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The Curse of the SelfSelf-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life$
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Mark R. Leary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172423.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2021

Living in Two Worlds

Living in Two Worlds

(p.25) 2 Living in Two Worlds
The Curse of the Self

Mark R. Leary

Oxford University Press

People split their time between living in the real world of everyday life and the mental world of self-thought that they create in their own minds. This chapter explores the nature of self-awareness, beginning with the question of “who is talking to whom” when people talk to themselves inside their own heads (self-talk). It then examines the negative consequences of living in one's own mind for social interactions, performance on mental and physical tasks, and decision-making. Topics covered include self-preoccupation, choking under pressure, insomnia, sexual problems, and interference with spontaneity, intuition, and flow. The chapter concludes with a discussion of meditation, which has been shown to quiet the self, reduce self-preoccupation, and help people to live more fully in the real world.

Keywords:   self-awareness, self-talk, preoccupation, pressure, intuition, flow, meditation

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