This week I’m thinking about all the ways we abandon ourselves to keep our relationships predictable and steady.
In her book Alone Together, psychologist Sherry Turkle wrote, “As we distribute ourselves, we may abandon ourselves.”
Turkle is referring to the danger of our online personas, but I’d argue that self-abandonment is hardly a modern phenomenon. People have been changing themselves to please the group since the dawn of time. Most of us can say we’ve changed beliefs to please our families, changed our fashion to match our friends’, or changed a conversation topic to avoid potential conflict.
When our goal is to please others or to avoid upsetting others, our relationships become watered-down versions of themselves.(more…)