Untangle and grow

A blog by Alison Maxwell

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Strangers to ourselves?

Don' t you love it when you find a really fascinating book that manages to offer some really challenging stuff in a palatable and informed way?  I've been reading 'Strangers to ourselves' by Timothy Wilson, which does exactly that.

As the title implies, Wilson makes the case that we often don't know our own minds, and that actually most of our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are the product of our unconscious rather than our conscious minds - even if we experience it differently. Startlingly he argues that others can often read us better than we can read ourselves - ever seen a friend go head over heals for someone totally unsuitable and only realise it months after everyone else?

Wilson (unlike Freud) believes that it is impossible to know our unconscious mind arguing that its a bit like the software in say a CD player -  we can hear the output (conscious thought) but we have no direct access to the processes that produced it. 

If you  buy his theory - and some of his evidence is pretty intriguing - this has huge implications for any of us working in the people development field. Discuss...

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