Self-Knowledge & Mental Health Recovery

Understanding your personality, talents, interests, and attitudes helps you better grasp your identity or sense of self.

I totally agree with the above statement as copied from this article below. Understanding yourself and what makes you tick, is your best defence against Bullying of any type. Once you know your own traits and accept them, good or bad, nothing and no one will ever shake your beliefs.

For many years, I was this person, nothing any Tenant said to me in the past ever got to me as this situation did. I was very confident in my abilities to do my job, and in myself. I knew what my limits were and had no problem sticking with them. I was a strong independent woman who knew herself and her abilities, in her career and her personal life.

I know now it was the shock of all the False Allegations against me, especially the Racist one, that played on my mind and destabilized my thinking. If I didn’t have PTSD to be affected, I know I would have reacted better to this situation than I did at times.

I felt like a “hunted” person, a target, and extreme fear of all the possibilities that could happen as a result of these false allegations, played on the PTSD I already had and the mechanisms of PTSD took over to protect myself.

KR was constantly throwing accusations against me, with no evidence, just his words. It threw me for a loop to be accused of such nasty things as they said I did and over time, it wore on me. It would be anyone! I have learned that Gaslighting is very insidious!

Take the example that they claim I “forged and altered” documents in my attempt to “illegally” evict them. I have seen this claim in various documents they wrote, but, I don’t see any verifying documents attached that show they were ” forged and altered”. They don’t even specify what documents they were claiming were forged and altered. What documents were “forged and altered” and where are they? Where is there evidence to show any document I gave them was ever “forged and altered”?

They made the claim I did that, yet, provide nothing to prove it, as there is none there. Just like everything else they have ever written about me, they have no proof, just their word that it occurred.

I was also very confused over the personal attacks when it was a professional situation. I was doing a job! I will never understand how they felt it was okay to start attacking my personal life and other family members, over a professional situation. It wasn’t personal to me, they were Tenants living in a building I was looking after with my husband, like many others before that in my 16-year career.

It was no different than any other eviction process I did, but the Tenant’s reaction was the big change here. KR decided to go on the attack and personally attack me instead. He took the focus off the job and rules of apartment living and put it all on me personally instead. You can see it!

These Tenants were taken to the Landlord and Tenant Board of Ontario for a specific reason. Denying Entry is one thing that a Landlord can control in an apartment building and nothing in the Residential Tenancies Act ever states a Tenant could deny entry cause the timing was an “inconvenience” to them. It actually says the opposite! Nothing they could ever claim would allow them to deny entry as they did, and they were evicted for it.

Even if by some miracle they were able to convince an adjudicator at the LTB that I was racist towards them, it would not be a valid reason to deny entry and they still would have been evicted. I have no doubt about that. This is also why they lost all their legal actions, they were trying to make it personal against me, not about the rules of the Residential Tenancies Act that it was really about.

All the False Allegations were a distraction Toxic Adult Bullies made up to take the focus off their actions of breaking the rules of the RTA and apartment living.

Once the Landlords refused to address the letter sent on August 31, 2016, 6 years tomorrow actually, the anxiety within me was building as I knew it was not the end with these Tenants. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop as they say since that letter was received, as I knew something was coming. I gave them 48 hours’ Notice of Entry and gave them a 3-hour window of time, yet, it was still denied, and I was verbally abused at the door.

I had to deal with not just that anxiety over the treatment I was getting from these Tenants, but also the reaction of the property owners over the Tenant’s reactions. I knew the Owners would pressure me to let it go and not do anything like they did the year before when that letter was received. I had anxiety over everything and it was building up due to the PTSD I already had.

I am now once again able to maintain my symptoms of PTSD and the many years of therapy have helped me recover to the point where I am confident in myself again. I know who I am and what I have done, now and in the past.

I also accept now that this situation is OVER! What Toxic Adult Bullies write on their obscure domains is not important anymore, I know they are lying and that is all I need.

What anyone else thinks is not important to me anymore, only what I think. It does help to get validation from others, but I don’t need it anymore, as I am secure in myself once again.

Knowing I now have the Police enforcing the Criminal Code of Canada and are investigating this situation and their actions online for Criminal Harassment and other possible charges, I feel safer than I ever did from these Narcissistic Tenant Bullies! I know that in time, Toxic Adult Bullies will face criminal charges for their actions against so many people, not just me. All their online domains, with their malicious content, are all the evidence they need!

In the meantime, I am free to just live my life and do what brings me joy and contentment!


  • It’s a well-known principle in psychology that accurate self-knowledge is the key to mental health.
  • New research on “self-discrepancy theory” tests the benefits of knowing your personality type to predicting well-being.
  • By observing your behavior, you can gain greater insight into whether your beliefs about your personality match your actual traits.

You would undoubtedly agree with the idea that self-knowledge is a key piece of psychological adjustment. Understanding your personality, talents, interests, and attitudes helps you better grasp your identity or sense of self.

Consider the realm of personality. If you see yourself as conscientious but are anything but, it can lead you into situations that create strife with others, not to mention the possibility of failure. Perhaps you know someone constantly claiming that they never miss a beat. Yet, in reality, you’ve lost track of how often they’ve been late or failed to attend a prearranged meeting. “You can count on me,” they assert. But in your mind, this translates into “You can count on me to be late.”

Why Knowing Yourself Should Predict Higher Well-Being

As outlined by Lund University’s August Håkan Nilsson and colleagues (2022), “Self-Discrepancy Theory” proposes that well-being is predicted by “disagreement between the ideal/ought self and the actual self” (p. 1) or what the Swedish authors call “Personality Estimation Discrepancy (PED).” You might get the wrong idea about your personality from several sources, Nilsson et al. propose.

One very likely candidate is an unvetted online personality test. One of these, in particular, the “16 Personalities Test,” claims to provide a “’ freakishly accurate” description of who you are and why you do the things you do” and only takes 10 minutes to complete. Your personality shows up as falling into one of four “colors,” corresponding to such subdivisions as “analyst,” “diplomat,” or “sentinel.”

Maybe you’ve taken one of these quick tests and come away with what you thought were new insights about yourself. However, as Lund and his colleagues suggest, it’s quite likely that the estimation provided is “erroneous.” As a result, your feelings of well-being can be compromised, given that self-insight is “a strong predictor of subjective well-being (SWB)” (p. 1).

Digging deeper into PED, one of its key features is how much your ideal and real selves deviate from each other and whether your real or actual view of yourself deviates from the way you would score on an objective (and psychometrically sound) personality test.

In the theoretical model that the Lund U. researchers propose, the direction of PED (over- or under-estimation) should predict self-insight such that the closer to zero your PED is, the higher your degree of self-insight. In turn, higher self-insight should provide the basis for higher levels of SWB.

What’s Your PED?

From the methods that Nilsson et al. developed to test their model, you can get an idea of how you would rate on the PED and self-insight measures. To begin with, the Swedish authors use the personality framework based on the Five Factor Model (FFM), the theory that people’s personalities can best be understood along the dimensions of conscientiousness, openness to experience, agreeableness, neuroticism (emotional stability), and extraversion. To be clear, this model has nothing to do with the “4 colors” framework but instead has a long history in personality psychology as a valid way to conceptualize people’s basic traits.

The novel approach to measuring PED that Nilsson et al. used asked 202 adult participants (average age 37 years old) to complete a test based on the FFM (“actual” personality) that could be compared with a simple self-perceived trait measure. The FFM test asks people to rate their agreement or disagreement with a set of items describing specific behaviors. As an example of a conscientiousness item, you might rate yourself on the item “Carry out my plans.”

Using a simple self-rating, the authors then went on to ask participants to rate their self-perceived personality by answering a question asking them to rate items such as “In general, how conscientious are you?” See what your rating would be for all five traits.

PED can occur in either an over- or under-estimation in this framework simply by subtracting actual from perceived ratings on the FFM traits. If you think of yourself as highly extroverted, for example, but score in the introverted direction, you would therefore overestimate your levels of extraversion.

Moving on to self-insight, you can also gain an appreciation for what this concept means by answering some of the actual questions used in the study. Consider your responses to “I am usually aware of my thoughts” or “I usually know why I feel the way I do.”

Turning to the findings, the overall model did work as predicted, with over- or under-estimation of personality traits predicting SWB through the influence of self-insight. However, this result only applied to the situation in which people over-estimated their levels of personality traits, meaning they thought they scored higher than they actually did. The under-estimators came out with much higher SWB than the model predicted on the traits of extraversion, neuroticism (emotional stability), and conscientiousness.

To explain this conundrum, Nilsson et al. suggested that there may be something unique about people who score at the extremes of a personality trait measure. The further the PED scores deviate from zero, the more likely it is that the over-estimators have no place to go but down, and the under-estimators have no place to go but up. Scoring at either extreme on a trait, therefore, becomes a problem but for different reasons and with different outcomes.

How to Perform a Self-Knowledge Recalibration

Returning to the example of those individuals whose high behavior data don’t back up conscientiousness claims, you can see how their lack of self-awareness can become a problem in their everyday lives. Not realizing how far amiss they are from their identities as reliable people, they won’t take the necessary precautions to avoid letting other people down. The extremely unconscientious person, lacking self-insight, will become someone destined to fail.

Thinking about your personality, the Lund U. results suggest that there can be value in watching your behavior concerning the views you hold about yourself. It can be just as important to bring your self-estimation up if it’s too low as it is to bring it down if it scales the upper reaches of a trait rating scale. Maybe you’re more conscientious than you think you are or even higher on emotional stability. Wouldn’t it be helpful to be able to boost your self-image accordingly?

To sum up, having an accurate view of yourself, particularly in the personality domain, is an important route to greater satisfaction with who you are and what you strive for. Fulfillment depends on achieving your goals and being aware of how far along you are in that journey.


Nilsson, A. H., Friedrichs, K., & Kajonius, P. (2022). Know thyself! Predicting subjective well-being from personality estimation discrepancy and self-insight. Current Psychology: A Journal for Diverse Perspectives on Diverse Psychological Issues.

Big 5 Personality Traits

Reviewed by Psychology Today Staff

The differences between people’s personalities can be broken down in terms of five major traits—often called the “Big Five.” Each one reflects a key part of how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. The Big Five traits are:

  • Openness to experience (includes aspects such as intellectual curiosity and creative imagination)
  • Conscientiousness (organization, productiveness, responsibility)
  • Extroversion (sociability, assertiveness; its opposite is Introversion)
  • Agreeableness (compassion, respectfulness, trust in others)
  • Neuroticism (tendencies toward anxiety and depression)

Individual personalities are thought to feature each of these five broad traits to some degree. When the traits are measured, some people rate higher and others rate lower: Someone can be more conscientious and less agreeable than most people, for instance, while scoring about average on the other traits. These traits remain fairly stable during adulthood.

People can also differ on the more specific facets that make up each of the Big Five traits. A relatively extroverted person might be highly sociable but not especially assertive.

The five-factor model is widely used by personality researchers, but it is not the only model. A more recently introduced six-factor model known as HEXACO adds the factor of honesty-humility to the original five traits.

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