Inconsistent Selves

It is theoretically possible to have inconsistent selves.  Have you ever had anyone tell you that your thinking or your ideas are inconsitent – they’re not logical – or they don’t make sense?  Next time someone says that to you – tell them – “Yeah, it is inconsistent.  What’s your point?”

When exploring your identities, it is possible to explore 2 identities that are opposed to each other.  When you do one thing and then do something totally completely opposite, that is consistent with exploring in identity formation.  Building on the ideas of the Jamesian Me – the “I” can create 2 “me’s” and the “me’s” might be opposing “me’s” and be completely expressions of “I.”  You can contradict yourself, and it is a natural and normal process.

Now, don’t take the idea too far.  The self or the “I” can only have multiple “me’s” as long as there’s is an integrated self.  It is possible to have exploring, opposing identities and still have an integrated self.  Work out your identities, but the consequences of your working that out still belongs to you.  These theories are not an excuse to do anything that you want to – but theoretically possible.

What is natural and normal is the exploring identities.  Inconsistent selves is a consistent thing.  Someone that says that you don’t make sense or that you’re inconsistent – they are the ones that don’t understand that in order to form and grow, a person with inconsistent selves is just working it out.

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5 thoughts on “Inconsistent Selves

  1. I agree totally. The theoretical basis for why I agree can be found below; however, I am also suggesting that the real significance found in inconsistency, i.e., identity diffuseness, is more about the locus of self where cognitive objects acquire salience, then it is about exploring multiple “me’s”. Thanks for your inconsistent selves post.

    If the genesis of ambivalence can be located in the differentiating space [to paraphrase Thom’s (1983, p.187) description of Simmel’s concept of a person], arising between what is simultaneously social and individual, social, in the form of the product of sociological categories, and individual, as the stranger existing outside of sociological categories, then the defining condition of ambivalence/self becomes identified with a “neither this nor that” circumstance. It is for this reason that ambivalence, in its most primitive form, becomes objectified as a “flight from ambivalence.” This “flight from ambivalence,” in turn, may be understood to be a powerful contributing factor to both the closing of the mind of the bigot, and, the modern penchant for division, domination, order, and technology.

    In modern society’s matter-centered universe a human being’s “so-called” value and worth is never far removed from some objective measure that claims to be able to scientifically predict and explain human behavior. In this research project I propose to challenge this idea by putting forth a theory of self that recognizes ambivalence to be the locus of self where cognitive objects acquire salience…

    1. Thanks for the comments. Your comments are so awesome-it’ll take me awhile to process through them. Thanks for jumping in. You’ll help me understand some of this stuff.

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