While some people are able to maintain their sense of self when they are around others, there are going to be other people who are unable to do so. However, even though this is what is taking place, it doesn’t mean that someone realises what is happening.
Part of Life
For example, if someone can maintain their sense of self, it could be what is normal. It is then not something they ever think about; it is just part of their life.
In this case, they may have experienced life in this way for most of their life, and because of this, they might not realise that not everyone experiences life in this way. This is not to say they won’t ever lose themselves, but it could happen so rarely that it doesn’t have an impact on them.
If it does happen, it could be something that takes place during a stressful period of their life. For instance, if they were to lose their job or to experience the end of a relationship, they might lose touch with themselves for a short time.
Along with this, they might experience a similar occurrence if they were to go on a date, but in this case, it might only be a momentary experience. However, regardless of why they experience life differently, it shouldn’t be long until they return to how they were before.
Through experiencing life in this way, it could cause them to reflect on how their life would be if they were like that all the time. As a result, they might experience a sense of gratitude and think about how fortunate they are.
At the same time, they might look back on what happened and wonder why they behaved as they did. Depending on what happened, they could end up either feeling angry or they might even start to laugh.
Life Goes On
Whether or not this happens, they are likely to carry on with their life, and this will be a life where they have a sense of self. This means that they will not only be in touch with their needs and feelings when they are around others, they will also be able to express them.
Therefore, they won’t need to overlook what is taking place within them and to get caught up with what is taking place around them. This is not to say they won’t be able to respond to other people’s needs; what it means is that they won’t act as though they are an extension of other people.
Along with being connected to themselves, they will also feel that it is safe for them to be themselves. How they behave around the people they are close to will generally be a reflection of their true-self.
This is going to mean that they are able to experience intimacy with others, and this is because they will be able to share what is taking place within them. Whilst they might enjoy being approved of by others, it is not going to define their behaviour.
Through being able to be themselves around others, it is likely to mean that their life will be an expression of their true needs. Whereas if someone was unable to be themselves around others, their life is likely to be a reflection of how other people want it to be.
What is true for them could end up being ignored, and their life can then be an expression of what is true for others. It is then not possible for them to please themselves because they will be more concerned about pleasing others.
Other people could see them as easy going, or they may say that they lack confidence, for instance. How they behave may depend on who they are with, but this is not the same as having the ability to adjust around different people.
What this can mean is that they will disconnect from themselves and end up being defined by the people they are with. They are then out of touch with their true-self, and this may appear to be something that ‘just happens’.
A Door Mat
It can then be normal for them to do things they don’t want to do, and while this might cause them to experience frustration, it could be far worse. This is because they could end up being abused by others.
However, even though they are being compromised, it doesn’t mean they will let anyone know. They might not believe that they can do anything about what is taking place.
Although they will have the need to be themselves around others, this could be something that doesn’t seem possible. Being around other could cause them to feel overwhelmed, and it is then going to be a challenge for them to experience life differently.
But even though their behaviour around others doesn’t always reflect their true-self, it doesn’t mean they will realise this. Other people could see it as who they are and this could make them feel even more restricted.
A Closer Look
In order for someone to be able to maintain their sense of self around others, they will need to feel safe in their body. If they don’t, it will be normal for them to leave their body and to live in their head, or to dissociate from themselves.
When they are in their head, they will be focused on others, and they won’t be able to express themselves. Whereas if they felt safe in their body, they wouldn’t need to focus on others and they could then express their true-self.
What this is likely to show is that they haven’t developed boundaries; if they had, they would be able to feel as though it is safe for them to be in their body. Through not having them, it is to be expected that they will feel exposed.
This can be a sign that their boundaries were not respected during their early years. They may have been harmed and/or they may have had a caregiver that got too close to them.
Based on what happened during these early years, their body could be carrying trauma, and if this is the case, they may need to work with a therapist who understands what they are going through. If they were to only focus on their mind, for instance, it might not be possible for them to deal with the trauma.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.