Diffuse – as opposed to concise -becomes self-awareness when one or more of the following phenomena can be observed.
- Someone evaluates his experience. Very often it looks like this: “I am in good form, I am not well!” With this statement, there is no information given about what someone experiences or how they feel about it. However, many people appear to be satisfied with this.
- Someone describes how he feels, but, nevertheless, a confused and inconsistent picture emerges: “Well, I feel so despondent and unmotivated and I think I ought not to feel like this. And then I try hard to do something meaningful, but I have the feeling that no one sees that and anyhow, it’s not worth it.” In such a statement, different experiential states intermingle and thus, different self-representations also. Therefore, it is completely unclear what function the various different aspects of experience have.
- Although someone articulates his feelings, he suppresses the bodily experience or the expression of the feeling to a high degree or even totally, for example, by completely tensing up, hardly breathing, looking downwards, distracting with a displacement activity or whitewashing the experience.
Such diffuse states are expressions of stagnation and must be examined to determine their meaning and function. Otherwise neither the perception of the needs nor the interconnected avoidance impulses can succeed in affecting change.