Hax Philes: Getting to know yourself means asking some questions

In response to Thursday’s letter, one reader pointed out how difficult it is to get to know yourself, especially after a breakup. She wrote, “Even in my 50s when I got divorced, I did not know what it meant to ‘get in touch with myself.’”

But she had some advice – start asking yourself lots of questions:

I think it would do this young lady some favors to ask her some questions that she does not know the answer to, about herself. When she knows the answer, she’s ready to move on.

Things like:
1. What kind of music would you listen to if you were by yourself?
2. What entertainment would you choose for a weekend if money were no object?
3. What did you always want to learn but haven’t yet?
4. How would you react to a panhandling family of a mother and 2 children?
5. Where are your priorities: what’s more important to you: Having a lot of money, Being famous, Brightening someone’s day, Creating something, Spirituality, Having power, Doing new things, Applause, what?
6. What are you good at? What are you below average at? I don’t mean just school subjects, what about map reading, empathizing, coming up with creative ideas, cooking, organizing, etc.
7. What do you like to do with other people vs. alone?
8. Classic, rococo, modern, new age, heavy metal styles of home and art?
9. If you were in a family of 4 and the total income was $4000 a month, how would you spend it? How much rent, how much savings, how much clothes, eating out, gadgets?
10. Vacations with family, with friends, alone? Seaside, mountains, foreign cities, what?
11. Read books, watch sports or play sports? Beer or soda? Painting easels or drills? Medicine or homeopathy? Wicca, Christianity, other?

What other questions have helped you on the road to getting to know yourself? Have you used other strategies to reclaim your sense of identity after a breakup?

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

» See all Hax Philes discussions    

Carolyn Hax started her advice column in 1997, after five years as a copy editor and news editor in Style and none as a therapist. The column includes cartoons by "relationship cartoonist" Nick Galifianakis -- Carolyn's ex-husband -- and appears in over 200 newspapers.
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Carolyn Hax · July 18