Our sense of identity can never be constant
Identity and belonging are inter-related; they go like peas in a pod. The groups we choose to belong to and the ways we connect with others help to form our own identity. Together, these issues go to the heart of who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. One human quality that we all share, despite our individual identities, is the need to belong. It is a paradox that we long to be free, to be who we truly are and yet we yearn to belong to some kind of community. There is no real obligation to belong to one group, you can belong to many, that is, an individual is not bound or obliged to belong to one group, they can belong to many which can create multiple identities for the individual, thus our sense of identity can never be constant. Belonging to a loving family, group of supportive friends and/or peers nurture us and help us to develop our own sense of self. However, the cost of belonging can be substantial. Families, for example, may have expectations of us that conflict with our own ambitions. Groups may demand unquestioning obedience and conformity. It is painful to be an outsider but there is often a price to pay for belonging. It can be difficult to balance these conflicting impulses, to be both independently ourselves and to belong to a wider community.
Identity is who we are and what our beliefs and values are. Our identity helps others to know more about us, helps them to perceive us as an individual rather than judging us on the basis of the groups that we belong to or the people we interact with. In spite of this, Belonging to a group requires various forms of change in a person’s identity, which in turn leave the individual with multiple or inconsistent identities. We realize that if it had not been for the existence of the people who are around us, we probably would have not turned out the way we are. Friends and peers have a positive or negative influence. We tend to hide a part of......
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