True Self and False Self

Posted at 8:10 pm on 11/07/2015 by

True self and false self are concepts introduced into psychoanalysis in 1960 by D. W. Winnicott. Winnicott used "True Self" to describe a sense of self based on spontaneous authentic experience, and a feeling of being alive, having a "real self".


Trait Comparison

      Here's a way to sense who's leading someone's personality (like yours) locally or chronically. 

Option - use this as a worksheet to profile yourself or someone else

Common True Self Behavioral TraitsCommon False-self Behavioral Traits

__ Alert, awake, aware

__ Generally "up" and "light," (mood)

__ Usually realistically optimistic

__ Focused, clear, and centered

__ Compassionate, kind, forgiving

__ Firm, strong, confidant, purposeful

__ Calm, serene, peaceful

__ Usually has a wide-angle, long-range  focus - accepts delayed gratification

__ Balances long and short-term payoffs

__ Usually patient, persistent, committed

__ Appreciative, grateful, "glass half-full"

__ Empathic, sensitive, genuinely respectful

__ Spiritually open,  aware, "connected,"  receptive, growing

__ Consistently self-nurturing without egotism

__ Genuine, honest, open, direct

__ Respectfully assertive

__ Socially engaged and active

__ Physically healthy: balanced diet, exercise, work and rest; gets preventive checkups

__ Spontaneously expressive of all emotions real-time, without major anxiety or guilt

__ Able to form genuine bonds with others

__ Able to judge who to dis/trust with what

__ Realistically self-responsible

__ Usually realistic about life and situations

__ Spontaneously able to exchange love

__ Comfortable receiving merited praise

__ Often able to forgive self and others

__ Frequently maintains a two-person "awareness bubble"

__ Seldom gives double messages

__ Able to grieve losses spontaneously

__ Seeks Self-guided people and high-nurturancesettings

__ Evolving and living a clear life purpose

__ Work, play, and rest are generally balanced

__ Fuzzy, distracted, confused, numb

__ Often "heavy," "down," gloomy, manic

__ Usually pessimistic or idealistic

__ Confused, vague, unable to stay focused

__ Blaming, critical, bigoted

__ Indecisive, worried, cautious, doubtful

__ "Upset," scared, angry, guilty, ashamed

__ Usually has a narrow, short-term focus 

__ Usually seeks immediate gratification

__ Often impatient, impulsive, uncommitted

__ Bitter, jealous, resentful, "glass half empty"

__ Selfish, arrogant, disrespectful

__ Spiritually unaware, skeptical, closed, scornful, or uninterested

__ Consistently self-neglectful

__ Dishonest, indirect, sly, controlling

__ Timid and apologetic, or aggressive

__ Isolated or compulsively social

__ Physically unhealthy; relies on prescribed drugs or self-medication 

__ Anxious, guilty, or blocked about feeling and/orexpressing some or all emotions

__ Difficulty forming true (vs. pseudo) bonds

__ Difficulty discerning who to trust with what

__ Notably over- or under-responsible

__ Frequent distortions and denials

__ Difficulty giving and/or receiving real love

__ Uncomfortable receiving merited praise

__ Difficulty forgiving self and/or others

__ Often focuses only on her/himself or a conversational partner - 1-person "bubble"

__ Often gives double messages

__ Difficulty grieving on one to three levels 

__ Unconsciously prefers wounded people and low-nurturance settings

__ Unclear on or indifferent to a life purpose

__ Work, play, and rest are often unbalanced

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