“My claim is that people are not wrong about their true selves. A related claim is that to encourage someone to doubt his or her true self is to do them the gravest psychological disservice. Unfortunately, it is not easy to extrapolate from someone’s appearances—their words and actions—to their underlying true selves. Until my psychoanalysis began at age 22, for example, no one had ever confirmed my perception of my true self. I saw myself as someone who could potentially think originally and deeply about psychological issues. Being me meant trying to understand mental functioning. But no one else saw me that way. My teachers and friends interpreted my symptoms, such as not going to classes and not studying, incorrectly. They questioned all the components of my self-concept: my motivation, my commitment, my choice of subject matter, and my ability. So did I. How could I have done otherwise? With no alternative hypotheses of how to interpret my behavior, I unwillingly made the same inferences they did, contradicting my self-knowledge.”
Virginia Valian, “Solving a Work Problem.” Scholarly Writing and Publishing: Issues, Problems, and Solutions. Ed. Mary Frank Fox. Boulder: Westview Press, 1985. 101.