So, this is what I wanted to write about yesterday that I didn’t get to because I got sidetracked by the worst day in many. I was watching The Real World this weekend. Yes, I know, how can any serious thought be undertaken even vaguely related to anything shown on that show in the past four or five years. But, I did manage to glean some useful information about myself by watching the kids on the show implode on their relationships. This season, everyone has relationship problems, with each other, with themselves, family, lovers, etc. Kyle, the Ken-doll future politician is extremely aware of his appearance on the show, and the way he’s portrayed. He’s so obsessed with it that when anyone brings it up, he explodes in a fit of narcissistic rage.

I’ve figured out what their problem, and mine, is. They have these personas that they present to people in different arenas of their lives. They have their work self, their home self, relationship self, family self and hopefully a real self in there somewhere. The problem with being on a show like The Real World is all of those selves are on display for the world to see. The more variance there is in each of these “selves”, the worse you come off on the show (or any reality show). I have the same problem. I don’t know that anyone notices, or is bothered by it, but I am. I have three selves I’ve noticed in myself so far:

  • My Work Self: I swear at work. I used to swear a lot. I’m sometimes a big fat jerk (fat is a theme that runs through all of these).

  • My Church Self: I don’t swear at church. I’m never a big fat jerk. I’m amiable and friendly and churchy on the outside.

  • My Home Self: I swear a little at home. I’m not as confident. I’m usually not a big fat jerk, but I’m not sure I’m not enough of the time.

The problem as I see it is that I need to reconcile my selves. I’m at a point where I don’t want all this baggage, and don’t want to feel like I’m lying to myself. So, how do I do it? Which self is really me?

By Kevin Lawver

Web developer, Software Engineer @ Gusto, Co-founder @ TechSAV, husband, father, aspiring social capitalist and troublemaker.