How we see ourselves may differ from how we present ourselves to others. In new introductions for example, I tend to limit myself to socially-accepted norms rather than potentially alienating verbiage. I think most of us who understand causality do.
Over time, however, nothing can unmask our true selves more than behavior - let's face it, many people (myself included) can be quite adept at erroneous self-deception. This is a good thing when we're trying to improve ourselves, as it allows us to squeeze into an alter-ego. It can be a negative thing when we say one thing and totally do the opposite. Where does that come from? Projection? I don't know.
When there is no evidence, the thing that you think someone else is doing is the very thing that you would, or are, doing yourself. Your thoughts come from you not someone else. If you think someone is doing something wrong, and there's no reason for you to think that way, you are the person who came up with the possibility.
I believe I am an information sponge who is almost always wrong about everything I think I know. I get excited when I discover some new way of looking at a situation. But is this just some shit that I say while I'm wrapped up in egotistical self-deception? Am I really a close-minded, "my way or the highway" bigot who says I understand different points of view but secretly believes I am right about everything all the time?
Let's find out!
Recently, someone told me my opinion of a situation was, "limited." Fascinated, I replied, "Explain." I questioned what the other opinions were to expand my own way of thinking - to consider possibilities I was not aware of. As outrageous as this may sound, some people have had different experiences than I have had; they've learned different lessons - perhaps they've drawn different conclusions? And anything which can expand my limited perspective is knowledge - perhaps what I learn from a different perspective I can apply elsewhere in other scenarios?
In short, my behavior followed my belief.
Much later, I mentioned to someone else that I thought their point of view was, (you guessed it) "limited." Much to my chagrin, they replied something along the lines of, Its very rude of you to call me stupid.
I wonder what self-belief that behavior predicates?
As you can imagine, I was shocked. Because now I had to defend myself of something I never intended to intone. And when someone who gets offended that easily thinks you've just called them stupid, the same broken "thinky" mechanism in their head that allows for easy offense, also stops processing logic. Nothing I could say from that point forward would ever change their mind. They were going to believe what they believed. Once again, "...[if] there's no reason for you to think that way, you are the person who came up with the possibility."