When one is in touch with themselves and they feel safe enough to express who they are, there will be no reason for them to put on an act. How they come across on the outside is going to match up with who they are on the inside.
Now and Then
Or, if they do put on act, it is going to be something that rarely takes place. As a result of this, it is going to be a lot easier for them to handle the moments when they are unable to be themselves.
There can be times when they are unable to maintain their sense of self, and other times when it is necessary for them to play a role. If their life was under threat, for instance, one could lose themselves momentarily, or if they were at work, they might have to act in a way that doesn’t reflect who they are.
When one spends time with their friends, it will be normal for them to be themselves. Their behaviour will be governed by what is taking place within them, as opposed to what is going on externally.
Now, this is not to say that one will lack empathy, and that they won’t be able to tune into what is going on for someone else. What it means is that they won’t end up losing themselves and acting as though they are an extension of someone else.
An Important Ability
One can then put themselves in another person’s shoes without having to completely absorb what they are going through. Through being this way, they can stay in their own body and not get drawn into another person’s experience.
Is it then going to be a lot easier of them to assist someone, and they won’t end up taking on their problems. If one was to absorb what other people go through, it would be the same as one joining someone in a boat that is already sinking.
When this doesn’t happen, there will be no need for one to get in the boat; they will be able to instruct them on what they can do to get out of the boat. And, as one won’t have the tendency to lose themselves around their friends, this area of their life is likely to be very fulfilling.
One will be able to fulfil their need to be seen for who they are, and the positive feedback that they get from others will actually mean something. If, on the other hand they were playing a role, it wouldn’t mean anything.
What this is going to show is that one has good boundaries, and this is why they feel safe enough to be themselves. If this wasn’t the case, it wouldn’t matter if they were in touch with what is taking place within them.
As one is not here to live another person’s life, it could be said that one will be living in the right way. However, while this can be seen as the ideal way to experience life, there are going to be a plenty of people who can’t relate to this.
When one can’t relate to this experience, it is going to mean that they are used to losing themselves around other people. This can be something that will take place no matter who they are around.
One is then going to disconnect from their own needs and feelings, and they will end up playing a role. This could be a role that someone else wants them to play, or it could be one that they think another person’s wants them to play.
This is not to say that one will think about what role they need to play before they meet someone, or that they will spend time rehearsing a certain role. The reason for this is that one is likely to end up playing a role when they are around others.
Who they are will end up being covered up, and they will be nothing more than an actor. So, when they receive positive feedback from others, it might not have anything to do with who they are.
And as one is unable to maintain their sense of self around others, it could be normal for one to take on other people’s problems. When they are around someone who is going through a hard time, one could absorb what they are going through.
It could then seem as though one is empathising with what they are going through; yet, it might be more accurate to say that one has simply merged with them. One lacks boundaries, and this is why they are taking on another person’s problems.
It is then not that one necessarily cares about what the other person is going through; it is that this is something that just happens. If they were to behave differently, it is likely to cause them to feel uncomfortable.
Playing a role or taking on other people’s problems is then something that feels safe. If one felt as though it was safe enough for them to be themselves, there would be no reason for them to behave in this way.
It might be hard for one to understand why they are experiencing life in this way. Nevertheless, what it can come down to is that took place during their early years.
This may have been a time when were abused and/or neglected, and this would have stopped them from being able to develop in the right way. What would have felt safe would have been to play a role and to do what other people wanted.
Through having these early experiences, there is the chance that one will be carrying a lot of trauma. And as they didn’t get the kind of care that they needed, they can see themselves as being nothing more than an extension of other people.
If they received what they needed during this time, it would have allowed them to grow into an interdependent human being. In order for one to change their life, they might need to work with a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, 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.