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Self awareness and introspection- Why you might not be therian/kin
Bagera
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Post: #1
Self awareness and introspection- Why you might not be therian/kin
I know this post is going to anger some because it isn't a popular opinion among youngsters. This is my experience from being in this community for well over a decade, and coming from a different time where to enter this community, questioning and introspection was a must.

In the past, to join a space, many people questioned you (sometimes ruthlessly) to make sure you understood what therianthropy was and was not, to understand you, and to see if you understood yourself. If you were questioning, that was ok, but you were still expected to put in hard work and be ready to defend any claims about yourself that you made.

So on to the actual meat of my post.

Many kids seem to latch on to types and change them on a whim. They collect them due to any experience they have, from simply relating to an animal, to feeling they have a shift a couple of times. The worst of it I've seen are people who collect fictional types, or systems, which back in the day were exceptionally rare to non existent.

I don't wholly blame children to latching onto things they relate to strongly, as that's what kids do in this period of their lives. And yes, you can relate to something so strongly that you feel like it's you. This is common in children and people who have issues of identity/not knowing who they are. It's especially telling if someone changes types frequently. But that doesn't mean that it's -you-. Characters are meant to be highly relatable, you do yourself a disservice to throw away who you are to take on the persona of someone else.

This is why questioning and introspection are necessary skills to be taught. Most of you will grow out of this (therianthropy/otherkin as a whole) by the time you reach adulthood because, and I know this may be upsetting to hear, it is a phase for most children. And again, there's nothing wrong with kids trying on different things to see what fits. That's part of growing up.

I think what really spurred me to post this though is that there's such a huge influx of people that fall into this that it becomes kind of nonsensical, and becomes difficult to exist in therian spaces anymore because any attempt at trying to question is met with hostility and fear. It's as if people are afraid to face themselves. I have seen many young members outright say that it makes them uncomfortable to question themselves/be questioned by others in this way. This isn't right, it's not healthy. The point of this community is education and growth, and you can't grow if you do not attempt to know yourselves truly.

Fire tempers steel. Chaos tempers will.
2024-03-08 19:51
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Siris
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Post: #2
RE: Self awareness and introspection- Why you might not be therian/kin
This...really not much I can add right now that really needs more than a phone to type on right now.
2024-03-08 19:59
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StormyPica
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Post: #3
RE: Self awareness and introspection- Why you might not be therian/kin
I agree mostly. But honestly I am a little tired of having to tell everyone that I don't care if it's a phase (had to do this with non-related stuff a lot). If it is, it is. If it's not, it's not. I'm not harming anyone by putting a name to the experiences I've had my whole life, and I wouldn't be harming anyone if I grew out of it. A phase isn't less real than or inferior to a non-phase.

I think being comfortable with questioning is great, but I think many jump to the conclusion that you must be faking if you're uncomfortable with questioning. For me, certain types of questioning can be extremely triggering (due to trauma around being interrogated about other aspects of my identity) and then my brain kind of stops working because it can't handle the stress, which makes it near impossible to give a coherent or sensical answer (which in turn leads to more questioning and stress). I've found that people on here have been pretty nice about it once they realized, but I'm still scared that people may think I'm faking due to my difficulty with answering questions.

"I want to live my life, be all of it's pages. And underline that I am not an angel."
-AURORA


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2024-03-08 20:15
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TherianRose
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Post: #4
RE: Self awareness and introspection- Why you might not be therian/kin
As someone who has also been around the community for a while, I wholeheartedly agree with Bag. I think we need to bring back the spirit of inquiry instead of allowing blind acceptance to run rampant.

I understand why younger folks tend more towards accepting without questioning, since at this point in school and socially, it's very much a "because I told you so" environment instead of one that fosters critical thinking. It's important to realize that asking questions is how we grow - it's not meant as a judgemental "gotcha", but rather to guide you to think more deeply and uncover parts of yourself that may otherwise remain hidden.

So I encourage you all to consider what makes you feel the way you do - why you're here, what you hope to gain from our corner of the community. Of course you don't have to have all the answers, no one starts off knowing, but I think it's a good exercise to start learning how to think critically. Self-reflection is a tool that you'll need throughout life, and I think TG is a particularly good space to practice using it.

I'd also like to highlight that relating to aspects of an animal or character does not a theriotype make. Characters especially are written with the goal of getting the audience to see themselves in that person - they're often exaggerated and can even be stereotypical, and wouldn't hold up well outside of their specific world's circumstances.

I absolutely understand it can feel like you are or want to be like someone. I've had those feelings as well! But please, be cautious. Don't rush to cast aside what makes you unique to become more like what you think you should be. I buried parts of myself that I'm still learning to accept, and while I'm glad I'm able to work on that, I wish I had been kinder to myself sooner. Over time, you'll find comfort in being yourself instead of trying to emulate anyone else. Ear Fold

Carpe noctem audi lunam

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(This post was last modified: 2024-03-08 20:19 by TherianRose.)
2024-03-08 20:17
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StormyPica
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Post: #5
RE: Self awareness and introspection- Why you might not be therian/kin

(2024-03-08 20:17)TherianRose Wrote:  As someone who has also been around the community for a while, I wholeheartedly agree with Bag. I think we need to bring back the spirit of inquiry instead of allowing blind acceptance to run rampant.

I understand why younger folks tend more towards accepting without questioning, since at this point in school and socially, it's very much a "because I told you so" environment instead of one that fosters critical thinking. It's important to realize that asking questions is how we grow - it's not meant as a judgemental "gotcha", but rather to guide you to think more deeply and uncover parts of yourself that may otherwise remain hidden.

So I encourage you all to consider what makes you feel the way you do - why you're here, what you hope to gain from our corner of the community. Of course you don't have to have all the answers, no one starts off knowing, but I think it's a good exercise to start learning how to think critically. Self-reflection is a tool that you'll need throughout life, and I think TG is a particularly good space to practice using it.

I'd also like to highlight that relating to aspects of an animal or character does not a theriotype make. Characters especially are written with the goal of getting the audience to see themselves in that person - they're often exaggerated and can even be stereotypical, and wouldn't hold up well outside of their specific world's circumstances.

I absolutely understand it can feel like you are or want to be like someone. I've had those feelings as well! But please, be cautious. Don't rush to cast aside what makes you unique to become more like what you think you should be. I buried parts of myself that I'm still learning to accept, and while I'm glad I'm able to work on that, I wish I had been kinder to myself sooner. Over time, you'll find comfort in being yourself instead of trying to emulate anyone else. Ear Fold

Agree 100%.

(that is all, tried wording a response but it just sounded like I was trying to be better than the other pups so I deleted)


"I want to live my life, be all of it's pages. And underline that I am not an angel."
-AURORA


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2024-03-08 20:27
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aaviiann
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Post: #6
RE: Self awareness and introspection- Why you might not be therian/kin
I strongly agree. I've only been in the community for about two years, but I'm still very able to pick up on the culture of "accept everyone, ask no questions".
Young pups tend to act as though asking questions is something offensive. An example; recently I had an otherhearted friend "awaken" as a therian, when they were asked why they believed this, they simply said "I've been having more shifts than normal." Any further questioning was shut-down as being mean and judgemental.
I wish there was more we could do to normalize asking questions and inspire introspection in people new to the community, but I'm not even sure how you'd start without just being called a dickhead.
2024-03-08 20:32
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Bagera
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Post: #7
RE: Self awareness and introspection- Why you might not be therian/kin

(2024-03-08 20:32)aaviiann Wrote:  I strongly agree. I've only been in the community for about two years, but I'm still very able to pick up on the culture of "accept everyone, ask no questions".
Young pups tend to act as though asking questions is something offensive. An example; recently I had an otherhearted friend "awaken" as a therian, when they were asked why they believed this, they simply said "I've been having more shifts than normal." Any further questioning was shut-down as being mean and judgemental.
I wish there was more we could do to normalize asking questions and inspire introspection in people new to the community, but I'm not even sure how you'd start without just being called a dickhead.


The more people do it, the more normalized it becomes. It was once this way and it can become so again. Question people, but try to do it in the spirit of inquiry and not judgement. If people can't handle that, let them think you're a dick. This community is a place for education and self exploration. If people don't want to use it for its intended purpose, they can leave for all I care.


Fire tempers steel. Chaos tempers will.
2024-03-08 20:37
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StormyPica
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Post: #8
RE: Self awareness and introspection- Why you might not be therian/kin
I weirdly want to be asked even more questions now.

"I want to live my life, be all of it's pages. And underline that I am not an angel."
-AURORA


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2024-03-08 20:40
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aaviiann
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Post: #9
RE: Self awareness and introspection- Why you might not be therian/kin

(2024-03-08 20:37)Bagera Wrote:  

(2024-03-08 20:32)aaviiann Wrote:  I strongly agree. I've only been in the community for about two years, but I'm still very able to pick up on the culture of "accept everyone, ask no questions".
Young pups tend to act as though asking questions is something offensive. An example; recently I had an otherhearted friend "awaken" as a therian, when they were asked why they believed this, they simply said "I've been having more shifts than normal." Any further questioning was shut-down as being mean and judgemental.
I wish there was more we could do to normalize asking questions and inspire introspection in people new to the community, but I'm not even sure how you'd start without just being called a dickhead.


The more people do it, the more normalized it becomes. It was once this way and it can become so again. Question people, but try to do it in the spirit of inquiry and not judgement. If people can't handle that, let them think you're a dick. This community is a place for education and self exploration. If people don't want to use it for its intended purpose, they can leave for all I care.


Of course; I'm just worried that pups outside of TG will refuse questions and simply block instead. The internet has taught them to be sensitive, so that is what the majority of them will do.

2024-03-08 20:45
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DustWolf
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Post: #10
RE: Self awareness and introspection- Why you might not be therian/kin

(2024-03-08 20:15)StormyPica Wrote:  I agree mostly. But honestly I am a little tired of having to tell everyone that I don't care if it's a phase (had to do this with non-related stuff a lot). If it is, it is. If it's not, it's not. I'm not harming anyone by putting a name to the experiences I've had my whole life, and I wouldn't be harming anyone if I grew out of it. A phase isn't less real than or inferior to a non-phase.


The main site guide has a section about whether or not it's just a phase in it's page dedicated to parents of (potential) therians:
https://therian-guide.com/index.php/8-Parents

the Guide Wrote:Q: Is this just a phase?
A: It is common for young teens to explore who they are and where they belong in the world, through trying on different identities. Some try on a therian identity, but then move on.

A rare few however find that being Therian is something they've always been inside and is something that defines them. For them, this is more than just a phase.


I feel this is mostly accurate and how I would approach this topic.

LP,
Dusty


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2024-03-08 20:47
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