Thoughts on the ‘limbo condition’, a unique character trait of the female

Here’s a thought I had:

I have always felt that the female character naturally creates a particular form of dilemma for the female.  It’s very unique reflecting their character traits.  The more I look at it the more important it is seeming to be.  I speak of what I call the ‘limbo condition’.  In effect, the female is caught between their self and the self of someone else.  As a result, they often lie “in limbo”, so to speak, in between.  In that way, they as if get ‘lost’ between self’s, uncertain where to go or what is what.


This condition is primarily a conflict of self’s, of the females self and the self of others.  Because of this, one could sat that there are actually three selves:

  1. The ‘actual’ self.  This is the females self as a person and a human being. 
  2. The ‘limbo self’.  This is the self that is trying to unite with the ‘other’ self.  Since they cannot attain the ‘other’ self this self is as if left ‘hanging’ – in ‘limbo’.
  3. The ‘other’ self.  This is only the perception of another person (the ‘other’).  Because of this, it can never be attained.  It is the “target” of what they seek.

There is a special relationship the female has with each of these self’s.  As a general rule, the female is primarily in the ‘limbo self’ in the course of their day-to-day lives.  In fact, one could say that many females are very ‘limbo’ self centered. The ‘actual’ self is generally not emphasized at all . . . it tends to not be where their focus is.  As a result, its given a ‘back-burner’ quality.  It’s often neglected and, in some cases, practically forgotten (see ‘actual self dilemma’ below).


What we see, then, is an emphasis not on their own ‘actual’ self but a tendency to a unification of their self with the ‘other’.  In effect, there is a drive to create a blending of self’s.  This is the ‘self’s unification tendency’.  This tendency encompasses a number of qualities:

  • A ‘self loss’ – a tendency to lose their ‘actual’ self because of their focusing on the unification of self’s.
  • A ‘unification drive’ – the drive to unify the self’s.
  • A ‘frustration at unification’– the fact of the matter is that a unification of self’s is not possible and is, therefore, doomed to fail . . . this naturally causes a sense of frustration.
  • The ‘self remains in limbo’ because the unification fails – the creation of the ‘limbo’ self.

Since the self of the ‘other’ can never be attained the female actually experiences a very strong frustration as a result (for some girls they may struggle with it all their life).  There seems to be two main reactions:

  1. Remain in frustration.  This can turn into anger, resentment, depression, and other things.
  2. The self remains in ‘limbo’.  Here they as if ‘wait’ for a unification (which never comes).  This ‘waiting’ plays a big part in the creation of the ‘limbo’ self.  This more or less means that the ‘limbo’ self is a ‘solution’ to the naturally appearing frustration that happens from the failure of the unification of the self creates. 

The unification drive is so strong that they often continually try at a unification, only to fail.  Because of this, either the frustration or the ‘limbo’ self grows in force as a result.  This shows the great power of the ‘unification drive’. 

Because they tend to neglect their ‘actual’ self (as their emphasis is on a unification)  they tend to not have a self . . . their self is absent.  This is the ‘absent self phenomena’.  It makes it so that many females don’t have a strong self.  This quality, in actuality, is a major component of being ‘feminine’. 

One of the effects of the ‘absent self phenomena’ is that it makes it so that the female does not have a self to control the ‘unification drive’.  As a result, the drive controls them.  This is the ‘limbo/self dilemma’.  In effect, because of their absence of self, the drive overwhelms them and they are its slave, having to follow its dictates.  What this shows is that there are several things that are very important in the ‘self’s unification tendency’:

  1. The force of the drive.
  2. The frustration.
  3. Their absence of self.
  4. Being controlled by the drive.

These create a dilemma for the female.  A major way they deal with this dilemma is the creation of the ‘limbo’ self.  Basically, because of these things the creation of the ‘limbo’ self actually has the quality of “saving” the female from the ‘self’s unification tendency’ and from the conditions it creates.  As a result of this, the creation of the ‘limbo’ self is often very critical for a females mental health.  This, no doubt, is one of the reasons why the ‘limbo’ self is taught to girls from a young age (see “teaching the ‘limbo condition'” below).

The drive of the ‘self’s unification tendency’ tends to make females do a number of things, such as:

  • To be with the ‘other’.  This is often done a number of ways:  by close proximity (being physically close to someone), by keeping the ‘other’ in their mind (often using photos, for example, as a ‘reminder’), “official” association (such as marriage, ‘going steady’, etc.), and such.
  • To ‘absorb’ the ‘other’.  This is when the ‘other’ is perceived as becoming a part of the female herself.
  • To become the ‘other’.  Here they try to imitate or be the ‘other’ and, in so doing, replace them.  This is often a sign of an illness of some sort.

This tendency is so strong that it often takes on obsessive and compulsive manifestations.  In fact, it can easily be mistaken for an obsession or compulsion.  Sometimes, though, these can become so strong that they actually create an illness.  In fact, many female mental problems originate with either the frustration or a failure of the ‘limbo’ self.  These problems are so powerful, it seems, that it often plays a big role in female life, growth, and development.


This dilemma can cause both good and bad effects.  It can ‘make’ the female or ‘break’ a female.  Because of this, it has a great spectrum of effects.  For some girls, they can range the whole spectrum and they can bounce from one extreme to another, going from good effects to bad, being both helped and hindered by it at the same time.

Good effects

Some of the good effects include:

  • A ‘motherliness’. This is primarily because it is a manifestation of the mother instinct (see below).  Because of this, it is no surprise that it makes a female more ‘motherly’.
  • A femininity.  The ‘limbo’ self is a significant quality that makes a female feminine.  In some ways, it is the base for all feminine traits.
  • A liveliness and innocence.  The ‘limbo’ self seems to remove the female from the world and, in a way, makes them like children.  Many cultures have often tried to keep females in this condition.
  • A naturalness.  The ‘limbo condition’, with its absence of self, tends to create a naturalness in the female.  This is because, with the absence of self, there’s nothing o ‘control’ them.   Males, on the other hand, tend to have a strong self and, because of it, lose a naturalness as a result.
  • A lovingness and caring.  Because of the ‘limbo conditions’ association with childbearing (see below) it naturally tends to bring out a lovingness and caring in the female.
  • A bond with people.  This works similar to the above.
  • A tendency to serve people.  This is similar to the above.
  • An insight.  The ‘limbo condition’ often creates a particular quality of insight in the female.  The absence of self allows for natural intuitions and insights to appear in a more natural and direct way.  This is often lacking in the male because of their strong self.
  • A selflessness.  Because of the tendency to lose or neglect their ‘actual’ self they will often display a selflessness.  This quality, though, has often caused a great illusion about the female.  It has caused a tendency to glorify the female primarily because it coincides with the Christian ideal of selflessness.  The problem is that it is usually not something they ‘choose’ to do (which is what Christian theology requires – free will).  This is because the drive of unification is so strong that it actually controls them and, as a result, ‘forces’ girls to be selfless, sometimes to the point of a mental problem, as I’ve seen many times.  This shows that female selflessness may not be what it seems at times.

In effect, the ‘limbo condition’ brings out some of the greatest strengths in the female character.

Bad effects

There are many bad effects that the ‘limbo condition’ can cause.  Being in ‘limbo’ tends to, by its nature, cause manifestations of character such as:

  • They feel detached and removed.
  • They feel unaccepted or neglected.
  • They need a continual demonstration of need from the ‘other’.  This tendency makes many females require an almost regular need to feel they are needed, for example, by their husbands.
  • They feel ’empty’.
  • It makes them feel tired or worn out.
  • They feel like a slave.
  • They feel frustrated, unfulfilled, and dissatisfied.
  • They have a sense of fragility.
  • They have a sense of being vulnerable.

We could probably describe qualities, such as these, as a general ‘limbo sickness’ which are common with the female character.  Generally, these are only experienced as an occasional nuisance.  For some females, though, these qualities can become extreme and turn them into a dilemma and even turn into a mental illness.

More involved dilemma’s that the ‘limbo condition’ could cause include:

  •  The identification dilemma – they think they are the ‘same’ as the ‘other’.  The political/legal idea of ‘equality’ has made this a major problem nowadays making many females think they are the” same” as males.  Because of this, in the U.S. at this time, there is almost an epidemic of male want-to-be’s.
  • A low self-esteem.  This is a result of many of the ‘issues’ the ‘limbo condition’ creates.
  • A mental instability . . . a tendency to neurosis.  This dilemma often creates this effect in females, often predisposing them to various mental problems and “issues”.
  • They tend to give too much of themselves.  This is a result of their tendency to lose their ‘actual’ self for the ‘other’. 
  • The ‘other-directed blaming game’ dilemma – they blame others for their problems.  This shows the power of the ‘other’ in the female’s life.  Being focused on the ‘other’ they tend to forget themselves.  In so doing, they as if ‘clean themselves’ of any dilemma they may have.  This makes it appear to them that it must be the ‘others’ fault . . . remember, being ‘other-directed’, they don’t ‘exist’ in their minds, only the ‘other’.  Any problem they have, therefore, must be because of the ‘other’.  From my experience, this is a prevalent problem. Its made many females make false accusations and false charges against many people as I, myself, have personally seen (a good example are feminists).   

Dilemmas involving the ‘actual’ self:

  • The ‘actual self dilemma’.   A weird phenomena of the female character is that too much emphasis on their ‘actual’ self has this tendency to accentuate any problems they may have.  In other words, its best for females to NOT emphasize their ‘actual’ self too much.  This is the exact opposite of the males who tend to need to emphasize their ‘actual’ self.  It causes a tendency for females to become vain, conceited, self-absorbed, arrogant, etc.  If this gets too extensive it turns into the ‘actual self fixation’ as they get fixated on their ‘actual’ self to the point that they will forget everything and everybody else, thinking the world revolves around them, their emotions, and issues.
  • The ‘self neglect dilemma’.  In this they don’t put emphasis on their ‘actual’ self and tend to neglect it too much.  They forget their needs and wants and growth.  In actuality, this causes many problems of the ‘limbo condition’ described above, such as low self-esteem, feeling neglected, feeling empty, etc. 
  • The ”actual’ self balancing phenomena’.  The ‘actual self dilemma’ and ‘self neglect dilemma’ shows that, for the female, there is a balancing act in regard to the ‘actual’ self . . . they need to emphasize their ‘actual’ self enough to keep it healthy but they cannot emphasize it too much.  This phenomena can put the female in a precarious position.  Much of female life, it seems, is often based around this balancing act.

As one can see, the failure of the ‘limbo condition’ can cause many problems for the female character, causing many illnesses and dilemma’s.  Some of these problems are mild, and a part of their natural growth and character manifestations.  Others can become more serious and lead to mental problems. 


The ‘limbo condition’ is a reflection, I believe, of the mother instinct in the female.  It is part of the mother instinct, which is very strong.  It’s so strong that it influences how the female perceives the world, behaves in it, and grows.   I spoke of how sexual characteristics affect the male and female in an article called “Thoughts on the different male and female characters – “male culture” and “female culture”“.

In general, the ‘limbo condition’ is a reflection of the tendency of the mother instinct to mother the childThis causes the “need” to unify the two self’s – mother and child.  This attitude, being so strong, is ‘projected’ upon the world causing them to see it in everything and effecting how they behave in the world.  In effect, the ‘limbo’ self is a  manifestation of the unification of self’s drive created by the mother instinct.  It is very powerful, being associated with the mother instinct, and can control a female’s life.  The more I watch females the more I can see how powerful the mother instinct is in them.  As far as I know, I’m the only one who has emphasized its power.

Because it is associated with the mother instinct it is also associated with the other aspect of the mother instinct, the ‘forbidden subject’, the M-word . . . menstruation.  Just as there is a close association between the mother instinct and the ‘limbo condition’ so there is a close association between menstruation and the ‘limbo condition’.

I’ve often jokingly called menstruation the ‘negative mother instinct’, as it seems to entail, at times, an ‘anti-life’ point of view and attitude.  Menstrual problems, in some females, can make them see the whole world as a threat to the point that they must outlash at everything in it.

There seems to be a connection between the two reactions I described above and childbearing/menstruation which follow this pattern:

  • Frustration – tends to bring out menstrual issues and themes.  This creates an ‘anti-life’ quality in a way.
  • The ‘limbo condition’ – tends to bring out the mother instinct.  This creates a ‘pro-life’ quality in a way.

As a general rule, motherliness is associated with the ‘limbo’.  This is why its qualities are typically taught to females.


Many cultures teach girls to develop the ‘limbo condition’ as a dominant part of their bringing up.  As a result, much of the lives of females, all over the world, is in learning a form of ‘limbo condition’ that is acceptable in that culture (as there are variations, of course)  I speak of this as the ‘limbo personality’.

Much of this training is instituted and maintained by the mothers.  Generally, males have little to do with it.  That’s really no surprise, being that it involves female-specific themes.  I always found it interesting that the ‘limbo personality’ is emphasized before marriage and childbearing.  Often, girls are greatly instructed in it at that time.  After marriage and childbearing it tends to become neglected.  This shows a good example of the strong connection between the ‘limbo condition’ and childbearing.

Some common traits of the ‘limbo personality’ are:

  • Prettiness.
  • Pleasantness.
  • Innocence.
  • An absence of anger, bitterness, and
  • Not complaining.
  • Not being forceful, commanding, or controlling.
  • An easy-going way.
  • A courtesy for people.
  • A submissiveness.
  • A passiveness.
  • A nurturing of life.

One can see that there is a complete avoidance of the other reaction:  frustration!  This shows that the frustrated female’ is not looked at highly.  Most certainly, it is to keep away the ‘negative mother instinct’ (menstruation) from society.  Because of this, the ‘limbo personality’ is really just a form of keeping the effects of menstruation out of society!  This may sound silly but we must remember that, all over the world for centuries, the females used to leave society when they were menstruating, often going to a special hut for this purpose.  In some places, they would not go back into society until they had washed themselves (as if to cleanse themselves of menstruation).  In other words, we see a pattern where there is a deliberate attempt, on the part of females, to keep menstruation, and its effects, out of society . . . to keep it an exclusively female ‘secret’, so to speak.  In fact, how did I find out about it? . . . Not because I was told about it (the only time I recall hearing about it was in a health class) but by the ‘weird’, and sometimes unbelievable, behavior of females . . . I had to inquire what was going on with no help whatsoever . . . such was the secrecy that surrounded it.

We must remember that it is the mothers who actively teach the ‘limbo condition’ to avoid the frustration.  This is no doubt, because mothers, and other females, feel it more deeply . . . females hate the frustration worse than the guys as they experience it.  What this means is that the teaching of the ‘limbo condition’ to the females is, first and foremost, a way for the females, themselves, to avoid the frustration . . . it is not done for the males!   I mention this because the ‘other-directed blame game’ tends to make girls blame males for all their problems, including menstruation and its effects.


The ‘limbo condition’ has great impact on the male.  In fact, it has great influence on how the male perceives the female and whether they like them or not.  It tends to have these effects:

  • Frustration – a female is viewed something like a “bitch” or difficult or ugly, etc. . . . one you don’t want to know.
  • The ‘limbo condition’ – a pleasant loving female . . . one you want to know.

It’s no surprise that males tend to seek the female that has the ‘limbo condition’.  One reason for this, I believe, is that they are easier to get a long with (who wants to associate with a frustrated female?). 

But, like everything else, the ‘limbo condition’ has good and bad effects on the male.

Good effects

Some of these include these qualities:

  • They look attractive.
  • They appear receptive and approachable.
  • They are caring and loving.
  • They are sociable and easy to get along with.
  • They have a fragility which is often appealing to the male.
  • They appear “fresh” and young.

What we see is that it makes the female more appealing to the male and someone they want to associate with.  This may not be all that surprising.  As I said above, it is associated with childbearing . . . is it any wonder that it becomes a factor in determining who a males wants to marry and have children with?  In many ways, this just further shows its association with childbearing.

Bad effects

  • They appear stupid and dumb . . . an “airhead”.
  • They appear incompetent and unable to do anything.
  • There is a lack of trust in them, as if they are not dependable.
  • There is a tendency for the male to disregard or neglect the female.
  • They tend to look down on the female.

The bad effects primarily are a reflection of the sense of the absence of self that is perceived by the male.  In other words, the male can intuitively sense that there is an absence of self in the female.  I know that from personal experience and from observations of watching males.  The absence of self is particularly felt by the male because the male character, unlike the female, is based in a solid self.  When there is a sense that the self is lacking it is generally viewed in a very negative way by most males.  This is not only true for the female but also for males, or male behavior, that does not appear to display a self . . . in fact, it’s often more severe, as I’ve seen many times.  This is such a common trait in the male that I call it the ‘no-self contempt’.   That is to say, when a male perceives that someone (male or female) does not have a self, or behaves as if they have no self, then there is a reaction of contempt or in some other negative way.  This tendency makes it so that many males will often have an almost automatic ‘downcast’ glance toward the female because of the lack of self the ‘limbo condition’ creates.  This does not mean that the absence of self in the female is inherently bad but it shows that, for some males, the sense of self is very critical and powerful making the ‘no-self contempt’ very strong.

What all this shows is that, for the males, the ‘limbo condition’ can have good and bad effects, depending on how it appears.  It’s powerful that it can determine who a males wants to associate with.  From my experience I can see that it can make a male like or dislike a female.  What it shows is that the males generally tends to favor females with these qualities:

  • A non-frustrated female (without the menstrual elements of course). 
  • A female who displays the positive effects of the ‘limbo condition’.

This shows that males tend to go ‘one step further’ than the females.  Generally, females tend to primarily emphasize the avoidance of frustration (and its menstrual elements) and that’s the limit of their ‘training’ and behavior.  Males tend to seek that plus the positive effects of the ‘limbo condition’.  This fact is generally missed by many females.  This is, no doubt, because the male emphasis on the self adds a new ‘twist’ to the equation that the female is unaware of . . . the males emphasis on the self .  This tendency tends to automatically make the female lack of self look bad in some way.  This emphasis on the self is generally not noticed or cared about by the females.  As a result, it does not play in many females view of things.  Because of this, many females will ‘bounce around’, so to speak, trying to figure out why the male displays a contempt of them, which they never seem to figure out.


The ‘limbo condition’ is a unique character trait of the female and, like all character traits, it displays qualities such as these:

  • The ‘limbo condition’, in the right time and place, is one of the greatest strengths of the female.
  • At the same time, the ‘limbo condition’, in the wrong time and place, can be the greatest weakness of the female.
  • There are times when their character traits ‘matches’ and fits in with other people’s character traits . . . I primarily speak of the male character traits.
  • There are times when there is ‘mismatch’, confusion, or conflict with other people’s character traits . . . I speak of the male character traits in particular.

In effect, we see good and bad aspects, depending on conditions.  As a result, it can ‘make’ or ‘break’ a female.

The ‘limbo condition’ is also a reflection of a deep inner drive of the female and, in a way, is a major defining trait of the female character for that reason.  Many views of ‘being feminine’ are really reflections of the ‘limbo condition’.  Because of this, it is a very significant part of the female life, but its effects are also very significant for the male too.


Copyright by Mike Michelsen

This entry was posted in Male and female, Psychology and psychoanalysis and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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