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Finding the ballpark


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I am trying to find me.

Some back ground to help you understand the context (context is important to me).

Mid 40's. Male. Married for a long time, then in a 30 month relationship, than a 6 month relationship, now single.

I'm non conformist. I am what my userid says I am.

I am normally an extrovert but when I get beat up emotionally I retreat back into myself and examine myself. "Examining my belly button" as my ex wife used to say.

I am very good at THINGS, not so good at people. I do like to help people, and I have learned I can't help everyone, but it is easy to offer, and I have worked pretty hard at being transparent in my offers - I mean well, and most people seem to see that.

But I can't say I am very good at choosing super healthy people to be around. I don't put up with drugs, and I avoid selfish people (other than my teens of course).

I have read some of Kegan's work. Am I imperial? Am I institutional? Am I interpersonal?

Which ballpark am I in?

FWIW, I recognize I have depression issues, but have been on meds for 10 years and it seems to have me leveled out rather well. This time of year is very tough as we have not much sunshine, but February is coming, and the sun is coming, and outside time is coming. And i can recognize some quiet time to reflect is not a bad thing.

I am thrashing, and I don't even really know the question I have.

Input welcome,

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Hello, analytical, welcome :)

I'm sorry, I don't have "an input" for you :o, but I'd like to welcome you (and your "inputs"/help/...) here and to thank you for mentioning this topic - it's been inspirational for me.

BTW, I've found and article about it also by the man who, some years ago, founded this forum:


You say you don't know what your question for us is, so maybe we can ask you something ;). My questions:

Is there any why particular reason why you're interested in Kegan's work and why it's important for you to categorize yourself according to his system? (Is your aim to become "better at people"?)

What's mostly captured your attention when you were reading it? (Some insights you'd like to share?)

Take care!

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Reading that article is how I found my way here.

It is a GREAT article.

I think I have found part of my next stage in the journey.

I need to work on setting better boundaries. I have some, but they are inconsistent and not very effective.

If I have better boundaries, I will be upset less by others I care about. I will have tools to care, yet not be as vulnerable. I think this will allow me to help others, be a better father, and a better person.


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I find it interesting that someone who feels analytical also feels as if their boundaries were weak, before.

{I too grew up analytical, though I'm hoping to outgrow it.} ;-)

Not that I disagree; for me, a big part of trying to be "logical" (which is how I phrased it) was to try to create boundaries, to try to distance myself from things that had a disturbing tendency to affect me anyway. Childishly, I thought that being affected was inherently a weakness ...

Instead, good emotional boundaries allow a person to be "vulnerable" -- caring, empathic, a good listener, etc. -- while reducing the danger of being torn apart by the feelings that result. It does not result in coldness (which is what my younger self "aspired" to; detachment meant power to me, back then.)

For me, the change wasn't entirely deliberate ... I came here fighting off suicidal thoughts, buried in an abusive marriage. Hardly the time for an abstract self-improvement project. But, I found that interacting with people here, especially offering support to others in need, making the effort to put myself in their "emotional shoes" ... gradually, I found a path within myself to empathy for others. And, eventually ... I started wondering why I treated myself so much worse.

Evolution has to start somewhere. :-)

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