1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    In or Out?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Wreybies, Jun 9, 2009.

    Many many years ago, during a session of couples counseling, I was told by the counselor that I lived too much inside my own head. I never really understood what that meant. Where else would I live? My senses are all hooked to my brain which is, in essence, my head.

    As I tried to pry apart the meaning of this statement, it did provide fodder for a short story about a gestalt organism which consisted of many disparate parts, each with varying degrees of independent volition, which comprised one being.


    So, two questions:

    1) What does this even mean, to live inside one's head?

    2) Do you think you live in your head, or outside of it?
     
  2. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    1) I assume it means that you're not necessarily introverted but 'not all there,' either. It seems like a backhanded compliment, kind of like the phrase "your head's in the clouds." Creative and definitely a thinker, but you're so deep inside your own head that you cant see anything outside of yourself, self-centered, almost. Could also be interpreted as a way of self-preservation --if you hide within the confines of your own mind, no one can hurt you.

    2) If we use my definition, I would assume that I alternate between living inside my own head and living outside of it. I've been told more often than not, however, that I'm 'not all there,' so I guess everyone else thinks that I live inside my own head.
     
  3. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    1) . . . I could try to write something intelligent and insightful here, but I really have no idea.

    2) I definitely live inside my own head. I sure as hell don't live in yours. I think that would be the more serious psychological condition.
     
  4. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wait, so you wrote a short story about portuguese man-o-wars?

    1. It's when you pay more attention to, and are more fascinated by, the worlds being constantly created and destroyed in the depths of your mind than you are in the boring stuff going on around you. For "normals" that's a bad thing. They think the "real world" is more important. But for us it's practically a requirement.

    2. I've set up my summer home in the Marinas Trench, but I've been known to come up for air occasionally.
     
  5. Xeno
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    Xeno Mad and Bitey Contributor

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    1. What CDRW said. (Why is it that I keep thinking that stands for CD ReWritable? :D)

    2. I think I live almost entirely within my own head. Hey, if you grow up alone, who else is there to talk to? ;)
     
  6. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Ok, then it appears that I have a good idea of what this term actually means and that it was the counselor who required some reeducation.

    Lemme'splain:

    The counselor said what he said to me after I had made the following statement, rather heatedly, to my then boyfriend.

    "Until someone invents some kinda Matrix back-of-the-head plug that gives you direct access to how/why/and what I think and feel, don't assume that you understand what makes me tick!"

    My boyfriend at the time had an aggravating way of believing that his way of being was the same as everyone else's way of being, which spoke to me of a faulty Theory of Mind. His way of being, to me, seemed more to fit the idea expressed by the statement, living inside one's own head, since he seemed not to grasp that other people might do/feel/think the things that they do/feel/think for reasons very different than oneself.

    I allowed a fancy diploma hanging on the wall to steer me away from my knowledge. Shame on me. :(
     
  7. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    1.) Depends on how you look at it. Some think it means that you are so wrapped up in your own stuff, beliefs, perspectives, that you can't put yourself in someone else's place. Some think it means simply that you mind is occupied with things other than the immediate surrounding.

    2.) I don't think my first definition applies to me. The second one certainly does. I am never actually "present" where and when I am.
     
  8. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's because my mind is as blank as an unwritten CD. As life goes on I accumulate all sorts of baggage and then when the time comes I erase it all and start over again. I will repeat this pattern until the time comes for the great format in the sky.

    Actually it's because it's the username that's never taken.
     
  9. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    He sounds like my mother-in-law.....

    Maybe the counselor meant more that they felt like you weren't letting other people understand what made you tick, but rather just keeping how your mind worked to yourself and expecting others to just automatically understand the reasoning behind why you did the things you did?

    That's kind of a stretch, but I can't think of another reason someone would tell you that after you made a comment like that.
     
  10. rory
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    rory Contributing Member

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    I thought this was about belly buttons from the title... my bad.
    And I apologize in advance if none of the following gibberish makes any sense.

    To live in one's own head, I think, is kinda like living in a nice fortress with a mote and alligators. Kind of like others have said, you're always a little more focused on you, not selfishly per se, but more like someone is creeping up behind me, someone is talking at me, someone is staring at me. You focus on the actions of other as the affect you. If that someone was creeping up behind someone else you may be a little detached from the situation. I think it's a way of protecting ourselves, too (as previously mentioned). If we were hyper aware of everything around us imagine how much we could be hurt, emotionally, mentally, physically.
    So to a degree, I think everyone 'lives in their own head.' Some people live there more than others either because that's that way they like it, or maybe that's the way they were raised, or maybe they were forced there because of previous damage. Either way, Living in your own head does make it difficult to get to know someone well. They have to fight off alligators while hoping you'll lower the draw bridge. Recognizing that will help us help others know us better. That's the way I see it.

    That said, I think I definitely live in my head far more than I live anywhere else. I'm one of those people who orders their groceries online so I don't have to leave the protection my fortress-like skull somehow provides.
     
  11. BadPenny
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    BadPenny Member

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    My best friend decidedly does not live inside her own head. In most cases, she operates on the basis of what is verifiable, not what should be. She assumes that no one can know what she is thinking. She knows that she must act to bring about change.


    So, a person who “lives inside his/own head” is pretty much the opposite. Inside, assumptions dominate over empiricism. Thoughts dominate over action. The self is vulnerable and exposed.


    Living “in” does have the benefits of exquisite sensitivity, self-knowledge, and vulnerability that make us better writers.


    Boy, howdy. I am in.
     
  12. Shadow Dragon
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    Shadow Dragon Contributing Member Contributor

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    1. Ditto to what CDRW and Mercurial said.

    2. There's no doubt about it that I live inside my head. Though once in a great while I'll interact with your world. :p
     
  13. Unsavory
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    Unsavory Active Member

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    The context doesn't sound to me like living in a fantasy world or living with ones head in the clouds.

    I think living in your own head as the counselor meant it is more as BadPenny said. One who lives in their own head overthinks situations, makes assumptions, and doesn't adequately share what they are thinking or feeling with the outside world.

    Overthinking is the real key though.

    I'm really just guessing. That's what it sounds like to me.

    By my own definition I definitely live in my own head more than I should.
     
  14. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    1. There could be a few ways of interpreting it, I think. It could be that everything is initially and/or ultimately related to the self, which tends to happen a little anyway, since no matter how wide your scope of vision, you only get to look out of your own set of eyes. o_O
    I tend to lean more towards thinking that it means your experiences are processed, evaluated etc internally, or at the very least much more intensively than anyone else can ever know, and that perhaps most people around you will get the tail-end of your thought process and even though they might know you've travelled from point A-Z, they're left wondering a bit about what all the other letters stand for... maybe.

    2. Sometimes.

    Quite often.
     

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