Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 40

Thread: Residual Self Image

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,481

    Residual Self Image

    A famous person once humorously quipped 'It takes me about ten years to get used to how old I am'. Its not uncommon for people as they age to think of themselves as being younger than their actual years - this phenomenon is very much related to the notion of residual self image.

    Residual self image is an idea found in psychology that refers to when people maintain a mental image of themselves that does not correspond to their current state. The image can be one's physical appearance, but can also refer to one's roles or station in life (like when soldiers are discharged and have difficulty thinking of themselves as civilians). In some cases it can be very severe or even fatal e.g. when a 65 lb. anorexic patient thinks of themselves as still being 'fat', but more often it occurs in it's more garden varieties as a slowness to adapt to fairly normal transitional situations in life, such as people still thinking of themselves as 'students' 6 months after graduating or newlyweds still habitually thinking of themselves as bachelors/bachelorettes.

    Is anyone aware or suspect that they may be experiencing residual self image currently? How about in the past?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2001
    Location
    West Valley, AZ
    Posts
    3,895
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Is anyone aware or suspect that they may be experiencing residual self image currently? How about in the past?

    Uncle Rico. "Back in '82....."
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian iamme's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Milwaukee
    Posts
    484
    After I quit my last job and went back to school last year, I have started to exercise more and eat much healthier. I've lost 35 pounds in about 13 months and many of my old clothes hang off me, but I don't really see much of a difference. I'm only now in the upper range of what is 'normal' weight so I don't think my self image hurts me.

    If anything, it's motivating me to continue on a bit longer with my weight loss. Although my paradigm about how I look is slowly changing to reflect my new self, I'll be interested in how it will shift if I am able to maintain my lower weight.

    This is an interesting topic that I have periodically mused about since introduced to the idea from the movie Matrix.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2005
    Location
    The Gig City
    Posts
    2,664
    *Raises Hand*

    At 28 I still struggle with the fact that I'm "all grown up" however I still feel like an undergrad and have no problems acting the role sometimes. I blame, if that is the word to use, this on the 7 1/2 years in college. 4 undergrad and 2 1/2 grad school. And at the end of grad school I still went back at 25 and did marching band one more time. I was the oldest but not that creepy oldest kind of person. I have many friends that are 2 - 4 years younger than me. My finacee has to tell me often, you're 28, or you're engaged and enegaged 28 year olds don't do that kind of stuff.

    I don't know if it's the freedom I used to have and cherish at 22-25 years old, the late nights, the sleeping in till whenever, but I miss it. Yes there are things I do now but I still miss that and it feels like yesterday.

    I joined the volunteer FD in town at 26, and I credit that a lot of getting me out of the college mentality. Undergrads need something to get involved with once they are out of college because when in college you are active, around a lot of people your age and have opportunities to express your talents around you everywhere. Once in the real world and working the sudden lack of those opportunities can lead to a stall in ones life.
    @GigCityPlanner

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,481
    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    At 28 I still struggle with the fact that I'm "all grown up"
    I'll bet this is one of the most common examples to be found in western industrialized societies. There aren't usually any nifty ceremonies where they, say, lop off a body part or scarify one's face to indicate to the world that an individual is formally an "adult". Instead, it's an unspoken thing marked by a gradual (or can be sudden) taking on of certain responsibilities. Unfortunately, no one ever tells you when you're 'there'. Hell, I was still getting carded well into my 30's - doesn't exactly instill confidence that one has achieved that exalted status yet, does it?

    I recall a young Cyburbian referring to their friends in college using the word 'kids'. I think that's indicative of that blurred kind of status you're talking about.

    Quote Originally posted by jamme
    This is an interesting topic that I have periodically mused about since introduced to the idea from the movie Matrix.
    That's right - they did use the phrase in the movie when the character Morpheus was explaining to Neo how the Matrix functioned.

    For myself, I tend to maintain an image where I'm still in as good of shape as I was when I was in the service. Recently, while running and also on the scale I've been getting some rude reminders from the world of reality that ain't the case! A friend of mine who gained a great deal of weight in a relatively short span of time was telling me once about how it took her a while getting used to how big she was and it took a number of 'reminders' where she had some tight squeezes getting into places that never would have registered when she was thin before she really recognized her condition. In her case it was from being obese but I wonder if pregnant women often experience many issues with residual self image?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  6. #6

    Registered
    May 1997
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    1,371
    Interesting timing. I had a dream just two nights ago about a woman I knew briefly many years ago. I realized that I could have had sex with her just for the asking. I never knew (and of coiurse never did). I don't think I will ever quite escape the geeky boy with glasses image that got planted in grade school.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian cch's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Machesney Park, IL
    Posts
    1,437
    I'm 29, but I still feel like I'm in my early 20s. What really throws me for a loop is when I see old footage of the Rolling Stones, The Who, etc and realize that in that footage they were probably about 10 years younger than I am now. There are so many young muscicians, atheletes and actors today who were probably born when I was in middle school. But I look at them and still consider them to be my age, until reality sets in.

  8. #8
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Jukin' City
    Posts
    16,704
    I'm[blur=3]94[/blur]years old, but I don't feel that old. That feeling is often reinforced by ZG when she tells me to stop acting like a child.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    9,035
    Blog entries
    2
    Is this sort of like seeing some people who seem to be stuck in a certain year?

    I see a lot of people who seem to be stuck in the 80s up here.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  10. #10
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,354

    Ha Ha .....

    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I'm[blur=3]94[/blur]years old, but I don't feel that old. That feeling is often reinforced by ZG when she tells me to stop acting like a child.
    RJ, you look a lot younger than 94.....but not much
    When you "kick it" can I have your pool? After much cleaning of course....
    oh, and I want your wine stock......Do you have anything other than PhuYuck2006?

    ah....lately I've been feeling my age.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  11. #11
    Cyburbian dobopoq's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Antarctica
    Posts
    1,003
    I think it's a good thing for the mind to wander in ways that sometimes do not reflect the body it is attached to. Actors are quite skilled in this regard. This issue of residual self image can at times be related to cognitive dissonance. If you are not free to behave as you wish - in time, you may come to perceive yourself as something you're really not.

    I think there are several forms that a residual self image can take relative to appearance and physical characteristers, behavior, personality, and beliefs. And these can overlap too.

    The link between perception and behavior is a two-way street.

    There are 8 avenues of perception between 2 or more people:

    1. Self-perception + ("I rule!")
    2. Self-perception of others - ("I look so hot in these jeans!")
    3. Your perception of others +- ("That shirt looks awful on him")
    4. Others perception of you -+ ("What a d*ck")
    5. Your perception of others perception of you +-+ ("I'm sorry it took so long for me to get back to you but....")
    6. Others perception of your perception of them -+- ("Would you like to check my bag? - I just wanted to browse a bit")
    7. Your perception of others self-perception +-- ("He's so conceited")
    8. Others perception of your self-perception -++ ("She's delusional")

    Our self-image is affected by all eight of these avenues. The reality of who we are is always open to interpretation. That is to say, the self is always relative to who is perceiving it.

    Of course these are just ways of looking at the self relative to humans. If you're trying to jump a stream, the stream doesn't care whether you overestimate your jumping ability. But what's important is that if you think you can't do something, you will be unlikely to succeed at it. And positively, if you force yourself to do something that is difficult, in time it will probably become easier.
    Last edited by dobopoq; 31 Aug 2006 at 4:05 PM.
    "The current American way of life is founded not just on motor transportation but on the religion of the motorcar, and the sacrifices that people are prepared to make for this religion stand outside the realm of rational criticism." -Lewis Mumford

  12. #12
         
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    3,519
    I often do not act my age. I don't feel my age. I see other mothers around Jakes school and they look, act, live "older"/differently from me. I don't think I look as old as many of them.


    Maybe its the 23 year old boyfriend

  13. #13
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,481
    Quote Originally posted by dobopoq View post
    I think it's a good thing for the mind to wander in ways that sometimes do not reflect the body it is attached to.
    I can think of a situation where it's definitely a good thing. Go to the nearest nursing home and you'll find that the people that are actually living are the ones who are not 'acting their age' and still have fun. The folks who know much better and that do act their age (life-is-no-laughing-matter-and-we-all-end-up-dying-in-the-end kind of morbid stuff) are more often than not the ones who are miserable and decrepit (or those who allow their decrepitude to dictate their attitudes at any rate)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Planderella's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 1998
    Location
    NOLA
    Posts
    4,468
    This is somewhat related to the Nominate Your Favorite Rejuvenile thread. I certainly don't see myself as a thirtysomething, although I do like myself more in my 30's than I did in my 20's.
    "A witty woman is a treasure, a witty beauty is a power!"

  15. #15
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Someplace between yesterday and tomorrow.
    Posts
    13,151
    Much like several others, I too have issues with thinking of my self as ‘Grown Up’. However I did get it into my head that I was not 21 when a woman in her mid 30’s started flirting with me the other day... and I thought that she was hot!

    I don't think that I will ever be grown up given my parents still act like they are in their mid to late 20's.
    You get what you give.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Not sure if I have problems with a residual self image exactly. I am currently experiencing cognitive dissonance for an "opposite" problem: seeing my "future" self and going cross-eyed over trying to reconcile that with current reality.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,796
    I don't think I act my age and it still astonishes me that I am "middle-aged". When did that happen?

    It can be depressing to see people my age who act "old". Do they do it because of expectations? My mom thinks that at my age, I shouldn't be wearing jeans or tennis shoes. Yuck.

    Luckily, none of my friends act old. (well, maybe that's why we're friends).

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    9,327
    Just a sec.....gotta turn up the hearing aid.....

    Are we allowed to be a different age at different times in a day? Being a morning folk, I am bouncy and physical and relatively bright as the sun creeps up. After a long day and I am getting ready to climb under the covers at 8:00 PM, I feel so very old.

    This physical state becomes mental, too. When I am bouncy I see myself as a much-younger and very hip codger. Radiohead rules, eh!

    When I climb under the covers and everything hurts and my eyelids are slamming down, all I want to do is curl into fetal 1 and doze off with old radio shows jumping through my head. Up in the sky.....a bird....a plane.....

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  19. #19
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Wishing I were in Asia somewhere!
    Posts
    9,944
    Blog entries
    5
    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I'm[blur=3]94[/blur]years old, but I don't feel that old. That feeling is often reinforced by ZG when she tells me to stop acting like a child.
    *LOL* I ask my husband on a routine basis if he is 6 or 36. Sometimes I get rewarded with "I'm 6 right now, I'll let you know when I am 36 again."
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Sans Souci
    Posts
    5,265
    Quote Originally posted by Jaxspra View post
    I often do not act my age. I don't feel my age.
    Yeah, we've noticed.

    I agree with the entire premise of this thread. In my mind, I feel and act around ten years younger than I am. I chalk some of this up to my having been "freeze dried" (married) for 11 years and finding myself a single guy, instantly brought me back to my 23 year old viewpoint of relationships. I've been divorced 2.5 years and still look at dating and relationships the way I did when I was 23. This may explain some of my disappointment and bewilderment with recent events. But having said that, I'd rather look at the world with young eyes rather than old "I'm old and tired" eyes. Many people go through their "second childhood". I'm not there yet, but there are a couple of men older in their 50's whom I have observed trying to relive their middle-20's.

    The real distrubing part of it is that, by the time you're in your 50's you can use materialistic signals to attract younger women. The flashy car, clothing, admission to events, bar tabs, expensive dinners... etc.. I find this garish and shallow bait appalling, but younger woman probably see it as a chance to take advantage. Once again a very shallow response to a very shallow stimulus. I am above this and have no interest in people who examine their relationships based on the fictious "station in life with this person" rather than genuine feelings for the person involved regardless of their life station. If you are attracted to a lifestyle or station of life rather than a human being -- you will always be disappointed and lead a hollow life. Not that your life will not have it's joys, but there will always be something missing, which leads to restlessness.

    IMHO, that is.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  21. #21
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,481
    Budgie brings up a prime example I hadn't thought of, but yeah I've heard it from divorced folks a number of times before where they reenter the 'world of dating' after being off the market for a decade or two. I'll bet it's the most natural thing in the world to revert to the old models of thinking regarding dating behavior - I'll also bet the longer people have been off the market the more conflict/dissatisfaction they find in those old modes of thinking - people grow after all.

    I'd be curious to hear from anyone out there that has experience with this situation and how they ultimately dealt with their reintroduction into the dating pool....older and wiser.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2000
    Location
    Sans Souci
    Posts
    5,265
    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    I'd be curious to hear from anyone out there that has experience with this situation and how they ultimately dealt with their reintroduction into the dating pool....older and wiser.

    Older doesn't directly translate to wiser when it comes to dating. For some it may for other's it may not.

    I have no problem in recognizing my world view and realizing that for some that view may be an asset and for other's it may be a liability. There are those who fail to be introspective, recongize their tendencies and factor them into the reality of what they are looking for. One needs to recognize the scarcity of their "ideal situation" before they will be able to realistically see what's in front of them. Is this to say we should all "settle" for the next best thing? I don't know.

    I struggle with this in that I am a hopeless romantic and and eternal optimist. I believe that two people being honestly in love with eachother can overcome petty personal selfishness for the good of the other and vice-versa. It's called being a couple and a team. Sacrificing one's personal interests for the good and security of the whole is a very foreign concept to most people. Does this mean that individuality needs to be lost... NO, quite the opposite. It means that you sacrifice when necessary for the good of the whole and the whole allows one to nuture themselves with the security of knowing that the team is there for you.

    Once again, I've gone off on a tangent.
    Last edited by Budgie; 01 Sep 2006 at 10:58 AM.
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

  23. #23
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    18,481
    Quote Originally posted by Budgie View post
    Older doesn't directly translate to wiser when it comes to dating. For some it may for other's it may not.
    C'mon, I'm trying to give y'all the benefit of the doubt here!

    How in your case did the residual self image assert itself - what was the first clue you got that your computer was running on code written back in the 80's?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  24. #24
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Down by Dun Ringill
    Posts
    6,128
    Blog entries
    6
    Sometimes I feel like an eighteen year old. But then she says, "If you don't get away from me, old man, I'll scream!"
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Section 14-12-7, 3rd PM
    Posts
    2,096
    Any residual image I had is squashed whenever we have a job on campus and go completely unnoticed by the students. Then if you actually have a conversation with one, you quickly realize "yeah, I'm over that and glad"

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 44
    Last post: 14 Jun 2011, 10:08 PM
  2. Image sizes
    Cyburbia Issues and Help
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 15 Mar 2005, 10:13 AM
  3. The Image of a Planner
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 92
    Last post: 16 Mar 2004, 12:26 PM