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How Well Do We Know Ourselves?

By Kriti Sharma


The roots of this question lies in the Self Discrepancy Theory given by Carl Rogers wherein he explains the congruency between a person’s Actual Self( what he thinks he is) and his Ideal Self( what he wants to be). This theory is primarily used to determine a person’s buying behaviour but for the sake of our discussion, we will consider it in general sense i.e., how a person deviates from his actual self towards his ideal self in his day to day behaviour.


This “drifting apart” starts at a very early age of a human being’s life. It all starts when the people around us( parents, family, society) want us to “BE LIKE” someone else and eventually to “BE” someone else. With the passage of time, an unconscious urge to be accepted by all and under all conditions takes over us and this is when we have left our true self completely, never to be sought for again.


Aristotle once said- “ Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom” but in our case, the thirst of knowing everything has immensely suppressed the generic need of knowing oneself. In this fast, maddening world we just want to match the pace and are willing to do anything to be in the rat race. The questions which arise in this scenario is- Would be still be what we are if we looked into ourselves for once? Would a psychopath be the erratic mad creature he is, if he knew his true self? Is a regular person with ordinary dreams what he thinks he is or is he a psychopath from within?


Who is going to answer these questions? Is there any professional or any book in this world which would tell us things about us which we have not even thought of? These questions are more intriguing and baffling than the questions of Life after death. While many of you may think that introspection, soul-searching or contemplations may be the means of finding ourselves, it is not so. These might give you an insight of how should you try to be yourself, but the ultimate task of knowing your true self remains unaccomplished.


In the light of the question in question it would not be shocking if we meet someone and instead of asking-How are you today? We end up asking- “Who are you today?”.

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About the author:

Meet Kriti Sharma from the batch of 2017–19, who often passes off as a very quiet person, but can make hell come down on you if you say “Leviosaa” instead of Leviosa. She is not a Nazi, and by no means is she a purist, she just feels that certain things were meant to be said and written in a certain way. An avid reader since she first felt Alice in Wonderland in her hands, she can read anything and everything as long as it keeps her in her parallel universe, where “ there is time to stand and stare…”

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