Identity is an essential and inevitable component of all of our lives. Our actions shape our identities, and our identities shape our actions. Trying to pretend that your identity is unimportant may make you feel better about yourself, but it will have no effect on how others see you or how their perceptions impact their behavior. Understanding this basic fact about human nature helps us to understand some of the challenges that people face in their attempts to change their behaviors and habits.
For example, if someone tries to convince you that she doesn't care what you think of her because she knows that you can't help judging people, then you know that you're dealing with a person who is very concerned about how she is seen by others.
Similarly, if someone tells you that she doesn't care what you think of her because you'll never know her true self, then you know that she's not really interested in changing herself for you. She just wants you to like her so that she can be part of the group.
Our behaviors reflect who we are, and our identities are shaped by how others perceive us. Therefore, changing one means changing the other. If you want people to stop judging you, then stop acting like they shouldn't judge you; if you want them to like you, then let them see you as a person rather than as a stereotype. Identity is an important factor in determining how people react to you.
A person's or thing's identity is who or what they are. Your identity is how you describe yourself, as well as how others define you (and these definitions are often not the same). That is why we talk about self-esteem and may not realize how vital it is to our health and well-being. Without an understanding of one's identity, it can be difficult to move forward in life.
Identity is very important because without knowing who you are you cannot live up to your potential or achieve your goals. You also cannot change your identity so that you can fit into someone else's idea of a good person. Rather, you need to work on yourself so that you can become the kind of person you want to be.
Identity is also critical because without knowing where you come from or what you stand for it can be hard to know how to act or react in certain situations. For example, if you don't know if you are American or British, it can be difficult to decide what role you should play during a diplomatic incident.
At its core, identity is about acceptance and respect. We need to accept who we are and respect other people's opinions about us before we can get along with others.
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 definitions of identity arise through these encounters.
People identify themselves by their names, labels, positions, roles, and relationships with others. These things are often called "identity markers." Names are the most obvious example of this; everyone knows what name someone calls them by. Labels are words or phrases used to describe groups of people, such as "young adult" or "African American." Positions refer to places in society where people find themselves: teacher, student, soldier, civilian. Roles are descriptions of specific activities that people may be required to perform: son or daughter, husband or wife. Relationships are connections that exist between individuals or groups: friend, enemy. People establish these connections by experience, observation, and conversation.
In philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychology, and political science, the term "identity" refers to the unique set of characteristics or traits that make up an individual's personal identity. Personal identity is the entity known as "I" who experiences events and interacts with others over time. It is the person behind any given behavior, such as speaking or eating.
The features, beliefs, personality, appearance, and/or expressions that characterize a person (self-identification as defined by psychology) or group are referred to as identity ([collective identity] no as defined by sociology). Identity awareness and naming can be viewed as either beneficial or negative. Positive attributes such as self-esteem, confidence, and pride can result from recognizing and being aware of one's identities whereas negative attributes such as shame, embarrassment, and guilt can result from forgetting one's identities.
In history, philosophy, and literature, identity refers to the unique characteristics or qualities that make an individual or thing distinct. In science, identity refers to the fact that two identical objects cannot be identical with respect to all properties at once; therefore, they are not equal. Identity has several meanings in mathematics. It may refer to a single element of a set, in which case it is said to be a unit of the set. Alternatively, it may refer to the whole set itself. Finally, it may also refer to the inverse of something else called a "bijective function". These three types of identity will be discussed further below.
Identity has many applications in society. For example, individuals have different roles based on their identities (i.e., who they say they are), which enables them to take advantage of certain opportunities.