Instead of accepting our identities as they are, we may take control of what they will become. Identity is something that is self-validating by nature. We frequently reflect on events in our life that demonstrate to us that we are a certain way. We also come to conclusions about ourselves based on these reflections. For example, if I think of a time when I made a mistake that caused me to feel bad about myself, I can assume that I am a bad person because this has happened more than once.
Our culture also has a lot to do with how we see ourselves. If people around us tell us that we're attractive or smart, we tend to believe them. But if they call us ugly or stupid, then this perception becomes our identity.
Our identity is also influenced by our past experiences. If you grow up in an environment where your family doesn't understand when you want to stay home from school, then you are likely to accept going to school as part of your identity. But if everyone in your family loves being at school all day, then you might decide not to go even if you want to.
Your identity is also defined by many other things such as the values you were taught as a child, what job you did last week, etc. All of these factors combine to create your total picture of yourself.
Identity is a concept that has been socially and historically formed. We learn about our own and other people's identities via encounters with family, peers, organizations, institutions, the media, and other connections we make in our daily lives. Social norms, traditions, and values influence how we define each other's identities.
People often use words like "constructed" or "created" when talking about identities. They mean that different things can change what someone calls their identity include new relationships forming or breaking, changes to parts of their personality, and more. People create and destroy identities all the time - sometimes intentionally, sometimes not - so this phenomenon isn't surprising.
In its most basic sense, an identity is a label that identifies a specific person or thing. This label may be used to describe someone or something as unique or special. A student who studies hard and participates on her school's tennis team would have two separate identities: one for being a student and another for being on the tennis team. In contrast, someone who is identified as just a student would not have a separate identity for being on the tennis team.
People usually have many identities. For example, a person might be called by their first name at home but by their last name at work, which means they have two separate identities: one at home and another at work.
Identity is developed through a process of investigating possibilities or choices and committing to one based on the results of their investigation. Identity confusion can emerge from a lack of a well-developed sense of identity. For example, if someone has no clear idea who they are, they may try out different roles or positions within society without making any commitment to any of them. Alternatively, if someone does have a clear sense of who they are, but then finds themselves confronted with many similar options each time they make a choice or take a action, they might be forced to investigate themselves further which could lead to change or development of their identity.
Identity formation involves exploring your values and beliefs about yourself and others, and making decisions about which ones you want to act upon and which ones you want to let go of. For example, if someone believes that people will always respect them if they work hard, they don't need to develop their identity by trying to get more respected jobs. However, if they believe that only certain types of people are allowed to play football, they should look into this belief by researching other people's opinions of them before deciding what role they want to commit to.
You form your identity not just in your everyday life but especially in times of crisis or difficulty.
Do you already need a definition? Try this: our identity is a constant interplay of character characteristics, beliefs, quirks, and conduct that we exhibit while engaging with other people, but also when interacting with ourselves or with material, practical, and psychological issues.
That's rather abstract, but it helps to understand that who we are depends on how we act under pressure from others or even from within ourselves. Our behavior defines who we are, and because we can't see inside someone else's head, we have to judge what they do by their actions. A person who steals because they have no food for themselves or their family is telling us that they feel insecure about their place in life, which tells us that they are capable of being generous too if given the chance. The same person who abuses another human being physically or verbally is telling us that they don't care about others, which means that they cannot be trusted.
Our identity is not something fixed; it changes over time as we develop new skills or lose some of our abilities. For example, when I was younger, my identity used to be centered around sports; if I wasn't playing soccer or basketball, then I was involved in some other sport. As I've gotten older, that has changed; now my identity is based on my work as a software engineer and my desire to help others through education and charity.
Identity, according to Hecht (2009), is a social process established via the everyday social contact and communication of humans, who are intrinsically social beings. It is vital to highlight that identity development is not just influenced by personal variables. Social factors such as culture and class also play an important role in determining one's identity.
Furthermore, according to Hecht (2009), the meaning we give to our experiences determines how we think about ourselves and our place in the world. For example, if someone has been told their body is wrong or bad, they may start to believe it and feel inadequate, which can have an impact on their sense of self-esteem. This shows how experience, thought, and emotion work together to form our identity.
Identity development involves exploring oneself through one's thoughts, feelings, and actions. This means deciding what kind of person you want to be, understanding your strengths and weaknesses, and learning from your mistakes. It is also important to note that others can influence this process by what they say and do. For example, if someone keeps telling you you're stupid, then it will likely affect how you think about yourself and your abilities.
Hecht (2009) states that identity development occurs in stages. Initially, people try to fit in by following the rules of others.