Being self-analytical is both a blessing and a curse.
On the one hand, it is a very useful trait to possess. It keeps you very attuned to what is going on inside yourself, so when something is not quite right, you are the first to know it. With that recognition comes the opportunity to course correct and right the ship, so to speak. In some instances, it can even give you empathy for others, as you can spot behaviors in others that you have recognized in yourself countless times.
On the other hand, it can be somewhat akin to a prison cell. You desperately want to be a considerate person to the rest of the world, but 90 percent of your thoughts are consumed with yourself. You obsess over every little tic you may have, which often just serves to enslave you to them even more. You become so engulfed in your thought processes that you lose connection with the world around you.
I’ve been told more than once what a good idea it is to “step outside yourself.” The only problem with telling that to a self-analytical person is that they immediately begin to try to figure out how they can make that happen, so the whole exercise turns inward again. See, the problem with a self-analytical person is that they can’t turn themselves off. They know they can be selfish and self-centered, but they can’t away from themselves long enough to do anything about it.
Before they started turning out poppier fare, Matchbox Twenty produced one of my favorite albums on the 1990s with Yourself Or Someone Like You. It didn’t really dawn on me until recently how much frustration and aggression that project contained, and I’m not just referring to a song like “Push,” which obviously was written by someone with some, uh, issues. The album’s first single, “Long Day,” contains a couple of lines that any self-analytical person could identify with:
“And I’m so terrified of no one else but me. I’m here all the time. I won’t go away.”
That is what it can feel like for a self-analytical person. That sensation that you’re not getting things right. That nagging feeling that it’s your fault things are going so poorly. That knowledge that if you could only remove yourself from the equation, things would become clearer. And, finally, that realization that you don’t know how to do that.
Then again, I guess being self-analytical can make one a better blogger. Theoretically speaking, of course…