Does choice define identity?

Does choice define identity?

Identity is shaped in part by choice, but it is not defined by it. Identity is formed by a variety of things, not only the decisions we make. Our beliefs shape who we are. Our feelings about ourselves and others contribute to our sense of self. The events that happen to us influence how we see ourselves and our place in the world.

Choice is one of the most important factors in forming a unique identity. We choose what skills to learn, what friends to hang out with, what college to attend--all of these things affect who we are. However some people make choices that hurt their identity because they believe those choices will make them happier or meet their needs better. For example, if you choose to drink alcohol to cope with stress then you're telling yourself that you aren't capable of handling serious problems without using alcohol to escape them. This may be true, but it doesn't make drinking any less harmful to your identity.

The more we know ourselves and the values that matter to us, the easier it is to make good choices that don't betray our identity.

Do we have a choice in our identity?

Individuals are a complicated jumble of interacting traits. Identity is the result of a decision between these features. It is, in reality, a plethora of little decisions concerning qualities and actions that aggregate into our senses and provide the illusion of a singular, developed, and cohesive identity. Indeed, there are cases where an individual may be identified by several different trait combinations. For example, an infamous serial killer may be known as "The Freeway Killer" due to a popular image of him on the side of the road with a gun; however, another photographer captured a photo of him at a different time with a family album showing multiple identities. This offender was also identified as "The Alphabet Murderer" due to the fact that he used each letter of the alphabet as a nickname for himself (A=Arthur, B=Beatrice, etc.).

Thus, it can be argued that we do not have a single identity but rather a multitude of them. We develop ourselves by choosing which traits to exhibit and which ones to hide. Some people may even create new identities for themselves by inventing occupations or characters who need not necessarily exist in real life. Of course, this does not mean that we are free to choose our own personality. The social environment plays a huge role in determining what traits are favored and which are not. For example, someone who is perceived as aggressive will be discouraged from exhibiting this quality, while someone quiet and unassuming will be seen as such.

How do decisions affect your identity?

Certain behaviors, even though they seem random, have an impact on our identity. We don't have our identity at stake when we are presented with a decision and don't have a firm stance on which side to pick. In the framework of this ruling, it does not exist. The choices we make are haphazard. When we choose between two options randomly, we are making our identity volatile. Our identity is only stable when we decide for one option over another.

Decisions influence our identity in two ways: by determining what kind of person we are and by informing what kind of people see us. If I decide to be honest or dishonest, that will determine what kind of person I am. If my friend decides to be honest or dishonest, that will also determine what kind of person he or she is. Identity is not just about who we are but also about how others perceive us. What kind of friends we have influences how our identity is viewed by others.

Our decisions shape who we are. They can either define us or destroy us. There are those who suffer from decision-fatalism, meaning that no matter what they do or don't do, they cannot change their fate. Others may feel like they have some control over their destiny but in reality, they aren't able to change anything important. Still others realize that they do have the power to alter their future by deciding what kind of person they will be. Either way, decisions influence our identity.

About Article Author

Mark Rutledge

Mark Rutledge is a Lieutenant in the Police department. He supervises a team of police sergeants and other law enforcement support staff, who are responsible for officer assignments, patrol operations, and various specialized units.

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