So Characteristics of the
True Self and the False Self

Charles L. Whitfield, M.D.

  • Authentic Self
  • Unauthentic self, mask
  • True Self
  • False self, persona
  • Genuine
  • Ungenuine, "as-if" personality
  • Spontaneous
  • Plans and plods
  • Expansive, loving
  • Contracting, fearful
  • Giving, communication
  • Withholding
  • Accepting of self and others
  • Envious, critical, idealized, perfectionistic
  • Compassionate
  • Other-oriented, overly conforming
  • Loves unconditionally
  • Loves conditionally
  • Feels feelings, including appropriate, spontaneous, current anger
  • Denies or hides feelings, including long-held anger (resentment)
  • Assertive
  • Aggressive and/or passive
  • Intuitive
  • Rational, logical
  • Child Within, Inner Child; ability to be childlike
  • Overdeveloped parent/adult scripts; may be childish
  • Needs to play and have fun
  • Avoids play and fun
  • Vulnerable
  • Pretends always to be strong
  • Powerful in true sense
  • Limited power
  • Trusting
  • Distrusting
  • Enjoys being nurtured
  • Avoids being nurtured
  • Surrenders
  • Controls, withdraws
  • Self-indulgent
  • Self-righteous
  • Simplifies
  • Complicates; is "rational"
  • Wants to be real, connect, experience, create and love
  • Wants to be right, control and win.  Tells us the opposite of what we want and need.
  • Non-defensive, though may at times use ego defenses
  • Defensive
  • Connected to its Higher Power
  • Believes it is Higher Power
  • Open to the unconscious
  • Blocks unconscious material
  • Remembers our Oneness
  • Forgets our Oneness; feels separate
  • Free to grow
  • Tends to act out unconscious often painful patterns repeatedly
  • Private self
  • Public self



Healing the Human Condition

The New Paradigm for Helping Professionals and People in Recovery


Charles L. Whitfield, M.D.