How do we normally talk about ourselves? It is from the first person perspective. We use the pronouns “I, me, we and us.” This clearly delineates one as being in charge of what is happening. What would it be like to shift the perspective from first to third person? The pronouns we use for third person perspective are: “He, she, it, they, them or one’s proper name.” What is happening is not being told from a personal perspective. It is as if someone else is describing what is happening. If we were to use a third person perspective to describe what our actions are it tends to externalize our sense of self. It places us in the perspective of a witness observing what we believe our sense of self to be doing. It is a trick of language that supports non-attachment with the sense of self. For example, I lose my keys and I am angry, upset and self-critical. I can frame the experience from the third person perspective by saying: “Philip is angry for losing the keys.” Try this out when labeling your experience as a way to help support dis-identification.

by Dr. Phil Blustein

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