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    Thread: Independence Vs Consideration

    1. #1
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      Independence Vs Consideration

      "Just be yourself, don't care what others think about you."

      We've all gotten that advice before, right? While it's true that we should not live according to the expectations of others, there's also something self-serving about being considerate and polite to others. A good social network is necessary to survival. Being too callous about your appearance to others can disrupt this social network. No one wants to hang out with a douchicle. At the same time, most of us are not so abrasive that we couldn't stand to be a bit more confident and assertive, and people tend to respect you more if you're genuine.

      So what is your philosophy on the balance between independence and consideration? You can even broaden the conversation to cover self-interest vs collectivism since that appears to be a vital aspect of the issue.

      Spoiler for useless rambling:

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    2. #2
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      I say everyone should just be them self. If a person lacks self confidence and needs to argue to feel better about them self, then let them argue. There are other people who enjoy arguing and they can go argue with each other for fun. For the most part there is a lot of options on who you decide to hang around with, so if you don't fit in well with someone ditch them.

      That said, I think being a nice person is fairly important. So I try to be nice. I don't stress out or worry about it though. If being nice isn't a part of who you are though, it is probably very difficult to actually follow through. You have to want to be that kind of person.

    3. #3
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      I say it's incredibly naive to think we should just "be ourselves, no matter what others think." I dated a chick that recognized she was flawed in a self-defeating way. I asked if she wanted to change herself. She said yes. She asked if she wanted my help. She said no. I asked if she would accept anyone's help. She said no. I asked that if the flaw was internal, how was she ever to surmount it, without the help of others outside of herself. She said she should be strong enough on her own to figure it out. I asked again if she wanted help. She said it was something to be figured out on one's own, and if she needed to listen and obey others, she shouldn't do it.

      A couple days later I dumped her.

      The point being, you should at least consider the advice and social recommendations from those who care about your best interest. Not their best interest, but yours. And sometimes, well, fuck, even acting in your own best interest can be beneficial to someone else, socially. You use your mind as a filter. "What is good advice that I'm receiving from the peers of my surroundings? Why? Which is the bad advice?" Ask yourself these questions, treat every situation as temporary and based on unknowable constraints (perhaps the dude who said you look fat is having a shitty day of his own). It is complex, not something that can be wrapped up in a tidy dichotomy. And that's why this is a bad thread.
      Abraxas

      Quote Originally Posted by OldSparta
      I murdered someone, there was bloody everywhere. On the walls, on my hands. The air smelled metallic, like iron. My mouth... tasted metallic, like iron. The floor was metallic, probably iron

    4. #4
      D.V. Editor-in-Chief Original Poster's Avatar
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      I don't think there's anything wrong with being considerate as to what effect your actions will have on others.

      However I believe you should never try to "be" anyone. Do as you please, but stop trying to be what others expect you to be, or even what you expect yourself to be.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      I'd say it's a delicate balance, but both are necessary.

      I'd go on more of a rant about it but I don't feel like fighting my natural urge to be concise right now.

    6. #6
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      Consideration is a function of independence.

      We can't truly navigate our own reality without fueling/girding/justifying it with the experience and symbols emanated from those around us. Can we?

    7. #7
      D.V. Editor-in-Chief Original Poster's Avatar
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      I believe we can but it's very difficult. We have to let go of the need to be something in particular. You can still be considerate when you stop living for the validation of others, but you don't need them to validate who you are. We don't serve others so they'll validate how kind we are. We serve others because it makes us happy. Do what makes you happy and be who makes you happy.
      Last edited by Original Poster; 08-28-2012 at 03:20 AM.
      Sageous likes this.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    8. #8
      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      It depends on how much respect you have for these "other people". I consider what my close friends and lovers think about me. If I didn't respect them enough to care what they thought about me, I wouldn't consider them to be a close friend and I certainly wouldn't be having sex with them.

      This goes in all contexts as well. For example, here on DV, I don't give a fuck what OP thinks about me and will tromp all over his threads but generally respect Xei's opinions and try to keep my posts on his threads on-topic.
      Previously PhilosopherStoned

    9. #9
      D.V. Editor-in-Chief Original Poster's Avatar
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      Or, for example, I don't give a fuck what you think about me, and not for any excuse I could come up with having to do with the smallness of your mind, but simply because you live in your own reflection, I live in my own reflection and Xei lives in his own reflection. None of them are true. There's absolutely no reason to take personally the actions of someone reacting to a traitorously translated representation of reality.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    10. #10
      Rational Spiritualist DrunkenArse's Avatar
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      Exactly. I just happen to care about some reflections more than others.

      Twit.
      Previously PhilosopherStoned

    11. #11
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      And I have no god given right to object to which traitorous translations of reality you choose to believe in. I choose to believe in none. I made that decision because it makes me happiest to give 0 fucks about what myself or other people believe. It will always be belief, and never truth. My own translation of reality is no less traitorous than anyone else's.

      Of course I often do feel like you and Xei both hold your own assumptions about reality above the reality that presents itself. I've noticed this from the way both of your run wild with judgments which are completely off base from the intentions of the people you respond to. But that will make its own maker and I gain nothing from criticizing it. Twat.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


    12. #12
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      Whenever someone gives that advice I get the feeling they're assuming that 'yourself' is a likable friendly person. That anything negative about your personality results from caring too much about what others think. It especially seems this way because the 'be yourself' advice is often accompanied by advice such as 'be friendly' and 'smile'. If you're one of those people who naturally have good social skills, are optimistic and express it to the world, then that advice makes perfect sense. But if you're not it doesn't.

      Personally I find the 'be yourself' advice to be incomprehensible, but that may just be me. I don't feel I have a constant personality. I'm fine with the way I act now, but if I wanted to badly enough I could shift it into something entirely different, and that would become my new 'self'. Even my own personality in my head and the way I think would change. This is what I did at some point in high school. I acted really shy, weak and kind of stupid. I wanted to reverse these things so I did, became more self-confident and used my intelligence more. Since then that's been who I am. Every few months or so I'll realize some minor thing about my personality or thinking processes that I dislike, and I'll change that too. First I have to consciously force it to happen, but eventually I become so used to it it becomes me.

      I, as well as most people I think, switch their personalities often in order to please whomever they're interacting with at the time. For example, I might have some knowledge of biology but don't usually think about it much, and I know how to use big words and sound intelligent but usually don't because most people just think you're being arrogant. I might be talking to someone who is fascinated by some aspect of biology and who I can tell values intelligence and likes using big words. So, while talking to that person, I'll shift my speaking or writing style to sound more intelligent, and I'll bring that slight interest in biology to the front of my mind so that I'm genuinely fascinated by it too for the time. Then the person ends up liking me more.

      I don't make much conscious effort to do this, it just happens, which is why I'm guessing this is a normal thing that everyone does. There's nothing wrong with it as long as you're being genuine at the time. The only exception I'd say would be in situations in which getting the person to like you is really important, like if you're talking to your boss or something. If you honestly can't relate to them at all, it's okay to 'not be yourself' and lie about your interests. But if you're in a regular situation, talking to some potential friend or at a party or something, unless making as many friends as possible is really important to you, then I don't see the point in it. Don't lie, just let the person dislike you if your interests and personalities conflict too much and don't talk to them anymore.

    13. #13
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      Actually, in the descriptions above you're not changing your personality but adapting personas to your personality to help you through interpersonal relationships. You are still "you," regardless of what you present to others, and if you know you are adapting those personas (many don't realize their actions), then you are indeed practicing the OP's "consideration."

      And yet, you can project personas in a very self-serving and "independent" manner. This stuff might all be far too intertwined to really define -- or justify -- a separation.

    14. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dianeva View Post
      Personally I find the 'be yourself' advice to be incomprehensible, but that may just be me. I don't feel I have a constant personality. I'm fine with the way I act now, but if I wanted to badly enough I could shift it into something entirely different, and that would become my new 'self'.
      My "self" changes almost every day. No one that really is "being themself" has a constant personality. I feel like I'm becoming more spiritual every day, and that affects what music I listen to, my mood, thoughts, friends, and a lot more. I think about everything. My opinions change and I admit when I'm wrong, and another part of me changes. It's a constant evolution of personalities. I try new things when I can and what fits me the best stays. I try to be whatever my self is at the time, while still respecting other people and their opinions.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Sageous View Post
      Actually, in the descriptions above you're not changing your personality but adapting personas to your personality to help you through interpersonal relationships. You are still "you," regardless of what you present to others, and if you know you are adapting those personas (many don't realize their actions), then you are indeed practicing the OP's "consideration."

      And yet, you can project personas in a very self-serving and "independent" manner. This stuff might all be far too intertwined to really define -- or justify -- a separation.
      What would the difference be between "adapting personas" and "changing personalities"? if adapting personas involves temporarily changing one's way of thinking, I don't know what more extreme change personality-altering could bring.

      To be fair, there is a constant personality in my head while not interacting with people, and I suppose the fact that I change it while talking to someone is the 'consideration' even though very little of it is done consciously.

      All of this has made me realize that 'independence' wouldn't work, not unless you wanted to be disliked by almost everyone, and I doubt many people practice it fully. For example, someone brings up a subject which you honestly don't care about. You tell them you don't care and change the subject (if you did otherwise that would be 'consideration'). That person will be upset. If you're meeting the person for the first time they'll probably never try to talk to you again, and even if they're an established friend they'll gradually start to dislike you. Even that specific example probably happens regularly in any conversation between two people. The only exception might be in close relationships in which brutal honesty is important, and even then it would just be kind of mean if you care about the person.

    16. #16
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      Quote Originally Posted by Dianeva View Post
      What would the difference be between "adapting personas" and "changing personalities"? if adapting personas involves temporarily changing one's way of thinking, I don't know what more extreme change personality-altering could bring.

      To be fair, there is a constant personality in my head while not interacting with people, and I suppose the fact that I change it while talking to someone is the 'consideration' even though very little of it is done consciously.
      I think you already answered your own question, but I'll add some more anyway:

      I don't think a healthy person ever changes her core personality. That core is who you are, based on a unique mix of genetic, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and environmental factors that together equal "you." Call it your identity. The baseline of this identity really does not change much, even though you might add wisdom or behavior to it, as Woodstock notes above. No matter how elaborate the personas you affect in order to communicate with others might be, you will still "know," ultimately, that they are personas. You might go through life never "being yourself" in public, but ultimately you know -- sometimes after more than a little introspection -- that there is still a core "self" that differs from your projections.

      I think that the only people who truly do lose touch with their core personalities tend to land in psychiatric care, with diagnoses like schizophrenia or psychosis.

      All of this has made me realize that 'independence' wouldn't work, not unless you wanted to be disliked by almost everyone, and I doubt many people practice it fully. For example, someone brings up a subject which you honestly don't care about. You tell them you don't care and change the subject (if you did otherwise that would be 'consideration'). That person will be upset. If you're meeting the person for the first time they'll probably never try to talk to you again, and even if they're an established friend they'll gradually start to dislike you. Even that specific example probably happens regularly in any conversation between two people. The only exception might be in close relationships in which brutal honesty is important, and even then it would just be kind of mean if you care about the person.
      Correct again, I think. I also think that human interaction depends on the "consideration" of projected personas or, at the least, things like tongue-biting and feigned interest. We are all incredibly complex individuals, and to expose that complexity immediately upon strangers without some sort of buffer would likely put a real damper on establishing relationships. Hell, that buffer of consideration even needs to be present in the most established of relationships.
      Dianeva likes this.

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      The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.

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      ... And it is possible to exercise that privilidge with consideration, as long as you remain true to yourself.

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