Do you really relate to other people?


Ozodi Osuji

     Here is what I know about me. When I am relating to a so-called other person, I am not relating to him as he is, and as he is, I do not know; I relate to my perception of who he is. That is, I project my view of him to him and then relate to that view of him that I projected to him. I am, therefore, not relating to his real self.

     To complicate the matter, the me that is relating to the so-called other person is my self-concept, a personal idea of who I want to be or think that I am; it is an artificial self-construct, not my real self.

     In effect, my false self-construct relates to false self-constructs I made for other people.

     The necessary question then is, do I ever relate to other people as they are and, do I even relate to me as I am?

     Would not it be nice if one related to other people from one’s real self and if other people related to one from their real selves (do they know who their real selves are, or do they also relate to people from their social selves, the social persona, the mask of personality).

    Most of what we think about us are individual and social constructs of who we are! The question then is what are our real selves?

     I wonder what the world would be like if we knew our real selves and related to each other at that level; would the world be peaceful and happy?

     Let us resolve to find out who our real selves are and relate to each other from real self to real self; let us stop playing social games of projecting our images and concepts for other people and relating to them from our own self-created self-images and self-concepts.

      Let us develop the courage to be our real selves and stop engaging in the fear-based behavior of always anticipating the type of self that other people would want us to be, and accept us as, and trying to become it so that they accept us.

    Social acceptance is not worth the cost of denying one’s real self!

    The purpose of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis is to find out who we are and live from it rather than live from our false selves and attendant anxiety, sadness, anger, depression, mania, paranoia, schizophrenia; all mental disorders are manifestations of trying to live as the false selves we made for ourselves so as to be accepted by the amorphous other people.

     Drop the need to be liked and accepted by other people and live as you know yourself to be and let us see how you would feel; you, I think, would feel real, not the phony self-one feels like from living from one’s social personality.

     Let us, beginning today, know who is behind the mask of our personalities.


 I am aware that one’s self-construction, and personality is influenced by one’s inherited biological constitution. For now, let us ignore biology and try to change our mental and social self-concepts.

Ozodi Osuji

October 24, 2022

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