Hi.... I am not sure if this will make much sense but..
I am currently pursuing an autism diagnosis, as part of the pre-assessment my partner was asked to complete a questionnaire about my presentation which I had to complete too. When we had completed the questionnaires we shared our answers with each other. A lot we had responded in the same way (focused interest, need for routines, difficulties with physical touch, difficulty with eye contact, solution focused, black or white thinking etc) which I had expected because over the years I have invested time into developing a pretty strong sense of self and self awareness (both the positive and negative attributes).
However there were a number of inconsistencies that really bothered me. Like that I can appear rude, and uncaring because I don't take an interest in other people. That I can be direct and at times seem insensitive to others views opinions and experiences. That I can appear disconnected from most people and I can often talk to people like it is the first time that we have met or as if I don't know them or as if I am addressing a colleague at work.
I believe that I care very deeply about people, that I am sensitive to others needs and will always try and help people that need my support and that I can and do make deep connections with people (although I can count the number of people on one hand). I would say that I am sensitive and a gentle person. I struggle to do and be all of these things if it is not on a 1:1 basis or if my anxiety/stress level is high and I think that is where the contradiction might be.
My question is therefore who am I? Am I the person that most people perceive me to be, or am I the person that I believe I am? Is it people's perception that define us or our own internal sense of self? If the two are so contradictory how can you form a solid sense of who you are? I am wondering if anyone else struggles with the seeming contradictions and how you have worked your way through the self-identity maze.
Would appreciate any response even if it is just to say you understand my predicament.
Yes this can be hard to work through. I relate to what you say about appearing rude, but feeling that you actually care deeply about people. I would say the same about me, but I know that I often fail to come across as caring when I mean to, and I can't pretend (very well) to care when I really don't. Have you heard about the Johari window? It might help explain this a bit.
I think Deepthought has given lots of pointers, I just wanted to say that I get where you're coming from & experience it too.
Thankyou it is so reassuring to know there are people that understand. I looked at the johari window and this is a really useful framework to help with my explorations. I have also shared it with a colleague at work from which a interesting discussion then took place. Thanks again.