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james carson

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to what extent does our self-interpretation create behavioural boundaries?

Self-interpretation and behaviour share an intimate relationship. Amy's video illuminates the impacts that our body language has on the way we feel, and consequently the way we interpret who we are. She also reveals the impacts our self-concept can have on our behavioural decisions, with the example of her belief that she was not capable enough for Princeton creating an urge to not pursue her course

This made me think, does our memory, the accumulative account of our PREVIOUS actions create a belief system that defines behavioural boundaries?
I mean in the long term, if we repeatedly behave in a particular way, such as being shy, submissive does this increase the rigidity in which we characterise our "self" with these attributes?

If we do attribute our "self" these traits, could this self-interpretation be internalised into the unconscious or memory, subsequently having an influence over spontaneous behaviour. I say "spontaneous" behaviour to describe the more habitual actions we feel are natural to us, so the actions that are influenced by our immediate reactive thoughts/emotions when interacting with others and the environment.

It is my personal belief that, so many people are limited by these "behavioural boundaries" that don't really exist! They are just a consequence of the way we identify the amalgamated thoughts, emotions, memories and experiences that are the foundation of our self-concept. I also belief that emotions and thoughts are ephemeral, and that we are constantly adding to our bank of experience so our "self" is continuously changing, which is why there is no benefit to a rigid identity. If people could understand the impermanence of "self" could we be more capable of transcending our behavioural boundaries by becoming more aware of the nature the "self", using the flexibility in action to diversify our self qualities in the most uninhibited way.

I don't study psychology so sorry for any insufficiencies, id appreciate any relative thoughts


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    Oct 6 2012: "... does our memory, the accumulative account of our PREVIOUS actions create a belief system that defines behavioural boundaries?" Of course it does. Repeated behavior is self-reinforcing and after years, we have the imprint on our minds that "thats who I am." It CAN be changed just as you say, but the most important step is to start and that is where most people fail. They don't start and they say, 'that's not me', 'I can't', 'I haven't', 'its too hard' and never make the most important step because the self image has been 'proven' through past failures. Just like you say, behavior is ephemeral or rather as I like to call it, plastic, so it can be shaped or reinforced. I do think that there are basic personality types that we all fall into and that range can be expanded or contracted, so in example quiet or calm people may expand and be participatory, loud or dominating when needed, but will always have a 'quietness' around them. It can be shaped so that the 'quiet' does not hold them back or excludes them from social interaction but still is a basic.

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