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How can I know for sure that this is who I am, and not just a "phase" like some people have said?

15 Answers
Last Updated: 02/04/2020 at 2:34pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Elaine Kish, LMSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

My goal is to treat clients with respect and compassion. I am a supportive, strengths-based therapist with experience in treating mood disorders, grief, and trauma.

Top Rated Answers
May 13th, 2015 1:37pm
When you can't hide the feelings. If you find it hard to put away these feelings it's not just a phase.
August 3rd, 2015 8:08am
I don't think there really is a way to know. There are things that i thought weren't phases and i was wrong.
- Expert in LGBTQ+ Issues
April 23rd, 2019 9:58am
The concept of "phase" has been invented by people who want others to be insecure about a sexuality and/or a gender identity they do not approve. The concept has spread and now many people talk about it, without realizing that your identity is not something you can choose or change over time. It is normal to have a questioning phase, but only the questioning moment is temporary, not your identity. Once you have explored your feelings and found who you truly are, once you have searched into yourself enough to discover the true nature that has always been there inside you, that's it, that's your identity, nothing and nobody can ever change it. You're free to live your identity openly, proudly and happily!
January 15th, 2015 10:40pm
Just follow your heart and try not to let other people's comments put doubts in your mind when you would otherwise feel sure that it wasn't just a phase.
February 16th, 2015 1:02am
You may not know right away, and that's okay. The people who are telling you something is "just a phase" have the wrong idea of what it would mean for something to be a time-limited part of your life anyway. Continue in the way that makes you feel happy and safe in your life at the time. You don't have to know all the answers.
March 22nd, 2015 8:31pm
You can't. Thats the amazing thing about life, we can change and morph our personalities and stereotypes all the time. One day we could be one person, and the next a totally different one. There have been times in my life where I was absolutely %100 sure of who I was, then I changed. I feel confident with who I am now, but in 5 years time, I may be someone completely different.
May 20th, 2015 5:58am
Attraction isn't a phase. Who you have feelings for doesn't just go away. It doesn't change. although you may explore and experiment it doesn't change your sexuality. it's nothing to ever be ashamed of. It's part of who you are. But I'm sure you are other amazing things as well. embrace your differences. Those differences make you special. Standing out is so much more fun than fitting in.
July 21st, 2015 5:25am
You are the owner of your body, you know what is best and how you should feel. People's words can hurt and even dull your confidence, yet you will always know where you belong and who you are. It may take time, but it's worth it in the end. Trust me, trust yourself.
September 7th, 2015 7:36am
People are all subject to change and every moment one lives is in a 'phase.' Think of these as the intervals of life itself. You'll never be the same person forever. You'll go through many phases - some may last longer than others but they will be phases nonetheless. Knowing this, do what you want and live.
November 2nd, 2015 12:40am
Identity is constantly shifting and changing. There is no guarantee that you will feel this way forever, and there is no guarantee that you won't. But, for the time being, it's important to view your identity as valid. If you feel this way, this is who you are.
January 4th, 2016 9:39am
Unfortunately, nothing is for sure because you're always changing as you grow as you learn more through discovery. But that doesn't mean you can't be confident in who you are now, should it change or not. In most cases, you'll know when you agree and/or identify with a certain label. It's like your soul finally find out what is missing, and there you have that click. The second possible factor would also be to identify with the label for a long period of time for perhaps a few months and so on. It will come to a point where it sticks and you don't find yourself identifying as anything else.
September 13th, 2016 1:46pm
Sexual experimentation is perfectly normal, only you will know you - if you are LGBTQ+ great, if not that is also fine!
March 6th, 2017 2:51pm
You may not be able to know that right now, but after time, you will. Remember that you are supported by life, and that everything that needs to be revealed to you will be at the exact time you need to know about it. Whether it is a phase or not, you are okay just the way you are. :)
June 5th, 2017 8:08am
There's no such thing as a phase, what you can do right now is just acknowledge your feelings and talk about them with someone who supports you. Time will help figure rest out.
February 4th, 2020 2:34pm
Getting to know about yourself isn't an overnight process. It takes a lot of time, effort and experiences. We learn from our mistakes. We realize our potentials as well as weakness. However, it is ultimately we ourselves who can understand us better than anyone else. Never come to conclusions about yourself by looking at periodic feelings. They might be temporary and wouldn't take you to the actual answer. Look for long time gut feelings and sum up. Life is a long journey of these and trials. We may not be the same person as time goes. Yet it's important to have a perspective of your own.