ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany

Total posts: 249
Posted:Hi guys,

I've been checking my camera the other day (for I'll start shooting that Poi Documentary in a few days time) and decided to film myself whilst spinning poi. And well, what can I say..

Although I know that my skills aren't too bad it is always some sort of disappointment to see oneself spinning. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that I am suffering from serious depression or anything I would just like to know why people don't like seeing themselves?

Of course there are times when we look at a picture someone has taken from ourselves and we go like "woah, that's a nice one, almost like I'd like to see myself everytime" but then we look at the other pictures and go immediately "oh my gosh, I really look like PeeWee-Hermes on that one!"ubblol

Since I am male I don't tend to make comments like that in public. It is my job to show everyone what a strong and confident person I am, no matter what. wink Of course that is not the entire truth yet in my opinion women tend to make more comments of that kind compared to men.

Do you think that it depends on your self confidence whether you like seeing yourself or not? Do you think that everyone has some difficulties seeing him or herself?

I visited my niece the other day and my sister gave me a CD someone recorded at her kindergarten. I couldn't resist to listen to it immediately and it was absolutely cute (my niece had several solo parts on some of the songs). But I was rather surprised by her reaction. She almost started crying and said "I don't wanna hear this, this sounds awful, I DON'T WANNA HEAR THIS!". Poor little thing frown

I turned the audio off and she was relieved. Yet this was the moment my thoughts about self perception started. My niece is a very, very confident young lady (not to be compared to my confidence at that age biggrin) who looks gorgeous and so on... yet even she is sometimes shocked when seeing or hearing herself.

I also remember myself being shocked when hearing myself for the first time on radio. Sure it has all to do with physics and stuff (vibration and so on). Yet I also remember as a kind having seen pictures from myself I didn't like.

So could it be that this a "normal" reaction? Evolution never offered species an opportunity to see themselves so far..

I'd like to hear your opinion about self perception and maybe you wanna share how you tend to see yourself ubbrollsmile


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GOLD Member since Mar 2007


Lv15 Ranger
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 1489
Posted:I think that a lot of it comes from a conflict between accuracy and our own self-esteem - our self-esteem being a positve view of the self and accuracy being how we actually are. A prime example of this would be when I started going to regular twirling meets; until then I had no-one except relative newbies to compare myself to. Then I meet twirlers whos abilities far surpass my own and my image as an awesome twirler is suddenly shattered.

As for gender differences, I wouldn't be suprised if the level of anxiety between males and females are roughly similar, despite differences in how we communicate/cope with said problems. I would expect men to voice their inadequacies when they feel when they feel that other alternatives - such as turning to their strengths - are exausted. Females on the other hand are more likely to seek comfort in social networks - such as turning to a confidant or close friend.

I think it is quite normal for people to be somewhat dissapointed in themselves over something, and that percieving themselves from another perspective - photos, movies, etc - can serve as being proof to this perception. Personally I hate my skin (I'm quite pale and have acne) and while I don't have to deal with that in everyday life, I haven't had a decent photo in several years.

As for the comment on evolution, keep in mind that our environment - both social and physical - plays a large part in our development as people. A question about your niece, roughly how old is she? She may be developing a sense of self which may be 'threatened' by mirrors and such 'stealing' her.. if that makes any sense.



BRONZE Member since Jan 2006


Location: Bouncing off the walls., Engla...

Total posts: 756
Posted:It is odd, isn't it?
I used to hate a picture of me my parents have.. all I could see were the faults in it, - it's taken me 7 years to realise it's actually a nice picture smile

I think we all have a view of how we look/sound, and any slight deviation from it makes us feel wrong
The way we sound inside our heads can be very different to what's actually going on- I have a weird habit of suddenly going into quite a strong Kiwi accent without noticing- to me, I sound Lancashire, but while looking for houses in Bristol recently, I was asked repeatedly when I moved to the UK- and they looked really confused when I said I was born here ubblol

I'm sure it'll freak me out when I do hear how much my voice has changed in the past few years- 'cos in my head, it's not changed at all..


If that's okay with you?


The Tea Fairy
SILVER Member since Jul 2004

The Tea Fairy

old hand
Location: Behind you...

Total posts: 853
Posted:I think we never really see ourselves as we actually are... I agree with the above, it's about a conflict between our self-esteem (maybe self-image would be a more accurate term, as how we see ourselves is not always positive) and what we actually look like.

How much it affects our confidence/esteem is probably related to whether or not we can accept our perceived weaknesses/failures and look at it in balance with our positive attributes... kind of like 'well, I'm not very good-looking, but I can kick ass when it comes to spinning poi/playing football etc etc.' and accept that not being good looking is by no means the end of the world!

I suspect that if you're brought up in a family/town/society where there is a huge emphasis on looking good, where good looking people are perceived to be valued more, you're more likely to end up with some kind of obsessive complex about how you are not good looking and therefore less 'valued' than others.

I feel really sad when I come across people who are such talented, beautiful, creative souls but they just do not see the good in themselves because they are preoccupied with what they see as their weaknesses.

Idolized by Aurinoko

Take me disappearing through the smoke rings of my mind....

Bob Dylan




Location: Perth

Total posts: 489
Posted:I actually had the opposite. I watched myself spinning poi on video and went "wow.. I look like.. those other people when they spin poi. It looks like I know what I'm doing" and I felt all proud and happy.

But I totally agree with the voice part. To me my voice sounds a touch deeper than the average females and strong and meaty.. When I listen to myself, I sound like I'm two. High pitched and whiny. It's quite demoralising. If I had to listen to my voice and get reminded of this on a regular basis I might even stop talking.


BRONZE Member since Apr 2005


Macaque of all trades
Location: wombling free..., United Kingd...

Total posts: 8738
Posted:My voioce sounds the opposite to me, low, flat and completely monotonous shrug maybe we don't like the pictures of ourselves because we like to think of ourselves animated, and maybe we don't like to see video because the camera adds ten pounds wink I personally believe I look bad in videos because there are sooo many camera's on me ubblol

A couple of balls short of a full cascade... or maybe a few cards short of a deck... we'll see how this all fans out.


SILVER Member since Aug 2007


Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 315
Posted:Really good thread, very interesting stuff.

I agree, that we don't see ourselves as we really are, or perhaps we're the ONLY ones who see ourselves as we really are, because generally, we are our own harshest critic as only we (or particularly bored and/or cruel people) truly put ourselves under the microscope.

We do this I think, for a number of reasons, which have already been mentioned. Social conditioning, evolution or a combination of both, it is an internal mechanism that drives us as humans to continuously strive for perfection, immediately recognising and exaggerating even the most minor of flaws. This perpetuates human and self improvement, and so long as it's realised for what it is, it's healthy and beneficial to self-image. I mean, imagine if we were wired to believe the opposite (I'll discuss narcissism in a moment).

Such self-critical perceptions however have become harmful in recent times, due to the Media's newfound ability (and hobby as it seems) of digitally manipulating and portraying images of people who have been "enhanced" beyond the standard of human achievability. When people see such images, they remember them and set those as the standard, after which they are playing a losing game, as they will never even compare as it's physically impossible to do so. This is when psychological issues like eating disorders and spray tans come into play. The hypocrisy in particular of women's and girl's magazines that preach self-acceptance on the one hand and then bombard the reader with articles on self-improvement and images of perfection. Anyway, off topic...

The other end of the spectrum is of course narcissism. The term comes from the parable of the Greek prince (I'm not sure if he was a prince, I can't remember) who was handsome, and seeing his reflection in a pool of water, was unable to draw himself from it, and wasted away in self-obsession. Such is the severity of the personality disorder whereby such self-criticism is replaced by delusions of infinite success.

I'm on the healthy side of self-criticism (although many would say narcissism, I won't admit that because narcissism is a flaw and I know I'm absolutely flawless)
That said, I have mixed feelings about seeing videos of myself, sometimes I think it's great, other times I think I look like a fool, lol. And man, don't even get me started on my voice, I love the sound of my own voice while I'm speaking, but whenever I hear it played back to me I sound horrible, yeah, low and flat...

Oh and Jarle, I think your pale skin's cool man, I love pale skin, whenever I tan I'm disappointed, lol.




ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany

Total posts: 249
Posted: Written by :jarle

A question about your niece, roughly how old is she? She may be developing a sense of self which may be 'threatened' by mirrors and such 'stealing' her.. if that makes any sense.

She's six years now. I wouldn't necessarily say that she is in danger of developing a self image that is completely off the way but yet I was surprised that even an otherwise confident and happy person has that sort of "problems" (although I knew that everyone had issues.. but honestly I forgot about that wink)

Find it interesting what you say about your skin. I used to have a very beautiful skin until one day I discovered these strange white patches on my hips at the age of 12. Well turned out to be Vitiligo and this is a skin disorder that doesn't really stop spreading so I had to come to peace with the idea that I might be as pale one day as Michael Jackson is. Although that is a completely different story it changed my life in so many ways.

If I wouldn't have that disorder I would have become a much more shallow and arrogant person. Thanks to it and my lovely 3 elder sisters that used to beat me up when starting Mr. Macho-acting I overcame that "issue" biggrin

There were days in the past when I felt very bad about myself because of these patches and when I felt like they were holding me back when I discovered that young man that goes by the name of

Sean C. Stephenson

Don't know if you ever heard of him, I discovered him by accident and was completely blawn by his attitude towars himself and his life although he suffers under a rather brutal disability. If you wanna learn more about him I recommend watching this video. or even better watch this piece of him doing sit down comedy ubblol

Nathaniel: interesting stuff you mentioned about the media. To be absolutey honest with you I am shocked to see how easily each and everyone of us is influenced by that stuff. Of course I am one of that persons that says "commercials? LOL bring 'em on, they won't influence me!" but after having read a few books on that topic I am more and more convinced that we suffer from a constant mindf**k every day.

Tea Fairy: Good point. Does it affect our esteem if we think badly about ourselves? It surely does! But don't we think badly of ourselves beause our self esteem has already been low?

Concerning that voice thing: Find it funny that there are people out there who thought that their "real" voice was deeper and some think it was actually higher. Shouldn't all people think of their own voice being deeper according to physics? confused ubbrollsmile


BRONZE Member since Jan 2002

HOP librarian
Location: Prague, Czech. Republic

Total posts: 1841

Perception, difficulty and habits








ancient oachkatzlschwoaf
Location: germany

Total posts: 249
Posted:ah thanks, that looks like an interesting thread as well!




miss beelzeboss
Location: Zagreb , Croatia =)

Total posts: 41
Posted: Written by :NathanielEverist

I agree, that we don't see ourselves as we really are, or perhaps we're the ONLY ones who see ourselves as we really are, because generally, we are our own harshest critic as only we (or particularly bored and/or cruel people) truly put ourselves under the microscope.

i rly like this thread.. once i read one great book..but man..i suck with names of people and books ect. .. well the writer had one really true point...he said something like this ..
we are so alone on this world.. there is no one that can feel what we feel and that can completely understand us. when someone is telling us about some feeling ..we can only imagine what it felt like...but never discover what was it really like..
..it is so true..so ..my point is...maybe we dont like seeing ourselves because while doing that ..we see through someone others eyes : ..trying to say.. we are fully naked : the perception of ourselves : that image that no one can understand and see is ..destroyed.. we look at our selves in a different perception .. and in our nature is to be alone : to have unique feelings smile .. its sad ..but its nature ...
im sorry for not beeing clear.. here is the living proof for what i said up there..

You make my heart sing..you make everything..GROOVEY .. yeah =) xD




Total posts: 6650
Posted:Very nice thread - good you started it in Discussion, as it's different from Technical/ Poi.

This certainly plays *one* role of how we perceive ourselves (wrong):

Non-Https Image Link

Meaning we perceive our body with our senses in a different proportion than it actually is in reality.

Personally I believe that we usually have a flawed perception of ourselves.

a) we don't hear our own voice the same way everybody else does

b) we look into the mirror every day

c) we know our deepest/ darkest thoughts, know our badest deeds

d) have a conditioned, idolized perception of how one should be

By that

a) we are surprised how our voice sounds when recorded

b) we wonder how other people consider us un/attractive (if we perceive us the opposite)

c) the gap between the perceived and the imaginary/conditioned self (higher self) is whide

d) we can't live up to our conditioned expectations. Especially women, who read fashion and beauty magazines do often suffer from inferior complex and others who have a (conditioned pretty) physical appearance often suffer from superior complex.

To accept ones' self completely is maybe the most frightening thing... (C.G.Jung)

It greatly is the conditioning of the conceptual mind that makes us never be satisfied or always question ourselves. Whilst it can be a stimulating benefit not to be satisfied too easy and to strive for perfection, it can turn into a sickening habitus.

Reasons for this behaviour can be geneologic (racial) or socio-cultural conditioning ("need to have light coloured/ tanned skin", "need to be successful", "need to have a model family"), conditioning of the family ("need to be a good, Daddies girl") or by your own experiences ("need to be a bad girl, getting everywhere", "need to satisfy my appetite")...

It's a complex [/smirk] issue... Especially in the performers world it's good to raise it.

EDITED_BY: FireTom (1213341349)

the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink


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