General Question

wundayatta's avatar

Can you assess yourself objectively?

Asked by wundayatta (58638points) September 23rd, 2008

Is it possible to be objective about yourself? Should you even try to be objective about yourself? Should you be a complete advocate for yourself to the point of exagerating your accomplishments? If you do exagerate, when is it too much?

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11 Answers

AstroChuck's avatar

I don’t see how. I mean, how does one detach oneself from oneself?

marinelife's avatar

You can come close. Yes, you should try. One has to be careful, first, to make sure what is being called objectivity is not simply a guise for excoriating oneself (which many people have a tendency to do). Grandiose cheerleading is not helpful either.

One way to determine if your assessment is objective is to take the aspect of self that you are examining and run it through your filters as if you were looking at a friend with a realistic, but compassionate eye.

If you think about how you would react if a friend did, said or thought something, and then think about your reaction if you did, said or thought the same thing, there should not be a big gap between the two reactions. If there is, you are not being objective. The reaction in the case of the friend is closer to true objectivity.

syz's avatar

I think that you can be painfully honest with yourself but I think that objectivity is impossible by it’s very definition.

scamp's avatar

I don’t think it can be done either.

wundayatta's avatar

@marina: it seems I fall into the excoriation category. I’m not sure the friend idea works for me, because I always have very good reasons for being critical of something.

I guess that’s the problem. I don’t know what other people say to themselves. When are they satisfied, and when do they goad themselves on to improve? I always doubt. I always wonder if I have done something wrong in social situations, because I don’t know what people really think. I know what they say they think, but I’m pretty sure that is but a pale reflection of what they really think.

tinyfaery's avatar

The best way to see oneself objectively is to have self-awareness. Are you aware of your thought patterns, emotional responses, bad-habits, biases, etc. I consider myself very self-aware, and thus I am aware of my many, many faults. However, knowledge of my problems does not necessarily mean that I can/will/want/know how to change them.

wundayatta's avatar

I think there’s such a thing as too much self-awareness. It can backfire on you.

marinelife's avatar

@daloon I thought that might be the case, which is why I mentioned it. I think you missed my point about the friend thing and how to work it. You don’t think what your friend might think of those actions, you put your friend in your place.

Let’s saying you are beating yourself up because you went to a party and several of your conversations with people felt awkward. So, you are going, “You dolt! I can’t believe you said such stupid things! No wonder they wouldn’t keep talking to you. etc.”

Now, imagine your good friend goes to the party and says the same things you did and gets the same reaction. He then tells you about it. I am guessing you might say to your friend something more like, “Listen, bud, everybody feels awkward meeting new people at parties. It was no big deal. There’ll be another party. The fact that they moved on probably had nothing to do with you.”

So, what I am saying is that if there is a big difference between what you would say to friend about something that happened and what you would say to yourself in the same situation, you are not being objective, you are dealing with self hatred and heavy negative self talk. Break the cycle!

veronasgirl's avatar

I’m not sure if a person can assess themselves objectively, I think depending on our personality we automatically build ourselves up or put ourselves down, even if we don’t realize we are doing it.

wundayatta's avatar

@veronasgirl: and if we do realize our automatic behavior? Perhaps we can correct for it? Or is that simply not possible?

veronasgirl's avatar

We may be able to correct our behavior, but that would be very difficult, you are attempting to change something that is part of the way you think; but it’s not impossible.

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