A modern scientific view
Self-Awareness Theory states that when we focus our attention on ourselves, we evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values. We become self-conscious as objective evaluators of ourselves. Various emotional states are intensified by self-awareness, and people sometimes try to reduce or escape it through things like television, video games, alcohol, drugs, etc. However, some people may seek to increase their self awareness through these outlets. People are more likely to align their behavior with their standards when made self-aware. People will be negatively affected if they don’t live up to their personal standards. Various environmental cues and situations induce awareness of the self, such as mirrors, an audience, or being videotaped or recorded. These cues also increase accuracy of personal memory.
This idea of self-awareness was pulled from wikipedia.
To sum things up, I believe self-awareness can be simplified into having a 3rd person perspective of yourself and thoughts.
Do you believe you have/use self-awareness and why?
Every activity you do is you must have self awareness first, then try to go out and take a look at the bigger picture....you are a social being so you live in a society, you interact and you follow rules and laws (social laws and political laws). but there are those who are deviant and chose to do whats is not acceptable to society.
Those deviants can change the norms of a society, their acts and behavior will be followed by others and it will become a mode like for example Lady Gaga, the way she dresses is a deviant in some kind of way, but once it is normalize many people will do the same or wear the same clothing, then it will be come a norm
oh wow - when they all start dressing like Lady GaGa I'll be in big trouble! well, maybe no one would expect someone with an old fat body to dress like that, still - I have seen some old ladies dress pretty peculiar! hahaha
of course, there is such a thing as too self aware!
Most of the time I have it. being a writer sometimes it is fun to drift into the character you are writing about. Only to be done while writing of course.
I have a blog I have been running on "Self Awareness" if anyone is interested. I thought I would place the link since many here seem to be interested. Hope to hear from you and share with you.
Here is the link; http://okc-at-the-u.blogspot.com/
Well, I know I need to lose a good thirty pounds to hit my ideal weight. Other than that I know I'm short. Yeah, I'd say I'm self aware.
Yes, it is a daily preoccupation, I'm getting better at it, but there's still a long way to go.
I think being self aware is being tuned in to our self as an entity, not just a face in the mirror or the thoughts in our head.
the past few years, I've become more self aware and I feel it helps us to function in life overall. I feel more connected to others, the outside is rather superficial, but we're basically the same on the inside, taking away thoughts, opinions, biases.
even if someone on here makes me want to scream at their beliefs, I try to see that person beyond their opinions.
need to sign off here so I can get some work done.
I just wrote about this in the Judas - A True Saint thread! Self-awareness, 3rd person point of view in a way, is a technique being used to help OCD sufferers (Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz, he wrote The Mind & The Brain). He teaches his patients to relabel the obsessions and compulsions of their disease, first they have to be aware of them as 'glitches', just some of the myriad thoughts that run through one's mind. Paying close attention to what one thinks and analyzing those thoughts gives the opportunity to choose how to deal with them. Faulty brain circuitry can impart urgency to these messages that don't need to truly be considered urgent - by hard work and learning how to deal with the thoughts, one can eventually rewire the brain so that these messages can be discarded like the many other ridiculous thoughts that run through one's brain.
I think through self-awareness, I think I have discovered that I have ADD and OCD. I agree that the 3rd person view does great things in control of thoughts and actions. I like to run with some of my irrational thoughts just to analyze them. Do you think it is possible to self-diagnose with self awareness and analyzing individual thoughts?
You asked: Do you believe you have/use self-awareness and why?
Generally I don't, I run on auto-pilot too often.
I agree with TMinut about the auto-pilot. I think there is a "potential" for self awareness, but most of us run our lives by association. One thought or feeling triggers another, on down the line.
Occasionally we are stopped by something that takes our breath away, but then we fall back to sleep soon enough. It's hard work staying awake :-)
And of course, :you can't wake a person pretending to be asleep" (stolen from the Navajo.)
Self awareness is must for the people who are egoist and absent minded .....
self-awareness is the basic function for a normal people, i think.
Self Awareness is present in all humans without a severe mental disability. Therefore yes, I am self aware.
So too are elephants apparently. The test is to paint a dot on the head of an animal then show it it's reflection. If it reaches for the mirror it does not recognise the reflection as itself. If it reaches for its own head to remove the paint it is aware of it's existence from an outside perspective. Basically.
But of course, nothing is basic
(Unless we're doing chemistry, and that means something else...)
Yep. It usually comes with being a deep thinker. For example, why do I seem to attract people who are polar opposites to me and contain virtually none of the values that my ideal girlfriend would have? It causes me to take an objective look at what it is that I may be projecting to the world through my words and actions that attracts these kinds of people. Sometimes in times of uncertainty you tend to look back and maybe even try to let go of some things so you can move forward... did i digress?
You have good points. I think you are right that self-awareness includes being humble to learn from mistakes and learn from regrets for forward progression. I also think it's great to put yourself in other people mindset and shoes and getting feedback from others. I think disagreements and debates in learning self-awareness well exceed agreements. I think the disagreements give a true 3rd person perspective when the person chooses to view and learn from it.
When you are too self-aware, doesn't that mean self-conscious too? And self-involved? You'll be accused of being merely a spectator to your life instead of living it. And of thinking too much. And of being overly analytical.
Then if you start referring to yourself in the third person, you'll be called mentally ill.
Sorry, I haven't been on this thread in a while. Excellent comments from everyone, I will try to get back to some eventually. Thanks.
Yes. It can be quite a shock to really look hard at your own actions and thoughts, then try to analyze. I don't know that it's healthy or sane to do so constantly, analyzing oneself as a being. Gets too weird. Sometimes forgetting yourself and just living is best.
yes self awarness is the key to a better life we must know ourselves.
It depends on what part I'm holding at the time I decide to talk to myself.
What part do you hold when talking to yourself?
Are you two not aware of yourselves having degraded this , up until now interesting thread to lavatory standards?
Come on! Where is your self awareness now? Get back on track you naughty children!
How can the thread be dying? I'm sure many great philosophers have written volumes about this. But from the comments I read above, people seem to personalise the subject of self awareness (as it demands one does). Self awareness in a group situation is acted out in a very different way to a self awareness in solitude. And I'm sure there are many more interesting variations and experiences that could be aired on the subject.
Will I manage to rescucitate this thread I wonder.
I think I agree. Are you saying individual self-awareness is a 3rd person view of yourself and a group self-awareness is feedback and debate from others on yourself?
Although the core of your self awareness is constant, for me my self awareness in a group is sometimes tainted by the thought: "What the F... am I doing here?". A group demands a lot of listening, obsevation, role playing, compromise, good timing, in short you have to adapt your self awareness to 'fit in'. But yes, ultimately it is only the group (or other people) who are going to enlighten you about who you really are. Others are the mirror. Third party feedback is also very influencial to self awareness as in: so-and-so said this-or-that about you. Oh really? I wasn't aware of being such-and-such. Third party feedback adds to or changes your self awareness. Self awareness is intrinsically linked to self image of course. In a perfect world, one has an "ideal" self image, i.e. what we believe we are or should be, and then with positive or negative feedback from others the self awareness changes for better or worse, what ever the case may be. Just avoid bad company I say.
to be self aware is almost impossible.
Do your thoughts about yourself really mean anything if not expressed - in some form or fashion - to someone else?
are your thoughts a redistribution of ideas you learned from other people? the definition of self-image, the boundaries created by others before you to determine what is and what is not?
to understand and manipulate how the world looks at you.
to seek freedom from others. this is line between self-awareness and narcissism.
sometimes, the best point of view is that which is detached. Like the spectator to a chess game, rather than the actual players.
how can you detach from yourself? it is an impossibility.
self-awareness, the awareness of how others see you, and how you react to it.
"Do your thoughts about yourself really mean anything if not expressed - in some form or fashion - to someone else?"
Yes! A person can lift themselves up or bring themselves down with their own thoughts. If their thoughts bring themselves up, it gives them motivation. If their thoughts bring them down, they will likely lack motivation.
"are your thoughts a redistribution of ideas you learned from other people? the definition of self-image, the boundaries created by others before you to determine what is and what is not?"
I think most thoughts are recycled, this doesn't mean there aren't new thoughts. Don't understand the second question.
"sometimes, the best point of view is that which is detached. Like the spectator to a chess game, rather than the actual players."
Who learns how to play the game better, the player or the spectator? If the spectator is a fan of one player over the other, the spectator could believe his player is the best even when he loses. I don't think the spectator always separates themselves or there wouldn't be many sports fans.
"how can you detach from yourself? it is an impossibility."
debate and logical thought I think.
"self-awareness, the awareness of how others see you, and how you react to it."
and how you separate to see yourself.
I worded this incorrectly. Do your thoughts about yourself really mean anything if not expressed? Whether or not they are to someone else is irrelevant. You can lift yourself up with your thoughts, but that is still expression.
I think you stepped passed the point. The point was that the spectator has access to an impartial perspective, a wholistic perspective. Where as the players are partial. Whether or not the spectator is partial would change the perspective.
I don't think debate and logical thought can achieve that kind of separation. These things can achieve empathy, understanding of the other point of view. I think that it is impossible for someone to stand completely outside their own Self. Can one really experience a thing without his or her body, without his or her mind? Even in absence the mind is still affected, as is the body.
I think a person being their own biggest critic say's it is possible to step outside yourself. If a person doesn't hold attachments to their mind, they should be able to separate from their mind. I think that makes sense. Just because there is still a physical presence doesn't mean there is still a mental presence. What do you think happens during deep meditation? The mind is freed from the body, no? Or is mind and body unified to separate outside influences from thought?
Mind, soul, spirituality, all that are just words for a different, more basic, non linguistic level of consciousness. The thing I love most about meditation is that it removes mondain thinking (as in what shall I buy for dinner) and takes me to the realm of abstract, yet in its own context, very meaningful thoughts and images. Stories in their own right. Meditation is total awareness of the process of meditating and has no place for Self Awareness and Self Image. Yet going there frequently seems to balance reality and that, indirectly can greately improve the Self Image.
WHO ARE YOU???? WHERE AM I????? WHY ARE THESE BUGS ALL OVER ME????
Is this considered self awareness:
Let's say I go into a Dunkin Donuts for a coffee and a little thought in my head says "you should get a muffin too"
Then yet another thought seemingly from a different source says
"how are you going to lose weight if you keep eating muffins"
I then make the decision to leave the store with the coffee only.
If it does then I have self awareness.
a person uplifting their Self is an expression. An expression is any action that manifests a thought. That act of uplifting oneself is the expression of that thought. But to think without expression is an impossibility. A thought is expressed in memory, a thought facilitates new ground. Contemplation that leads to further action.
i think detachment in the form of meditation, thought it may erase "mundane" thoughts does not achieve separation, it is only a mental state.
Meditation itself is an expression. it is the expression of detachment from worldy things, but not detachment from the Self.
A person who is their own worst critic is less detached then the other person who is a critic. But that is not the same as a spectator. A spectator has no involvement in the game. Any intelligent person can observe you better than you can observe yourself.
A person, no matter how self-critical, cannot detach completely from their work. It is an expression of that person's Self. Stepping outside yourself, i don't think that is detachment as much as self-awareness. Your Self is still fully involved in that process.
Meditation in stillness is the same as meditation in movement. But it is not a separation of mind and body.
In order to detach completely from your Self, you would be unable to return to it. your newly detached Self will be devoid of expression, or identity.
One who lives cannot observe himself living, he can only observe how he thinks while he lives.
I liked this line. If a person debates his observation and thought through self-awareness, the person is observing themselves outside of what they want to see.
sometimes your method of debate is like trying to catch an eggshell stuck inside a yolk. How you dash from side to side!
i simply mean that a thought must in some way be actualized.
hypnosis - when done correctly, is not simply a separation of mind and body, it just separation from control. To be hypnotized, a person must permit their mind to be under hypnosis. Even if in an abstract way, that person is still involved.
the mind is like the body nd vice versa. There are many things that happen within your body that are separate from your mental faculties, or conscious faculties, but are still necessary for those mental faculties to exist. For example, the involuntary motions of your nervous system, your respiratory system, your cardiovasular faculties, all of these happen separate from your conscious thought. So your mind is connected to your body by its necessity to live and subsist. If your mind were truly separated from your body, it would probably be in death.
lol I am enjoying the conversation, thanks.
Another question. There have been claimed instances where patients have been under surgery and legally put to death for some time of the surgery and then brought back to life.
Some of these patients have claimed to rise out of body and view the surgery even describing critical details of things the doctor was doing while they were legally dead. Some of these people were describing detals they saw while their body was covered from the neck down. Most of their information was verified by doctors as miracles and unexplainable. I have no way to verify these stories, but I do not rule them out. If some are true, how do you say their mind didn't separate from their body?
There has been some fascinating work on consciousness and the notion of self conducted by Daniel Dennett, and Douglas Hofstadter. Dennett particularly has investigated how consciousness relates to our notion of self but Hofstadter has come up with a theory of how the brain creates this notion.
He argues that the brain is a self-referential network which maintains a model of its own functioning. By manipulating symbols which represent things in the world, including ideas and thoughts, it can also generate symbols which deal with that process of thought as well. Hence we are aware of our own thinking, and this leads to a notion that something else is doing the observing other than the brain. The illusion is created that mind and brain are somehow different when they're not.
He shows that having consciousness is the same as self-awareness, that the experience of self is really an illusion and a consequence of the self-referential nature of brains.
It opens the possibility as well that such self-awareness exists in varying degrees in a variety of species. For those who believe in souls, this notion is particularly challenging.
His book "I Am A Strange Loop" and Dennetts book "Understanding Consciousness" are really interesting, but a load of information is freely available on the web as well.
Yes, I saw some Youtube videos on this. Most people report a blissful near-death experience. Some do not want to return to life as they like it so much. My own humble explanation is that perhaps the brain evokes a kind of nirvana in the form of a "super imagination" at the point of death; maybe to make it more pleasant and to take away the fear of the unknown? Even if the patients are covered up, maybe other senses could be at play, like hearing, spatial awareness... If sound scans can create a picture of a baby inside a mother’s womb, why couldn’t our ears , very highly tuned create an image of the proceedings? But hey, who knows... there is so much we don't yet know.
When we focus our attention on ourselves and evaluate and compare our current behavior to our internal standards and values we are at a disadvntage still. Because we only have our own past and our own understanding of our internal standards-we can only be as self aware as our past experiences allow us to be. Because we can not stand in another persons shoes and view ourself from this other perspective we are always limited to being as aware as our past story and interpretation of life allows us to be. I think a first step to go further in the querry of finding self awareness is to be aware that we are viewing ourselves from a limited perspective.
In view of your own interest in self-awareness, have you come across Dr Charoux’s new book on G.I. Gurdjieff’s Work entitled “The Triumph of Self Mastery”? It's a masterpiece and outlines what true self-awareness and self-mastery is all about. I beleive the book is available on Amazon and other booksellers
I love Gurdjieff's work. He enlightened my entire perspective on life. He keeps speaking of "Remembering Yourself" as in taking snapshots of moments that can always be in the present. The ability to "remember yourself" as discussed by Gurdjieff can greately increase one's self awareness and I strongly recommend reading his works.
I may check out the book. What do you mean the ability to remember yourself?
Read Gurdyeff. Remembering yourself is, as far as I understand, the ability to live the present while being aware of the future memory of that very same moment. So it is helpful in that it detaches you from the immediacy of a situation and gives you greater perspective and a more objective self awareness.
Self Awareness is the concept of inventorying ones own existence to extract what one is made up of and determine whether it is acceptable to self or not acceptable. When we turn inward to our own consiousness and examine ourselves in the now state of being we find out things about ourselves. Then we can determine what we like and don't like and work on a plan to change every aspect into something that is completely acceptable. Inventory, sort out, throw out the bad, keep the good and move on. To thine own self be true. Let go and let live. Life is a gift and is to be lived. All input other than love is destroying life.Interesting question Marine Always,
Carry on / SF
and someone, I think it was Wallace Stegner? said "the unexamined life is not worth living" !
Actually, the originator of that quote is not Wallace Stegner, but someone much older in History, one of the Ancients, one of the classic fathers of Philosophy---Socrates---he said it just before he died.
To be acurate, right after he poisoned himself. He was ordered to death but would not give them the pleasure.
He was perfectly self aware when he drank from that cup...
I think that is a great example. I think to have self-awareness all the time, we would have to be looking in the mirror all of the time. I think it is safe to say that if too involved in self-awareness, this will limit your awareness to and of others.
My self-awareness has increased since having behavioural congnitive therapy which I needed to help me work through how to make a big career transition.
I know what you mean, self conscious, paranoid. the negative side of self awareness.
ive had chapters of my life where ive had different levels of intensity of self awareness, at the time when i employed too much of it, i almost couldnt go a minute without evaluating and observing myself it was horrible, i always evaluated how much of truth was in each of my actions, my behavior was criticized by myself. I detached myself from myself at the same time from the moment, hence i couldnt enjoy things, like parties, moments with my girlfriend etc
I remember before kindegarden thinking about thinking. I though it was entirely fascinating and asked a million and one questions about thinking like: does everyone have a voice in their heads that calls itself I or me? Do dogs? Why? My first intuitive notion was that there must be some purpose in it. Oddly enough, I associated self awareness with destiny.
Forty years later, it doesn't seem unusual at all. You need to be able to evaluate where you are to get to where you want to be. Therapy helps people do this.
How accurate are we without someone to listen to us? I think that the more we develop the habit, the better we get. We use judging and comparing ourselves to a standard. We can use imagination to imagine how others judge us. That's kind of like having a third party in your head. It seems that when we are in our teens, we have this self awareness that makes us believe we're always on a stage and everyone is looking at us. As we age, it changes so that we don't really care how the world would judge us.
This is why I think prayer is overall a healthy, good thing to do. I don't necessarily think that anyone is listening or even cares, but it allows a chance to honestly reflect on your life by becoming more self aware. Meditation also achieves the same thing, with the bonus of relaxation.
I also often think about what extent animals can be self aware. Dogs know (after reinforcement)not to do certain things because they will be punished. This means that they are self aware of what they are about to do. They know that what there body is doing will evoke a negative response from us. But can this really be considered self-awareness, like maybe just not to the extent that human brains can process interactions? I don't know, but I do think about this often. Good question.
I'm aware that I am aware, yes.
When I look in the mirror, I recognize myself. I loathe my own obesity, I mourn my own failures, and I fear my own mortality.
Of course, maybe this response is being posted by an advanced automaton.
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