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Can a philosophical mindset make one look as if lacking self-confidence?


BusyNAbroad

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...and lacking a strong character?

 

I don't simply mean overanalysing relationships with other people, but actually trying to interpret what one learns through philosophy, advice or different "models of the world" each and every time one interacts with another person.

 

For example, I often have an inner debate about which philosopher or friend or self-help guru was "right" whenever I interact with someone and see what happens.

 

While I am not completely detached from the interaction, it may sometimes seem that I am not sure about what I am saying, and/or I am saying it merely for the sake of saying it or seeing the other persons' reaction, and not because I am "myself".

 

Can this philosophical mindset thus also come accross as un-authentic?

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if you stick to a few particular philosophies it makes you seem more confident. if you are testing many various philosophies to try and figure out yourself it will show, and you will seem very uncertain young and your understanding of the world will also seem young.

 

taking philosophy too seriously will also end up putting a lot of distance between yourself and the people around you. Keep that in mind when you test and apply it.

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knowledge is useless when there is no earned wisdom to apply it

 

i can't tell if your jabbing at what i said or agreeing.

 

i agree with you though! knowledge is useless outside of application. HOWEVER philosophy is mostly hypothetical and theoretical, and instead of applying them, as we would apply the directions of a machine to the machine itself, we have to test them to see if they seem to be true. When we test these things on ourselves and other people we encounter a number of social risks. Since the original poster is asking how his exploration of philosophy reflects upon him i think it is important to suggest that his endeavor may put a fair amount of distance between himself and other people at first, and maybe in the long run. It is something he/she should keep in mind during their application to determine what risks they should take, and how they should approach said risks.

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...and lacking a strong character?

 

I don't simply mean overanalysing relationships with other people, but actually trying to interpret what one learns through philosophy, advice or different "models of the world" each and every time one interacts with another person.

 

For example, I often have an inner debate about which philosopher or friend or self-help guru was "right" whenever I interact with someone and see what happens.

 

While I am not completely detached from the interaction, it may sometimes seem that I am not sure about what I am saying, and/or I am saying it merely for the sake of saying it or seeing the other persons' reaction, and not because I am "myself".

 

Can this philosophical mindset thus also come accross as un-authentic?

 

I'm not quite sure what you're asking. Could you give a specific example?

 

You need to realize that everybody, without exception, HATES being analyzed. So, if you are going to analyze everybody, you need to make sure they don't know that you are doing it, or you are going to make yourself very unpopular.

 

Second, asking people things in an experimental way is downright strange. People aren't guinea pigs for you to observe! Well, at least people don't LIKE to be guinea pigs.

 

A better way to validate your theories is just to discuss them with friends and people whose opinions you respect, rather than trying them out on people. And always remember that people are individuals and very difficult to categorize and "define."

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back to your original question: You are probably going to strike a lot of people as pretentious. It sounds like you are maybe starting college. See if your school has a club for philosophy. See who has the most to say in your classes and tell them if you like what they had to say.

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In my personal experience, philosophy has caused nothing but loneliness for me. Even when people interact with me, I tend to stay timid and void of emotions. I think I knew everything, so the world became uninteresting to me.

 

If you already have this mindset, I'd say just forget philosophy and live your life.

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...and lacking a strong character?

 

I don't simply mean overanalysing relationships with other people, but actually trying to interpret what one learns through philosophy, advice or different "models of the world" each and every time one interacts with another person.

 

For example, I often have an inner debate about which philosopher or friend or self-help guru was "right" whenever I interact with someone and see what happens.

 

While I am not completely detached from the interaction, it may sometimes seem that I am not sure about what I am saying, and/or I am saying it merely for the sake of saying it or seeing the other persons' reaction, and not because I am "myself".

 

Can this philosophical mindset thus also come accross as un-authentic?

 

Philosophy, advice, self help gurus etc should be used as an inner guide to how one conducts themself rather than as a means to evaluate others. It should not be trotted out each time we interact with someone, it should be something that gets adapted naturally over time to make us the best that we can be. It really should only be used to evaluate others if there are issues going on between you and another person..that is when it helps to better understand the characteristics and philosphies of the other person so that you can work around your differences and have a more harmonious interaction.

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With "philosophical" I don't mean just the academic subject, but, in general, the observation of different lifestyles (this can include also advice or strategies written on a self-help book).

 

The point is that I never settle for a specific lifestyle because I don't know which one is true, so I experiment all of them... the drawback is that if I do something wrong (and the strategy or lifestyle turns out to be ineffective) the impression on the people with whom I interacted lasts and is difficult to reverse.

 

For example, I might try a conversation technique that I read about on a book about NLP because I think that will have a positive effect on a friend... instead it has a disastrous effect... so I feel bad about the whole NLP lifestyle (or at least, applying that model when interacting with that specific person).

 

Do you think it is wise to somehow tell these people that I did a mistake, e.g. "I wasn't truly myself, I was following the advice of someone/philosopher/friend/guru, but I now believe that it doesn't apply. I wouldn't have behaved that way with you, and will never do that again."

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The purpose of these self-help books etc is to get some information from them and adapt it to your way of life without making radical changes where you are no longer true to yourself. It sounds like when you try things out, you are not really being true to yourself and that is why these things end up flopping for you and hurting others. You don't have to adapt everything you read...you can use some ideas and not others. I think simply apologizing to the person you hurt is sufficient.

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Totally agree with COD - if I got the sense you were experimenting on me when we spoke, rather than being a down to earth good and genuine listener/sharer then I would feel like I was playing second fiddle to your main priority - to test out these (what you refer to as, I am not so sure) "philosophical" approaches. I wouldn't even choose a spiritual leader who did that and he/she is supposed to be "philosophical". I think it's far more difficult to be a good, genuine, down to earth listener and sharer in a relationship because that requires vulnerability and empathy - what you are doing allows you to be detached and distant in the name of "philosophy".

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I'm pretty sure that nearly every philosophy calls for you to be present and attentive in your interactions. If your mind is working overtime to analyze what is happening, you may miss some very important things.

 

Save the analysis for a later time, by yourself.

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