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Old 07-09-2013, 12:34 AM
 
Location: USA
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What if this person acts differently at different times? Which person is he? What makes him to be THIS person? Is it determined by the percentage of his "normal" behavior? So if he behaves this way 60% then he is this kind of a person. And the 40 % of his other behavior is his abnormal behavior?

It's been troubling to think that a person could be many different things. A person is someone who is changing and who sometimes doesn't react the same way as at other times. A person is like clay in some sense. Life shapes him/her and hardens in a certain shape/position. But under different circumstances, this same person would have "hardened" into a different shape. So then what determines what or who this person is?

We mostly say (I think) this is the normal behavior of this person and this is abnormal behavior. Does abnormal mean that it's NOT this person? Because under different circumstances, this abnormal behavior could have been a bigger % of his behavior and then would have been seen as normal behavior for that person.

What if we don't like 40% of the behavior of one person, but really like another 60% of his behavior? Wouldn't that make it hard to live with this person? Isn't this the problem in our relationships? That we don't like some parts of the person and they drive us crazy sometimes, but we like other parts, so we want to stay together.

And the reason we fall in love and then quickly fall out of love is because we first only observe the good parts of the person, but later learn that this person has incompatible parts also.

I don't like this big unpredictability. I like the person to act predictably. But I guess that's not reality.

Anyone has any thoughts on this? I am just rambling because it's a really new topic and I am still trying to understand it...
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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Um, what?
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Old 07-09-2013, 06:40 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities (StP)
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People act differently around different people. You most like wouldn't even know the "other person". The question is, which "person" is that person most comfortable being, or how do they act under extreme stress and pressure, that is where you will most likely find your answer.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:11 AM
 
Location: USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Um, what?
It's hard to explain. I just have an experience with a person who seems to be a bit different at different times. It's not personality disorder or anything like that. He is normal, except that he acts and reacts to me differently at different times. At one time he is very engaging with me and is interested in my topics and we get along really great. At other times it's like he is in his own world, doesn't like any of my stuff, and we don't quite fit.

It's frustrating to deal with this. Because since you have met this other side in this body, then when you see the body, you expect the other side to show up. But instead, some other side shows up, the one that's not engaging, the one that doesn't respond to you in quite the same way. And I feel the urge to get upset at him, as though he is not treating me right. Although, in reality, this side of him has been treating me this way always, so it's like I can't really blame him for that, right?

It's almost as if you get this feeling: oh, this is not my friend anymore, I should just ignore him. And at other times: oh, yes, my friend is here again, time to spend time together.

He tells me that I also have two (or more sides). But I don't notice myself. I do know that during the period, I get annoyed by things that usually don't annoy me. And I can react differently to things. But still, I don't perceive myself as different. I guess it's hard to see your own self from afar.

I know one other person who can be REALLY nice at times (to me) and REALLY not nice at other times (to me). So I don't know whether I should like this person or not like this person. I feel like I only like half of the person.

I mean I know that people usually have flaws that we don't like. But this somehow seems different. It doesn't seem as flaws, but more like a different kind of a person at different times. So it's confusing to know how to feel about such a person.

Last edited by LoveWisdom; 07-09-2013 at 09:20 AM..
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Old 07-09-2013, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
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Not sure what this has to do with philosophy. Maybe the non-romantic relationships thread would be more appropriate?
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:45 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveWisdom View Post

And the reason we fall in love and then quickly fall out of love is because we first only observe the good parts of the person, but later learn that this person has incompatible parts also.
This is why it's important to spend a lot of time with the person before making a commitment. Get to know them over a long period of time, observing them under different circumstances. Sometimes people fall in love not with the person as they are, but with their own dreams or projections of who they want the person to be. Maintaining a clear view of the person is important.

If someone is behaving in an inconsistent manner with you, that would indicate that they have some kind of a problem. Especially if someone is being nice to you some of the time, but not nice other times. That's someone to best avoid.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:46 PM
 
13,511 posts, read 19,297,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveWisdom View Post
It's hard to explain. I just have an experience with a person who seems to be a bit different at different times. It's not personality disorder or anything like that. He is normal, except that he acts and reacts to me differently at different times. At one time he is very engaging with me and is interested in my topics and we get along really great. At other times it's like he is in his own world, doesn't like any of my stuff, and we don't quite fit.

I mean I know that people usually have flaws that we don't like. But this somehow seems different. It doesn't seem as flaws, but more like a different kind of a person at different times. So it's confusing to know how to feel about such a person.
I think as long as you know that about this person (or people) it shouldn't be so hard to know how to react. You know that they are like two different people so it's up to you to decide whether the good out weighs the bad, and is it worth it for you to maintain the relationship.
If you're continually feeling hurt, or confused, I wouldn't say the relationship is of much (if any) benefit to you, especially when you seem to seek a more "understandable" , and (I'd say) more predictable friend in your life...As a partner I'd want that myself...I couldn't be with someone who hurt and disrespected me, and then tried to tell me it was the norm...cause it's not...at all. So if you want more..go for it...and good on you for doing so.
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Old 07-10-2013, 04:55 PM
 
13,511 posts, read 19,297,160 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Not sure what this has to do with philosophy. Maybe the non-romantic relationships thread would be more appropriate?
maybe...but we can still philosophize, which means to try and understand and explain things...be it about life, death, mind ,matter etc.
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Old 07-10-2013, 05:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LoveWisdom View Post
I am just rambling
Most people are not robots.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:55 PM
 
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I've thought about this pretty extensively. If someone has a brain injury and suddenly acts differently, is he then a different person? This makes me think about the nature of personhood.

Brain injuries and neurochemical changes can make a person very different. Due to a (now resolved) psychiatric disorder, I've had at least two very different and distinct personalities at different times of life. About 20 years ago I was severely depressed, beyond hope, and almost cripplingly unsocial. Now I have many very close friends and am exceedingly optimistic.

I see in myself some constants, and some great change. What in this defines personhood? Is personhood made only of the constants? Is personhood the totality of all the experiences? In my case, I would say that a part of my "essential nature" (by which personhood might be defined) is extremism. I've gone from extremely depressed to extremely optimistic, and there are other examples. I can be the kindest and most caring of people, and also the coldest and most analytical.

We tend to want to define what makes a person by some kind of constant and predictable nature, but in some people what's constant and predictable is great variability and even a state of being one's own antonym. I offer my example and brief description of myself for perspective.

My philosophical journey has led me, at one level, to believe that a person has an essential nature, and that this is what defines personhood. It is often not simple things like "happy" or "angry." It is more often a complex interaction such simple characteristics, such as "stable" or "sociable." These characteristics are best understood by looking at their basic motivations and how the behaviors are affected by those motivations.

At a deeper philosophical level, I don't really believe in personhood. This is on a somewhat unrelated topic, but I've come to believe in what I call unitarianism (not the religious term). I mean this to describe the state of the universe and its components, including objects, information, events, and life forms, as forming some certain total, that total being one, a unit - a single, comprehensive, and complete thing. (Think of the Big Bang, every later event and bit of information originated from the same thing; that single unit included the totality of all future things.) Life forms and their motivations, emotions, and events are then seen as a part of some much greater thing, and not as separate and distinct entities. Personhood is then seen as an expression of some form of the nature of the universe - the Unit, the One. Personhood could also be described as the totality of all life forms considered persons, with their motivations, emotions, and events in total showing some greater part of the nature of the universe.

I do tend to ramble. This went a bit off topic, but I thought it might add a bit of additional perspective.
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