From a 13 year old in the U.S.: Hi, I don’t know if I’m too young for this, but I’ve always had trouble determining what I truly believe in. Almost all of my actions, thoughts, and beliefs conflict with one another. Sometimes talking to people is easy while other times it’s impossible. Sometimes I’m unbelievably emotional while other times I just can’t seem to understand people. I always considered this normal and human, especially for someone my age, but it’s gotten to the point where I honestly can’t tell the difference between what I really believe in and what I think I do.
In general, I’m often unsure of myself and don’t know how to interpret something, mostly my own thoughts. For example, I honestly don’t know if I’ve ever developed a crush with anyone since I really don’t know what that would feel like. This mainly becomes an issue when my morals change drastically, switching between a very normal view-point and something completely different from the usual.
I don’t know how to say it, but there are times when I just don’t understand myself. It’s like I’m a different person. I’m constantly changing beliefs, moods, and personalities to the point where I don’t know what I really am like. I’m good at hiding it, however, so no one ever believes me or takes me seriously. I can’t even take a simple personality quiz without sitting there thinking about what I really am.
I’ve always heard that it’s normal for teenagers to be questioning themselves, but I’m the only kid I know that downright questions their personality. It’s not too much of an issue now, but what if this continues when I grow older? I’m just tired of constantly questioning myself.
I’ve wondered what would happen if I died, but more on a philosophical view. I’ve never actually considered it, and I’ve never experienced any major trauma in my life. I have a habit of repeatedly washing my hands and preferring to have things organized, but sometimes I don’t care. I also find myself being very sensitive to textures. For example, if I see a sharp or rough surface, even if it’s in a picture, I want to touch it. Once again, there are days when this doesn’t happen at all.
What should I do? Is this normal? How can I tell my parents and friends so they take me seriously?I Have Constantly Conflicting Views
I Have Constantly Conflicting Views
Your letter shows you to be a very sensitive young woman who is asking the very big philosophical questions. In addition, you do apparently have a tendency to be somewhat obsessive. That’s a combination that leads to the kind of thinking you talk about in you letter.
Please — Quit taking personality quizzes! They are, at best, a crude indicator. For a 13 year old with your questioning mind, such quizzes are not going to be helpful. In fact, they may only confuse you further.
I suggest you relax. In fact, I think you should approach your questions with curiosity and interest, not judgment and worry. Live your life. Find something to do that contributes in some way to making life better for others. Treat your body well by getting good sleep, eating well and getting some kind of daily exercise. Chances are, your questions and feelings will settle down on their own if you give them a rest.
I wish you well.