Which Voice in the Dark is Mine?

I had a stressful week at work, and just didn’t have the time and energy to write a post, at least not at the kind of quality I expect of myself.

The other disappointment is that I am so strapped on time/energy, that reading about the topic of personality is a challenge. I was posting every day, and although it was all based on internet sources, it was something to point you, the reader, towards in the hope of facilitating a deeper exploration.

In stressful times, I talk to myself in my head, give myself directions, sometimes scold myself for being foolish. It feels like it’s coming from the front half of my brain.

When life is calmer, perhaps when I’m still but not too tired, I’ll “hear” a voice say something very brief, in one or two words. Sometimes it’s just my first name (this occasionally happens when I’m dozing off in the day, when I have things to do), as if a gentle reminder to wake me back up. Usually that voice is a woman’s, spoken in a motherly way. Fairy godmother? This voice sounds around late-twenties or early-thirties, and she sounds like she’d be attractive. I’ll wake up for that.

Other times it’s my voice (coming from the back of my head), or a man’s voice with a somewhat deeper, older, richer tone. A little spooky. I don’t know what any of this means, but I’d love to find out.

Where does this phenomena intersect with personality? If people were more open and honest, we could start this a little better. But when you say “I hear voices”, people get a bit concerned about you, or back away out of concern for themselves, even if they themselves have the same thing going on. But that’s average people, not psychologists or other health professionals.

My guess would be that personality in this case is better revealed through what the voice or voices are saying. Without getting into the nature of the subconscious (I’d need a lot more of an education to do that), the motivation of the subconscious (supposing there is one) has already helped shape the personality, is perhaps shaped by the personality, and thus is an inseparable part of the personality.

I’m not talking about auditory hallucinations, at least not as I understand it. Correct me if I’m wrong, but my impression of auditory hallucinations is that the person having one perceives it as though it came from one or both ears. It sounds as though it’s real, occurring externally in the environment around the person.

When I’ve heard a voice, there has only been one time when I thought I heard it with my ear. I was young, maybe thirteen or fifteen, and it was late at night. I was in the bathroom, just standing there, inspecting my face in the mirror. In my left ear, I heard the aforementioned woman’s voice say my name very calmly. The voice sounded so caring and affectionate, that I wasn’t scared or disturbed by it. If I believed in angels, she was mine.

All of the other voices I’ve heard while awake clearly come from my own mind and do not involve my ears at all.

Voices (and sound effects – Exploding Head Syndrome) that occur in half-sleep are usually louder and clearer, sometimes very loud and alarming.

I’m fortunate so far, and hope that I don’t develop any problems with this as I get older, if my mind deteriorates.

Enactors of Factors

XII. Dimensions of Personality
Eysenck’s methods of measuring personality limited the number of personality types to a relatively small number. Although many traits exist, Eysenck identified only three major types.
A. What Are the Major Personality Factors?
Eysenck’s theory revolves around only three general bipolar types: extraversion/introversion, neuroticism/stability, and psychoticism/superego function. All three have a strong genetic component. Extraverts are characterized by sociability, impulsiveness, jocularity, liveliness, optimism, and quick-wittedness, whereas introverts are quiet, passive, unsociable, careful, reserved, thoughtful, pessimistic, peaceful, sober, and controlled. Eysenck, however, believes that the principal differences between extraverts and introverts is one of cortical arousal level. Neurotic traits include anxiety, hysteria, and obsessive compulsive disorders. Both normal and abnormal individuals may score high on the neuroticism scale
of the Eysenck’s various personality inventories. People who score high on the psychoticism scale are egocentric, cold, nonconforming, aggressive, impulsive, hostile, suspicious, and antisocial. Men tend to score higher than women
on psychoticism.

via Theories of Personality | Chapter Outline

I thought Trump is psychotic, but now I know for sure that it’s true.

So is my dad. They have a lot in common, those two. My dad supported Trump, and if Trump knew about him, he’d support my dad.

Self-justified in any situation, no matter how red-handed you catch them.

Anyway…getting away from two bitter topics for me,

I used to be introverted, but over time and by desire I slowly became more extroverted. Some of the behaviors of born extroverts turn me off, so I’m not fully flipped to the other side of the spectrum. I’m something of a hybrid. Most people, I will assert from personal experience, are somewhere between the two poles.

Neuroticism vs. stability – a good summary is found here:

Neuroticism for Winning

Psychoticism vs. superego – This is, in my barely-informed impression, is a question of unrestrained (psychotic) vs. self-restrained (superego).

superego definition

Integrity, Anyone?

As an infant scans his mother’s face he absorbs clues to who he is; as adults we continue to search for our reflections in others’ eyes. While the parent-child bond is not necessarily destiny, it does take quite a bit to alter self-concepts forged in childhood, whether good or bad. People rely on others’ impressions to nurture their views about themselves, says William Swann, professor of psychology at the University of Texas, Austin. His research shows that people with negative self-concepts goad others to evaluate them harshly, especially if they suspect the person likes them—they would rather be right than be admired.

via Metaperceptions: How Do You See Yourself? | Psychology Today

If you don’t mind, read that last sentence again for me. Does this explain assholes? I’ve been puzzling this out for years and years, and this is the best explanation I have heard. Another way to say it, without putting words in the mouth of the author, is that because people who have negative self-concepts may also value being true to themselves, “being right” and being awful is being a real person, and being admired is “selling out”. It’s a matter of pride to show resistance to mass pressure. I can understand non-assholes having a tough time understanding that someone’s idea of a better choice is to be a worser person, but that’s the topsy-turvy logic of someone who feels like their existence is not a benefit to the world, and yet still has a shred of integrity.

In order to change such a mentality, one would need to admit how wrong one got it, come back to human and face the fact that they’re not so smart after all. In effect, they’d have to take back all they’ve said and done in the name of showing their contempt for themselves and for the lack of understanding they’ve received from others. They’d have to abandon the sinister vines they’ve wholeheartedly nurtured in the garden of pride and defense.

When we talk of someone’s idea of conviction and standing their own ground, it is hard to give up and change, no matter who you are, or in which direction.

In cyberspace, no one can hear you laugh.

via Metaperceptions: How Do You See Yourself? | Psychology Today

I really enjoyed the article linked above. Truly fascinating, and it gives anyone plenty to talk about. Print it and bust this out at your next gathering. Guaranteed to weird some people out, bum out a few more, encourage accusations. People’s heads will hurt. There’s a chance you won’t be invited back. You should definitely do this.

from the article:

“…”metaperceptions” – the ideas we have about others’ ideas about us.”

I don’t know what you’ll think of me for saying this, but my unfortunate preoccupation is in trying to figure out what others think of me. I was always an individualist, always trying to be independent of the influence of others. I end up, against my will, falling into the typical Aries hypocrite. I’m eccentric in my own special way, and fiercely proud of it. I might as well be proud of it because I’m no good at putting on an act. Besides, acting all day long, every day in real life is self-torture. If everybody would just be their own weird selves, we’d all get used to it and no one would get to call anyone else weird without in turn also being called a hypocrite.

However, I do hide quite a bit of myself. I don’t do it for a conscious reason, and I wish that I didn’t.

Try as I have, I can’t shake the worry that I’ve misrepresented myself and caused a reaction in someone else that I didn’t want or intend. I’ve always been socially awkward, so I’ve been stung by this situation many times. People treating me in a manner befitting someone else’s personality, someone I don’t recognize…it’s troubling. And you don’t always get a decent chance to remedy a false impression.

“Your ideas about what others think of you hinge on your self-concept—your own beliefs about who you are. “You filter the cues that you get from others through your self-concept,” explains Mark Leary, professor of psychology at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.”

This is one of the reasons why I learned to be funny in conversation: When people laugh at your witticism, they display (and announce) approval of you for having told the joke. And if they know I made it up myself, then that’s approval of me. My sense of humor is deeply personal. I get as much of a thrill out of a witty comment (pride, the good kind) as the person who laughed. I imagine some of their synapses firing, making a connection that wasn’t there before. With certain people, I imagine it as a spark in their mind, a case of me bringing light into an otherwise dark and dreary place.

Writing a blog is a different animal. If I make you laugh, I don’t get to hear it. I don’t get to see it. Unless you communicate to me in comments, I won’t know. My point is, at least at the moment it seems like I’m performing for the void, sending signals into space. I don’t know if there will be any feedback. There is no metaperception to be had. Just gotta have faith that my message in a bottle comes back with a new note inside.

In yesterday’s post, I introduced the concept of the Johari Window. This article has much to do with two panes of the window – the one known as the “Blind Spot”, and the other, (un)known as the “Unknown”. Check it out, yo!

Watch Yourself Through a Johari Window

via Johari Window – take the test online

Above is a link to a site by Kevan Davis that allows you and your chosen friends to participate in the creation of a Johari Window all about you. On the same site, here’s the link for the “Nohari Window” – even better!

Nohari

A Johari Window is a model of the self that can help people take a step closer to self-awareness. It is food for thought, but powerful enough to be its own buffet – it has the potential to bring up a cornucopia of questions, but will leave you starving to know more about yourself.

The “Window” is simply four panes, drawn simply as a square cut into fourths. Even Americans can do that for themselves.

The upper left pane is the “Arena”: the you that you see in yourself, and that others can see as well. Show-off.

The lower left pane is the “Facade”: the you that you see in yourself, but that others cannot see. You big fraud.

The upper right pane is the “Blind Spot”: the you that you are in denial of or cannot see, but others see clearly. (I think this is the one that worries me the most.)

The lower right pane is the “Unknown”: neither you or anyone else can see this part of you. How exciting! The you we never knew.

I said in my last post that personality tests should aspire to more than being a reflection of your opinion of yourself. You and I both know too many people with a skewed impression of themselves to take any stock in that. You might want to know what Kanye West scored on his test, but it’s not like it will change your opinion of him. If there were a way to allow others who know you well to contribute, the tests can be much more meaningful. Anything to protect you from handing your money over to Tony Robbins.

Though technically you could simply ask loved ones to take a personality test with you in mind, with how they see you, it’s not clean and easy (even worse than your facade to them muddies the results). I haven’t been introduced to a test that is designed for the input of others, save the one linked at the top of the post. (I don’t know so much yet, so I’m hoping I get to edit this post when (if) I find one.) (I want you to pay for your crimes.)

Ye Olde Myers-Briggs

via MBTIonline.com | The Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Currently one of the most well-known personality tests is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment. I’m not trying to disparage it by saying that the last time I took this test I came out a four-way tie. That’s not really their fault, that’s the story of my life. Allow me this aside:

My astrology chart is fairly well-balanced around the wheel, which for me means that I’m pulled in different directions at once. I’m some of this, but also that, and I land in an in-between place that is neither here nor there. I’d make a horrible Nazi. That’s part of why I’m attracted to the subject of personality: I appreciate the peculiar and often humorous traits of others, but I also need to – you guessed it – get a grip on myself. But a couple jots better than Britney Spears does.

If you hear anyone talk of being a personality type and rattling off four letters that are unpronounceable together, that person may have taken the Myers-Briggs (or another test based on the same/similar concept, such as 16 Personalities. Both were launched from the work of Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, who, in his 1921 book Psychological Types, laid the conceptual groundwork these tests stand upon).

16 Personalitites.com

I think of myself as an INTJ (Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging) type, or as 16 Personalities puts it, an “Architect”. Yet again, in their test, I came out nearly a 4-way tie (though technically a 2-way tie).

I think these tests are wonderful, and everyone should take them. Take all personality tests, for that matter. There is no real harm. But what does eat at me is that they are only asking me about me. My perception of myself, no matter how honest I think I’m being, is most likely skewed.

Were these tests handed to friends (let’s do it) and family (shudder), I expect the results would be different. I think me next post will be about the Johari window, and how best to clean it.