Moody Mondays: Getting honest through objectivity

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.

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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.

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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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Moody Mondays, getting honest, objectivity vs subjectivity
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9 comments

  1. Interesting, JoAnn! Your analysis of subjective v. objective really gets at the limitations and potential, respectively, of the healing process.

    Naturally, there’s little objectivity if we keep everything to ourselves. Especially if we do so, in fact. It takes “outside” actors, be they therapists or caring friends/family, to be able to leap above the fog to provide the objective, 50,000-foot view.

    True, though we also in turn provide this service for others. Plus, the “outsider” would be of limited utility if some part of ourselves wasn’t willing to share the vision. Thus, three cheers for the “self,” too, both as an enabler of our own recoveries, and as an agent in others’.

    See, this is among the benefits of living in a society, in a civilization. Mozart and coconut recipes are two others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Limitations and potential… the essence of life really, isn’t it?

      Having a support system is a great thing… not always easy to come by for everyone… especially the social challenged. I used to be that way but I’m getting better 🙂

      Cannot underestimate things like Mozart and coconuts!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Naturally, JoAnn, regarding the support system. Perhaps, though, the scarcity of such individuals inspires us to treasure them all the more. Certainly with an avidity the socially gifted can’t match.

        So there you have it right there – a plus for our column right off the bat.

        Hey, spring’s coming and with it, baseball references. Play ball!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Journaling is so essential, right??? Personal change is impossible until and unless we know ourselves, and we all need to change. Knowing ourselves is like emptying the ocean with a teaspoon, but it can be a labor of love. Blessings!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Knowing ourselves is like emptying the ocean with a teaspoon” – that’s a great quote! So true, it seems the more we know the more we realize what we don’t know. Journaling does help sort a lot of things out though! Blessings to you as well!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think we all do to a certain extent. For some of us is just ends up being a lot worse. Perhaps we never had someone to say that what we were telling ourselves wasn’t actually accurate 😕

      Yes, do try the journaling. Can’t recommend it enough. Thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

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