The ability to step outside the body and mind is not an easy one… next to impossible. Can we ever truly see ourselves objectively rather than subjectively?
To be sure, objectivity versus subjectivity may seem like a rudimentary concept in theory. In practice, however, it can get overwhelmingly complicated, especially when attempting to apply the concept to one’s own mental health.
The objective of course is being able to look at something and see only the facts (“just the facts ma’am”) without any bias.
Conversely, the subjective is looking at things through the lens of feelings, assumptions, beliefs and personal opinion. (“I just had a hunch… a gut-feeling.”)
Applying this to mental health, one of the many things a good therapist may do is help a patient see themselves more objectively. The aim of course being a heightened sense of self-awareness in regards to thoughts and actions. Isn’t self-awareness really just a product of seeing things in the objective versus subjective?
Since I’m no therapist or psychologist myself, allow me to use a personal example.
I’ve almost always kept a journal. At one point in my recovery from BPD though, I started journaling like a madwoman. I wanted to better understand the moods I experiencing and so I would write extensively about them. At the time I had no thought of the broader implications, I merely wanted to expel the strong and often destructive emotions I felt out of myself for the sake of my own sanity.
To be sure, a curoius thing started happening. When I was feeling better and not in the destructive moods anymore I would go back and read my journals from that earlier time when I was all a mess.
This is how I first came to doubt my own subjective judgements of myself. Is this a crucial step in recovery? I believe it was in my case. What I was essentially doing was looking back at things with a more objective point of view when I was thinking more rationally. In doing this I began to gain self-awareness of a slew of things.
It would difficult to delve into all of that now as it would take a colossal amount of time, however, here is a small sampling. Questions I began asking myself: Why do I get so emotional over certain things? What are my triggers? What is the truth behind all these emotions? Where do they come from? Why do they work the way they do? Why don’t they always work right?
It was a big step in the right direction!
More on this subject…
Objective vs. subjective on ViaWriting.com
Self-Awareness Development and Types from VeryWellMind.com
Every Monday from now until I get tired of it I will be posting on various mental health topics. That’s a joke actually as I never get tired of talking about mental health!
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