“False Self” & Modern Christians

With my blog I try and challenge and inspire.  Challenging perceptions and ideas is important – It is how we grow.

I have done this by the social angle, I have done this by the philosophical angle, and I have done this by a religious angle.

Now maybe time for a Psychological Angle? 😉

In Donald Winnicott’s thought there is a “True Self and False Self”.

True self

“Only the true self can be creative and only the true self can feel real.”  For Winnicott, the True Self is a sense of being alive and real in one’s mind and body, having feelings that are spontaneous and unforced. This experience of aliveness is what allows people to be genuinely close to others, and to be creative.

False self

In Winnicott’s writing, the “False Self” is a defence, a kind of mask of behaviour that complies with others’ expectations. Winnicott thought that in health, a False Self was what allowed one to present a “polite and mannered attitude” in public.

But he saw more serious emotional problems in patients who seemed unable to feel spontaneous, alive or real to themselves anywhere, in any part of their lives, yet managed to put on a successful “show of being real.” Such patients suffered inwardly from a sense of being empty, dead or “phoney.”


In the Christian world how many of us have started to think that being a Christian means being a fulfillment of all the social norms and what we “ought” to be like.

Does this allow God who is alive and beyond understanding to really show-case his creature and lead it on an interesting and exciting journey?  A journey perhaps unimaginable and beyond the story line we think is life?

Remember this readers, do not become fake and empty thinking it is holy and proper.  This is truly separation/hell.





About The Smiling Pilgrim

"Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God." -- 1 John 4:7 A simple man exploring the mysteries of love - TSP
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5 Responses to “False Self” & Modern Christians

  1. It is so easy to fake the Christian life because it has been subliminally taught that fake is okay. It took tragedy in my life to teach me authenticity which is what you mention here. May God empower us all to be real, no matter how ugly and painful it may be. Growth does not come without transparency.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Christina says:

    Reblogged this on Christina Faith and commented:
    Wonderful… “the True Self is a sense of being alive and real in one’s mind and body, having feelings that are spontaneous and unforced.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this! Very well said, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Averyl says:

    Totally agree!

    Liked by 1 person

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