Yo, can we normalize being wrong about your experiences and being open about making mistakes in this community? Pretty much everyone has been Completely Sure Something Is A Thing and then later on realized…… that they were wrong about it, in some form or another.
Someone going all-out into exploring a potential identity to see how it feels before saying whether or not they think it’s likely (or even feeling like it’s likely and diving straight into acknowledging it as A Thing) is only ever a problem if people refuse to go back on their labels and admit they made a mistake.
It’s not that uncommon to confuse a kintype for a soulbond/headmate or a hearttype or vice versa or any combination of these. Personal narratives can affect perception of identity and can cause people to internalize or externalize things like this a lot.
I thought I was Sora for years. I told so many people that I was him, it wasn’t a secret or anything. Then I realized he was actually a soulbond and we had gotten mixed up with each other (and I had some huge misunderstandings of how this stuff worked for awhile due to my ex) and it was scary to finally say “hey, so I was actually wrong about this” because of the pervasiveness of feeling like you need to know 100% about yourself before you say anything, and if you realize otherwise you were “just making it up”.
Mistakes happen. They’re normal. Thinking you’re one thing when you’re actually another thing is completely normal. You’re not betraying anyone if you realize you made a mistake. What isn’t okay and normal is refusing to acknowledge the possibility that you could be wrong about who you are. It’s scary, I know, but it’s really important.
It’s a lot better to really look at yourself and be open to change and accepting responsibility than it is to desperately cling to labels and false identities that don’t suit you. This is’t a contest, otherkind/fictionkind/therian identities don’t grant you access to some “exclusive club”, and they’re definitely not somehow more real or legitimate or better than things like otherheartedness, plurality, etc. or just being human that relates heavily to “weird” experiences.
Being yourself, without trying to force yourself into an experience you don’t fit, is more important than the labels or titles you come across. Learning to express what you really feel without fancy buzzwords or fear of backlash due to an honest admission of realizing you thought you were something else.
If everyone’s so hung up on who uses what words to describe themselves and who fits what terminology, why not focus on experiences and existences instead? Let people make mistakes. Let people know it’s okay if they’ve grown and changed and used to think some pretty stupid things. I bet you most of us thought p-shifting was possible at some point. I know I did.
So let’s kill this culture of belittling people for being wrong about themselves and making newbie (or not-so-newbie) mistakes. We were all new to this at one point. We all had mishaps and confusion. So let’s remember that, and be honest and open about it, okay?