Ambigamy

Insights for the deeply romantic and deeply skeptical

Me, Ourselves and We: Multiple Personalities R Us

Roses are red; violets are blue, I’m chameleonic and so am I
Jeremy Sherman
This post is a response to Are You Introspectively Bi-Curious? by Jeremy E. Sherman, Ph.D.

Multiple personalities–they're not some rare pathology, but something we all deal with.  Sometimes you’re shy, sometimes bold.  Sometimes you’re dead serious, sometimes a goofball, sometimes you’re fragile; sometimes you’re tough, sometimes your honorable, sometimes you’re devious.

You’re told to “just be yourself” as though you’re just one self, but none of us really are. We’re all chameleonic, presenting different selves in different situations.  We could claim that our true self is the whole chameleonic package, but often we slither out of that admission.  Someone calls us on a devious maneuver and we dutifully introspect to see whether our personality has a capacity for deviousness.   But we introspect selectively accessing only our more flattering personality: “Me?!  I’m honorable. I would never do such a thing!”

We wring the most advantage out of our multiple personalities by ignoring sides of ourselves when they would disappoint us, and exploiting them when they serve us.

Integrity isn't being of one mind; it's being honest about being of several minds.

Jeremy Sherman is an evolutionary epistemologist studying the natural history and practical realities of decision making.

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