the cost of a lot of free time.

People tell others to "love yourself for who you are" and that "you're unique and special." This means nothing to me. I don't feel like I've done anything to warrant self-admiration. I don't feel special. I feel that I should subscribe to those words, but nothing in reality seems to support that. On top of that, whenever people say something about me, I wonder if it's really true. Do they really mean what they say? Could they have the wrong perception of me? Who knows?

TL;DR: How can I be more gentle on myself?
I'm an ESTJ. Let me tell you the negative connotations that come along with that- online and in person. I am percieved as a stuck up bitch who tells everyone what to do. While this is true to an extent, I am much nicer than my "friendly" counterpart (roommate) who is an ENTJ. People at our University ask her, "What's it like living with Krystal? I mean, it must be really hard." And she tells them that it's fine (once she got past the nudity, but back on topic). I was out shopping the other day and I ran across a cigarette holder (like the one Cruella DeVille had in 101 Dalmations). One of my acquaintences does Marilyn Monroe impressions perfessionally, so I bought it for her without thinking twice. This is someone I know on the surface, who generally wouldn't "mean" anything to me, but I still did something nice for her. Why would an ESTJ do that??? Anyway, this made me realize that I can't be as bad as people think I am. Catch yourself doing the "right" thing and I think you'll feel better about yourself.

On the other hand, there is always going to be someone smarter than you, prettier, wealthier, has a hotter husband, whatever! Who cares what some college professor thinks of you? There are VERY few people (out of BILLIONS) in the real world who truely respect them anyway! He sounds like either a miserable or very sarcastic individual and you shouldn't take either of those qualities personally. (I am the same way, by the way. I make nice with all my professors, but I have the more sarcastic personality and I challenge EVERYTHING and some of them don't like it. Ask me if I care.)

I personally think the "unique and special" stuff is psychobabble crap, especially now that you're an adult and I'm assuming you're an American, so life is more about conformity than individualism (unless you want to be a rebellious grown up emo). But having said that, you just have to find your place in the world- your niche. If you don't think you're good enough, for whatever reason, make a list of things that WOULD make a person good enough and start doing some of the things on that list. You want better grades, study more. You want more money, get a better job and work harder. There are sacrifices you have to make for anything and you have to be willing to take some risks. Most people are scared of failure so they never try anything. Don't be one of those people.
 

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I was going to bookmark this thread and write a response later, but I'll do it now. I want to make sure that I get all of my thoughts down before I forget.

I think that self-acceptance is something that we all struggle with at some point in our lives. For some people, this struggle is more like a "phase" and they look at things objectively, decide what to do about it, and seem to move on. Some of those people never look back. For others, it's more of a life-long struggle and they can't seem to get past certain issues in their lives. They continually beat themselves up. It goes without saying that you're more like the second type.

I'm also like the second type. I can't seem to get past certain things in my life and a lack of self-acceptance seems to be an ongoing theme in my life. I have always felt inadequate in some way and any little mistake is a huge deal. So, I don't know how much help I will be. It would be one thing if I had overcome all of this and was giving you advice on how to do the same, but I have not gotten to that point yet. But I will try to offer all of the advice that I have and hopefully this will help you in some way.

The first thing I want to do is take apart the negative things you've said about yourself. Please note that I don't do this to put you down, dismiss your ideas, or embarrass you. I just want to point out your bias towards yourself and give my own perspective that may (or may not) help you.

I feel that this is a major obstacle for me. I have this self-image of a kind, intelligent person, but I wonder if it could all be a lie. Do I really care about others, or do I just act nice in order to be perceived as good? Am I really "smart" or am I just deluding myself into thinking I am? Just because I was able to make As in a craptacular public school system doesn't mean that I'm smart.
We all have images of who we think we are and who we perceive others to be. This is how we make sense of the world. Just because someone may not see you like you see yourself does not mean that your image is false. Just because you may not be the kindest person in the world does not mean that you are not kind. Likewise, just because you haven't accomplished anything great (yet) to prove your intelligence, does not mean that you are not intelligent.

What do the notions of kindness and intelligence mean to you? Can you define them without comparing yourself to someone else or an ideal? Can you be kind or intelligent without measuring up to an ideal, or is it either-or?

The question of my intelligence is especially important. A lot of things have been going on in my life, so I took a one-year break from college. That year is almost up. I want to go back because I want to have a good career and because my late grandfather would have wanted me to. However, I get so stressed over school. If I screw up more than I expect on a test/assignment or get nervous while taking a test, I start crying. I can't help it.
It sounds like you've based your identity and self-worth on your performance and achievements. The problem with this is that it sets you up for failure and a life of incontentment. By nature, we mess up sometimes. If you are basing your worth on your performance, sooner or later, you will mess up and then your view of yourself will be shattered. It's like an athlete who bases his identity on being strong, fast, and famous. But if he gets injured or gets older and isn't able to do what he once did, he may not know who he is anymore or feel less valuable as a person. Similarly, with achievement, you are always striving for something that you don't have and are fooling yourself into believing that you will be happy or that everything will be perfect as soon as you get what you want. But after you get that thing, there will be another thing that you will chase after. You need to find something stable to base your self-worth on.

I'm glad you took that break. I'm sure that you needed it and it probably gave you a chance to think about a lot of things. Try to keep focused on your goals because this will give you motivation along the way. If you slip up, remember where you want to get to, why you want to get there, and what things you need to do along the way. Even if you don't get there quickly or encounter obstacles along the way, you will get there if you keep trying.

And I doubt that most college professors would want to put up with a grown woman bawling like a baby because she has self-confidence issues.
Don't insult yourself like that. You don't deserve to be called names by others, so why are you calling yourself names? Don't push yourself to a lower place than you already are.

And then there is the issue of the professors themselves. It's very important to me that I'm able to get along with them.
However, there was this one professor I didn't "click" with. I doubt that this was his intention, but being around him made me feel...inadequate.
This is basing your self-worth on approval. If others (eg. your professors) approve of you (eg. think you're intelligent, mature, responsible, etc.), then you approve of yourself. The thing is that living like this eventually will drive you crazy, because everyone will not approve of or like you. Then, when you meet someone who doesn't approve of or like you, you will feel like less of a person (ie. inadequate in some way.) Just because someone doesn't agree with you or does not like you, does not change who you are or make your ideas less legitimate.

And if that wasn't bad enough, he actually said once that I was insane.
Who is this guy? Does he know you well or just in the classroom? Because he said you are "insane", this makes it so? Why does he have this much power? Why do you give him this much power? His words only have as much power as you assign to them. He could have called you a giraffe, but you would not have to believe him.

I once starting babbling like an idiot about why I picked certain answers on a test. He gave me a strange look. I jokingly told him not to mind me because I'm insane. He agreed.
Is this what happened? Here, it sounds like you were the one who brought up the word "insane". Did he say it himself or was he just agreeing with what you said?

What you're doing here is trying to justify the names that you say he called you. Why are you standing up for him and not yourself? Instead of questioning his judgment, you are giving reasons for why what he said was and must be true. You make no effort here to question what he said. Why do you question yourself and yet accept judgment freely and without question from others?

Getting flustered and "babbling" does not make someone insane.

Back on track...I've also noticed that I work and read more slowly than other people. I'm not sure why. It could be my obsessiveness over correctness. It could be my depression and anxiety interfering with my concentration. My short-term memory might suck. Or (more frighteningly...to me) I'm actually not as smart as I thought I was and a process things slowly. In addition, this especially shows when I'm trying to write a paper. I have a lot of trouble trying to get the words to come out right and trying to fill up the space for papers over a few pages. And then there are citations, the most annoying thing on the planet. So far I've done well with writing my papers, but it was at the cost of a lot of free time.
You don't have to justify why you work slower than other people. Don't compare yourself to others. Just because you are a bit slower does not make you incompetent or less intelligent than those who are quicker at completing their work. Everyone works differently. You take your time and make sure that what you hand in is of quality. What is wrong with that? (As long as you aren't obsessing over it being perfect.) At least you recognize that it will take you more time to complete your work. Now you can make that time for yourself. If that cuts into your free time, then that is a decision you made when you chose to go back to college. Sometimes there are sacrifices.

I find that my depressive and anxious tendencies sometimes interfere with my concentration and memory. I don't think that us having these traits make either of us less intelligent than anyone else. We just need to choose what to do about it.

People tell others to "love yourself for who you are" and that "you're unique and special." This means nothing to me. I don't feel like I've done anything to warrant self-admiration. I don't feel special.
You don't have to earn love from other people. You don't get it by being approved of. You don't need to do anything in order to be worthy of love.

On top of that, whenever people say something about me, I wonder if it's really true. Do they really mean what they say? Could they have the wrong perception of me? Who knows?
You're right. You can't know. Maybe someone's emotions got the best of them and they said something without thinking about the consequences of their words. Maybe someone has ulterior motives for saying something. Maybe you were mistaken about yourself. Maybe you were mistaken about someone else's perception of you. Maybe someone doesn't know you well enough to have a fair perception of who you are. There are infinite possibilities and you'll drive yourself crazy thinking of them all. But if you are so willing to reconsider your own perspective of yourself, you should be equally willing to question those of others.

He also hated anyone questioning his tests-it was right in the syllabus. However, I dared to do it once since I believed that one correct answer was counted wrong. This was based on what he said the answers were right after we took the test. In response, he said that I actually got the question in question :)tongue:) right.
How do I deal with these kind of professors if I ever come across one like him again?
Am I missing something? To me, it sounds like you handled things well. You thought your prof was mistaken and stood up for yourself by bringing it to his attention. You risked rejection, but he admitted that he was wrong. If you run into this again, I suggest you do the same thing. :tongue:

I also agree with a lot of what other posters have said, including this:

I think you go a long way not to be selfish, but when you do a random act of "selfishness," no matter how minor it may be, you punish yourself and have a hard time dealing with it. When you can't see a connection between your values and actions you'll consider your actions random acts of selfishness, and you may even perceive yourself as evil. If basing your actions on your values is not an inclination towards good then, hell, we must all be evil.
He's right. Doing something for yourself, which you see as selfishness, does not make you selfish. We all have to take care of ourselves and you deserve to treat yourself every now and then. Don't punish yourself for not sticking to this image of idealized selflessness and kindness. No one can be perfect and you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Just because you may not be the kindest person in the world does not mean that you are evil.

One thing that I think you could do for yourself (if you have the time) is write a letter to yourself. I've been thinking about doing this myself. Write this letter as if you were writing to a good friend - one that you can be completely honest and open with, and not fear any judgment. In this letter, describe what you're frustrated with about yourself, what feelings you have and why (eg. shame and hatred), goals you have for yourself (ie. who you want to be), and what you think is standing in your way. Then read this letter as if you were the friend. Disassociate it from yourself and read it as though someone you care about is reaching out to you for help.

In my experience, I am much more judgmental towards myself than towards other people. If someone else were going through the same thing as me, I would be much more understanding, forgiving, and loving. Yet, if I am struggling, I beat myself up and knock myself down even further. By disassociating the letter from yourself, you are separating yourself from the feelings you have towards yourself and maybe looking at things from a more objective point of view.

You can then write a response to this "person" and offer advice to them. After doing that, you can read this letter as if someone were telling you the things you had written. But realize that this is the truth that you would be telling yourself (if you could get past the emotional barrier) and that this is how you really feel.

This would take a lot of time, but I can imagine it being very eye-opening and healing. It might be something that you'd consider doing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You and I (ENTP) are very, very similar, although (not sounding like a poo but) I could sense you were an ENFP.
Is it really that obvious that I'm an ENFP? It took a long time for me to decide on my type. :crazy:

Even if you don't like aspects of yourself (because they are different, unpleasant, annoying, etc) the reality is, if you are questioning if they are real because you are unknowingly (at the time) doing them, then the most likely reason is because it is part of you, whether you like it or not.
I'm questioning if the parts of myself that I consider good are real.

In my mind you have to think, are you doing this for other people or yourself?

Are you setting high standards to impress your colleagues or yourself?

By embracing this, I realised that by doing the things I enjoyed or looking at certain "failures" in a different light, my mood and perception of myself changed.

Sometimes, you realise things and change as you experience certain things in your life.
Perhaps you shouldn't "dwell" on these things too much, because in retrospect you will realise that these small things don't matter that much to you...
Actually, the "small things" do matter to me. It's kinda complicated. You see, when I was a child, people praised me for being a good kid and for being smart. Perhaps "being good" was expected, but "being smart" wasn't. I just did well in school, and I guess I had a natural enjoyment of learning. Thus, "being smart" became a part of my self image. I took other people's opinions of me and adopted them as my own. In essence, I worked hard at school to impress others...so I could meet my own standards and reaffirm my self image. Maybe this is why I find it so hard to concentrate on doing anything academic anymore. My need to do well has drained all the fun out of learning. It reminds me of a study that was conducted to test whether or not rewards diminish intrinsic motivation. (Yes, I'm a psychology geek. :tongue:)

I personally think the "unique and special" stuff is psychobabble crap, especially now that you're an adult and I'm assuming you're an American, so life is more about conformity than individualism (unless you want to be a rebellious grown up emo).
Sorry, I don't have anything to really say to you. I just found this part quote-worthy. :laughing:
 

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I feel that this is a major obstacle for me. I have this self-image of a kind, intelligent person, but I wonder if it could all be a lie. Do I really care about others, or do I just act nice in order to be perceived as good? Am I really "smart" or am I just deluding myself into thinking I am? Just because I was able to make As in a craptacular public school system doesn't mean that I'm smart.

The question of my intelligence is especially important. A lot of things have been going on in my life, so I took a one-year break from college. That year is almost up. I want to go back because I want to have a good career and because my late grandfather would have wanted me to. However, I get so stressed over school. If I screw up more than I expect on a test/assignment or get nervous while taking a test, I start crying. I can't help it. And I doubt that most college professors would want to put up with a grown woman bawling like a baby because she has self-confidence issues.

And then there is the issue of the professors themselves. It's very important to me that I'm able to get along with them. In most cases, that seemed to happen. However, there was this one professor I didn't "click" with. I doubt that this was his intention, but being around him made me feel...inadequate. And if that wasn't bad enough, he actually said once that I was insane. I once starting babbling like an idiot about why I picked certain answers on a test. He gave me a strange look. I jokingly told him not to mind me because I'm insane. He agreed. He also hated anyone questioning his tests-it was right in the syllabus. However, I dared to do it once since I believed that one correct answer was counted wrong. This was based on what he said the answers were right after we took the test. In response, he said that I actually got the question in question :)tongue:) right. I'm not sure if it was my memory failing me or if he was actually trying to cover up his blunder. How do I deal with these kind of professors if I ever come across one like him again?

Back on track...I've also noticed that I work and read more slowly than other people. I'm not sure why. It could be my obsessiveness over correctness. It could be my depression and anxiety interfering with my concentration. My short-term memory might suck. Or (more frighteningly...to me) I'm actually not as smart as I thought I was and a process things slowly. In addition, this especially shows when I'm trying to write a paper. I have a lot of trouble trying to get the words to come out right and trying to fill up the space for papers over a few pages. And then there are citations, the most annoying thing on the planet. So far I've done well with writing my papers, but it was at the cost of a lot of free time.

People tell others to "love yourself for who you are" and that "you're unique and special." This means nothing to me. I don't feel like I've done anything to warrant self-admiration. I don't feel special. I feel that I should subscribe to those words, but nothing in reality seems to support that. On top of that, whenever people say something about me, I wonder if it's really true. Do they really mean what they say? Could they have the wrong perception of me? Who knows?

TL;DR: How can I be more gentle on myself?
Hey : ). Looks like you have a lot of people who can identify here at least and I'm no exception.

I definitely identify with everything you are saying. Even right now... I am freaking out about this paper cause I am afraid I might fail... and I also take things in slowly... etc. etc.


I'm gonna start using some abstract imagery....


Picture a circle with pathways coming out of it. each pathway has dots on it. There are lines connecting the dots together. Each pathway represents a thought process.... a kind of continuation of the way the mind grabs hold of things. I think a lot of times ..... I try and find an answer..... by finding the right dot. It's like..... oh if I find the right answer.... everything will change.... I just need to find it.

NOPE

It's not about finding the right answer..... it's about withdrawing from the pathway and getting on a different pathway. It doesn't require taking control of your life. That's a major thing. As an NFP you don't have to be in control of everything..... some people may make you feel that way... but you don't.


Picture an engine that works perfectly fine. Well sometimes I might get hints that the engine isn't working properly.... so I take it apart. But really the engine was working fine.

That's what happens with us sometimes. We think that we have to grab hold of ourselves. We think that in order to function correctly.... we have to get into that mind set of " i have to figure this out now" "this is what i am doing right now and its important" "im gonna memorize this now" "i shouldnt be feeling like this" "this isnt right"

All of that kind of thinking is counter productive. It's taking apart an engine that works fine. RELAX. Take out that inner voice that judges and questions yourself. Just disregard it. Just FEEL. Just allow your intuition to guide you. And don't FORCE yourself to do this. Don't think "ok now im gonna feel and use intuition" NO don't do that...... just ...... let go. Feel. Know that you can function without all of that. You don't have to worry about " am I this or this?" " am I really giving?" "am i really intellgent"

That kind of thinking is all taking apart the engine that works perfect already. You are questioning something that was made to function by itself. Yes you are giving, yes you are intelligent, but don't even worry about whether you are or not...... just be. Trust that you are valuable and loved. Perhaps not by everyone but certainly your worth is real. Why? Because you have a contribution. You complete someone else. You have a purpose and a talent. Whatever that purpose and talent may be.... you have it.... others don't.... and it's your responsibility to fulfill that calling.... and it's not even something you set out to do..... you fulfill it just by being you and following your thought process.

Hey.... love yourself... because you are infinitely valuable : )
 

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Discussion Starter #9
What do the notions of kindness and intelligence mean to you? Can you define them without comparing yourself to someone else or an ideal? Can you be kind or intelligent without measuring up to an ideal, or is it either-or?
I think it is based on some ideal standard, yes.

You need to find something stable to base your self-worth on.
Yes, but I don't know of anything stable. In addition, I've got a scholarship riding on my grades. I don't want to lose it.

I'm glad you took that break.
Well, it had more to do with my grandfather being diagnosed with lung cancer than with school itself. Then he died back in May, so I decided to extend the break to a year.

Don't insult yourself like that. You don't deserve to be called names by others, so why are you calling yourself names? Don't push yourself to a lower place than you already are.
My crying is a real problem. It disturbs the class. (Though I don't mean to, of course. No one else gets upset like I do. I sometimes wonder if people think I'm slightly crazy. Heck, my own uncle has said that he thinks I'm crazy. ...And there was one time where my emotions became so intense that I completely lost it. I don't want to go into detail here, since I don't feel comfortable sharing these kind of things on the internet.

What you're doing here is trying to justify the names that you say he called you. Why are you standing up for him and not yourself? Instead of questioning his judgment, you are giving reasons for why what he said was and must be true. You make no effort here to question what he said. Why do you question yourself and yet accept judgment freely and without question from others?
Because I feel that I myself am biased.

You don't have to justify why you work slower than other people. Don't compare yourself to others. Just because you are a bit slower does not make you incompetent or less intelligent than those who are quicker at completing their work. Everyone works differently. You take your time and make sure that what you hand in is of quality. What is wrong with that? (As long as you aren't obsessing over it being perfect.) At least you recognize that it will take you more time to complete your work. Now you can make that time for yourself. If that cuts into your free time, then that is a decision you made when you chose to go back to college. Sometimes there are sacrifices.
Yes, but I fear that it will cut into all of my free time. I like my free time. :sad:

Edit: And about the professor. I forgot to talk about him since I'm kinda in a rush here. I ended up dropping the class because of the stress and because of the unintended disruptions I caused.
 

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I relate to you so much Angelic, damn it.

(oh and what right does that professor have to agree with things about yourself that may be seen as put downs, i.e. being insane? that was highly inappropriate and just because you may have not been making sense to HIM [in that very specific, probably slightly nerve wracking instance] doesn't mean you are insane. Screw him I say ;) )

I'm glad you recognise what the real problem may be, and I'd rather ask a few questions if that's ok with you. What are your methods for knowing or 'seeing' yourself? how actively to you attempt to get to know yourself? do you tend to split your "self" into negative and positive qualities? do you have any ways of checking whether you're being biased about how you are? how often does your image or perception of yourself change? what would happen if you failed? what does failing in other peoples eyes feel like? what happens when you come across a professor who doesn't like you or who you don't get along with that well? what's your self esteem like? what's your mental representation of you like in your head? what's your method of knowing whether reality and your self image meet up? How much mercy do you show other people in comparison to yourself?
 

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Just accept your failures, disturbing feelings, awkward moments, bad relationships, mistakes, and all those seemingly negative stuff. In reality, these are what make up you. Accept them for what they are--simply one part of yourself--and you will be in shape to start loving yourself. I also had a time when I was ruthlessly punching myself (figuratively, of course) for not being social enough, not raising my hand enough times in class, and not being smiley enough to win the hearts of those around me. But now I know that those "enough"s are only what the universal "norm" dictates. Once I started to just absorb the moment--no matter how bad it was--I felt more comfortable to be myself. I always know I am being myself when I sort of calm down a bit and delve deep into my heart for a good peek. Am I in the moment as myself and no one else? If the answer is yes, all is good. Now, I can always feel the little flame in my heart when doing any activity (as cliché and ambiguous that may sound) because I know my failures, my failures, directly result from my acting in the way I wanted to, the way that felt right. You always had, have, and will have freedom of mind, if you know what I mean. Live in the moment, accept any situation you're in as having stemmed from your decision to be in it, and you'll start loving yourself. Good luck! There will come a time when everything just seems to click.

I'm still young, but I felt like I could give you some advice...

And I apologize once again if this post was vague. :tongue: I'm still working on that.
 

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Is it really that obvious that I'm an ENFP? It took a long time for me to decide on my type. :crazy:
Muahahaa... I am an ENTP and I go through and experience and question things like this a lot. It seemed that the achievements and the doubts and the expectations and the way we went about it were things we kind of shared... I am no personality expert, but I just had a hunch that you were ENFP and when I checked it said so.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That kind of thinking is all taking apart the engine that works perfect already. You are questioning something that was made to function by itself. Yes you are giving, yes you are intelligent, but don't even worry about whether you are or not...... just be. Trust that you are valuable and loved. Perhaps not by everyone but certainly your worth is real. Why? Because you have a contribution. You complete someone else. You have a purpose and a talent. Whatever that purpose and talent may be.... you have it.... others don't.... and it's your responsibility to fulfill that calling.... and it's not even something you set out to do..... you fulfill it just by being you and following your thought process.
But just what the hell is that talent? I wanna knoooooow. :crazy:

I'm glad you recognise what the real problem may be, and I'd rather ask a few questions if that's ok with you.
Sure.

1. What are your methods for knowing or 'seeing' yourself? I take the positive things that people have said about me in the past and internalize it as a "standard," so to speak. If someone says something that conflicts with that standard or if I observe something about myself that doesn't quite fit in to that standard, I begin questioning myself.

2. How actively to you attempt to get to know yourself? I'm not sure. If you mean introspection, then I'm afraid of doing it, seeing as I fear that I may be biased about myself and that I would force myself to be self-affirming even though those affirmations may be based on a lie.

3. Do you tend to split your "self" into negative and positive qualities? Probably. I'm not sure if there is such a thing as a gray area in respect to my self-image. Either I'm great or I suck. ...And seeing even a few qualities that may contradict any positive qualities I may have means that I suck...in my warped mind, anyway. :crazy:

4. Do you have any ways of checking whether you're being biased about how you are? Not really. That's why I'm so confused.

5. How often does your image or perception of yourself change? I'm not sure. Even if I'm doing well, I think my own uncertainties may still lurk in the back of my mind.

6. What would happen if you failed? I don't want to contemplate that. O_O

7. What does failing in other peoples eyes feel like? I don't think I really have failed in other people's eyes. But I imagine that I would even be more distraught.

8. What happens when you come across a professor who doesn't like you or who you don't get along with that well? Well, the aforementioned professor is the only one I haven't got along with, really. What I tried to do was say things to prove that I'm smart. I felt as if I needed to prove myself to him. Again, he was likely very unaware of this. And if it is any indication, other people had trouble in his class too. The funniest thing is that I had the highest grade in the course before I dropped it. Imagine how the other students would have felt if they had my self-esteem issues. O_O

9. What's your self esteem like? Crappy.

10. What's your mental representation of you like in your head? I'm not sure.

11. What's your method of knowing whether reality and your self image meet up? See the answer to the first question.

How much mercy do you show other people in comparison to yourself? I'm most likely extremely hard on myself compared to other people.

Is this an attempt to diagnose me? ^_^U ...Or are you just curious?

Now, I can always feel the little flame in my heart when doing any activity (as cliché and ambiguous that may sound) because I know my failures, my failures, directly result from my acting in the way I wanted to, the way that felt right.
Actually, that may actually make me feel worse. (I know that wasn't your intention, so please don't feel bad. You tried.) If I acted in the way that felt right to me, and I screwed up, I would wonder if there was something inherently wrong with me.
 

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*digs up thread*

Okay, I shall resurrect the thread from the dead! *thread turns into Frankenstein*

Anyway, I have considered the notion that I may, in fact, be afraid of my true self. I'm afraid that my true self is inadequate.
 

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How can it be inadequate? You are what/who you are, that's the ultimate reality every and each one of us faces at the end of day, regardless of what our brain might tells us. Everything about a human is relative and based on perception, ones own and/or others. Perception is always flawed and never absolute, because generally perception comes along with internal judgment, the individual's values and/or experiences determine the outcome of what they perceive things as.

That said, if you're not happy, or at least content with yourself, just do something about it. The only person stopping yourself from living up to yourself is in fact you ;>

In the end it's all about whether or not you're able to accept reality.
 
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