July 25, 2010

Hidden Selves

Last week I substituted for the Consumer Behavior class at AiC-SF and learned so much, even though I was teaching the class. My colleague is using Consumer Behavior for Dummies as one of her required readings and although this wouldn't seem like a good college text to adopt, it is a useful book.

We discussed the Hidden Selves that consumers tap into when considering their needs and how this influences their consuming behavior.

Real Self
Ideal Self
Public Self
Private Self

Our class inspired me to think all week about what is the Real Self vs our Ideal Self as we may believe we are projecting one but actually living the other. To whom do we reveal our Real Self? Sometimes not even to ourselves. Most often I find that my Real Self comes out when I'm having a deep conversation - one that goes beyond the surface. This can be with a dear friend or even a stranger. Although I always hope to be authentic, meaning true to myself, there are so many Hidden versions of who I am.

The Ideal Self and Public Self can be how we package ourselves - the clothes we purchase, the foods we eat, the books we read, the statements we make, and the actions we take. This is particularly the case in urban areas, I believe, where there are so many communities and cultures that people try on both in our actions and our beliefs.

Dare I say that this blog presents one version of my Real, Public and sometimes Private self. Of course I don't put everything here, but I am willing to "live out loud".

Last week I was particularly Private after teaching for so many hours. I was "on" for 16 hours in classes and to re-charge my batteries I needed intense Private time. As a new teacher the Public and Ideal Selves I am presenting are quite draining. As the quarter progresses I will find balance and the ability tap into the Public Amy that my students need as their Professor. At the same time I need to identify how to nurture the Private Amy.