Internal and External Realities

Sometimes the realities inside of us and the realities outside are not the same.

Probably the most salient example of such a situation is when you like another person but haven’t discussed “liking” with her/him. You know whether the other person returns your favor. It’s usually quite easy to see. However, depending on what kind of person you are, you’re likely filled with anxiety or confidence/excitement.

Say you know that the other person likes you, so you are mostly confident. But, every once in a while, anxiety sneaks in because you don’t actually know. You can’t know until you actually speak to the other person about the topic.

And that is where I think the case of internal and external realities comes in. Say that I like someone and he does not like me. I know that he does not like me, yet I still can’t control myself and keep myself from liking him and having hopes about our relationship. No matter how much logic I tell myself, hope still springs up that possibly he does like me.

How do I resolve this?

I think the only way to actually resolve it is to make the realities collide.

Sometimes, it is as easy as simply speaking aloud what you think–not to an audience but just to yourself. Hearing the words can bridge the gap and clarify the issue. However, that method has the possibility of being faulty as the only judgment involved is one’s personal judgment which is already biased on the issue. Self-reflection and honesty are really the only ways to discern whether one’s judgment is solid.

The surest way, though, is to collide the realities directly. In our last scenario, it would mean that, even though I know my love interest doesn’t like me, I tell him that I like him. Even though I know he will reject me, the knowledge of that fact isn’t part of my internal reality. I have to face the external reality head-on in order to influence my internal reality. It would be delusional to still have hope after his awkward silence and words of rejection.

External and internal realities are normal, but being healthy means not letting either one go without being checked by the other. It would be the same sort of dissonance to continue pursuing a goal that isn’t actually your own.


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