Step 4 - Recognize and Question Behavioral Patterns (again)
I'm currently finding the most difficult piece of this step is getting the balance between introspection and outside feedback. When I think I'm behaving one way, but it's coming across in another - who's right?
Behavior is driven by emotion, and we're not in complete conscious control of our emotions all the time. Some emotions are unconscious.
There are two "levels" of unconscious: one is pre-conscious, i.e. knowable through introspection and reflection. The other is sub-conscious, i.e. not even pondering about the affect will bring it up to awareness.
Clearly, introspection allows us to understand why and how we behave in certain situations, yet we may not be able to solve all the riddles. To recognize behavioral patterns, we have to first become aware of them. This may need outside stimulus. Like Sherlock's analysis of Watson, for example:
This is from the first episode, but by the second series, Watson isn't even using his cane anymore. In this case, outside stimulus (Sherlock) brought awareness to a behavior (relying on unnecessary cane) and Watson took some time to accept it (2 or 3 episodes) before changing his behavior (walking without a cane).
Philosophers like Descartes believed introspection was the be all and end all of self knowledge.
I think, therefore I am.
300 years later, Ryle posited that introspection is limited and (therefore) overrated; to obtain knowledge of the nature of the self we should take observable behavior into consideration.
When was the last time you acted out a conversation in front of a mirror before doing it in real life?
Do you know how your face moves when you tell a fib? How you blush when you're self-conscious? How anger rises up through your body through clenched fists and jaws? Whom do you trust enough to ask and do a Sherlock on you, i.e. tell you how they observe your typical behavior?