Having a stable sense of identity | INFJ Forum

Having a stable sense of identity

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by barbad0s, Jun 18, 2013.

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  1. barbad0s

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    What's that like?

    Do you think it's necessary? Is it something that necessarily always develops in each individual, even if it may take more time for some?
     
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  2. floatingbridge

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    I'm interpreting stable as being comfortable with who you are.

    No it's not necessary to be comfortable with who you are, if you relatively aren't... that's... unfortunate.

    I think the general hypothesis is most find "themselves" after young adulthood. Generally, people don't change that much or as dramatically after 30?

    That said, some people are comfortable with being chameleons to the circumstance. Me, being one =3
     
  3. OP
    barbad0s

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    Being comfortable with who you are is a part of it, but I was mostly thinking of stability in the sense of having a personality and self-identity that is relatively unchanging.

    Yeah, that's what I've read as well and the experiences I've heard people describe seem to generally support that. So what I'm curious about is the details of how one goes about this process, how much deviation there is from this alleged trend, and how necessary it is as a part of a person's development.

    That's good, as long as you are comfortable and it's working for you. : ) I wonder if very many people feel the same. Do you think this state of being a chameleon will change over time and you will become more solidified?
     
  4. SealHammer

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    I often find that trying to reconcile a solid sense of identity in relation to the world around me makes me want to kiss the front end of a shotgun. Incidentally, I often find myself wanting to kiss the front end of a shotgun.

    Some people are capable of functioning without thinking about it. Others think about it too much and hurt themselves. Others still will certainly manage to reconcile their self-image with their environment. No, I don't think it's necessary, depending on the person. I do definitely believe, however, that some people will benefit greatly from that act of turning in and really digging deep to figure out parts of themselves they bury, and will get something positive out of stepping back and getting a solid grip on who and what they are in their world. If one truly has a "stable sense of identity" (which sounds as much an ideal as any) then it is going to be a formidable character strength; a person who knows, with conviction, who they are has the ability to be unerringly constant to their own beliefs, among other things.

    As to whether it's a necessary development, I'm sure if you gave everyone an infinite amount of time to live, they'd all eventually solidify into a pretty consistent pattern of thought and behavior. I wouldn't say that makes it necessary, though. Inevitable, perhaps, but not necessary.
     
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  5. floatingbridge

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    No I will always strive to be a chameleon in some sense because my own perpetual embarkment on conscious self-development. That doesn't mean I will always get better, improving oneself in some areas will lead to fault in others...

    I envisage myself an old woman still with the odd surprise in personality every now and then... I do see myself developing longer-term friends, and I guess a second-person perspective is only important in terms of identity "solidifying". i.e. People I know will generally get used to these surprises and know them as me.
     
  6. TinyBubbles

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    totally necessary, perhaps fundamental to a functional & happy life. enlightenment would necessarily come after the development of a stable identity, me thinks.

    does it always develop? no. i think psychotic illnesses and multiple personalities are evidence of that.
     
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  7. Bikerdelic

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    Identity in anyone's life evolves fluxes and changes, as young children change into teenagers, then young adults, becoming sometimes parents, whilst also becoming someone's partner, all are changes which helps evolve our identities, not to mention ones passions or careers or life experiences. So no identity is really fixed, and if it is, then this can cause problems for the person in adapting to different and changing circumstances and environments that we can find ourselves living in as we grow older.
    So in another way of saying, one must allow oneself to evolve as we travel upon the road of life, anything else would lead to stagnancy and sorrowfully mourning past moments of life instead of living in the present moment. Well that my take on things concerning identity.
     
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    barbad0s

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    Why?
     
  9. Paladin-X

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    How do you define "sense of identity?"
     
  10. bionic

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    1. It's understanding who you are, which also means understanding your limitations, strengths, weaknesses, what you want, what you need, what you need to progress on, etc. It's a continual process. You can't just wake up one day and know who you are. You need to learn by experience and contemplation.

    I know who I am. I know the kind of personality that I have and how I fit into (and don't fit into) the world. Then of course, I know what I need to work on and what I'm really good at. It's taken a long time to get here but it's just the process of growing up. Most of all, I've learned the consequence of my choices. Those lessons cannot be taught in a stupid book.

    2. Yeah, I think it's a necessary piece of growth. If you don't know who you are, you are more susceptible to being taken advantage of by others or to have others make decisions for you. It's necessary in life to take responsibility of yourself... and that means understanding you.

    3. Yeah, it develops in each individual: whether they like it or not. But I wouldn't say that everyone's identity will be stable. If anything, everyone develops a sense of self, but it can be stable or unstable depending on their current situation. Like an alcoholic has their own identity but they're obviously not stable and making good choices for themselves.
     
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  11. CindyLou

    CindyLou Get over it

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    I agree. I'm not sure if we are talking about a stable sense of self or a stable identity. It is absolutely necessary to have a stable sense of self to be happy and function properly but it's not necessarily necessary because there are many people without it.

    I'm not sure everyone needs to have a stable "identity" to be happy and function. I would say no. Someone's identity isn't really...real IMO. The self is real.

    I don't think either self or identity necessarily develop in each individual, either.
     
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  12. Odyne

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    I think personality does not change. It evolves. Cut from the same cloth, but colors are changing with the seasons. They have to, otherwise it would be hard to adapt to new situations and you'd be causing yourself distress. So in a way, there is no stable sense of identity.

    However, I think there are fundamental aspects of oneself that will never change. I feel that sometimes our "story" in this life and our perspectives revolve around those aspects that are core to who we are. Other aspects are adaptive and necessarily so to increase our chances of survival in this world. Maybe the former drives the evolution of the latter. We grow up, we mature, yet we still distantly feel the child that we once were.

    All this is to say that if by "stable sense of identity" you mean carrying out the same personality and exhibiting the exact same behaviors, then I don't think this is possible, and if it was, it would not be healthy. But if you mean know who you are and what your essence as a person is, then yes, it is possible, but I think it comes with age and experience. And that would definitely require time for it happen, like you said.

    To answer the question of what it feels like; having a stable sense of identity inspires confidence and strength when life is treating you well. And it inspires hope and faith in yourself when things get difficult and doubt fills up your thoughts. Becoming familiar with who you are as a person and what makes you tick and how you operate can definitely provide a sense of security and trust within, especially when your only company happens to be yourself.

    On a related note, Identity can not be described with words, I don't think. No matter how much we try, there isn't enough vocabulary to describe such complexity. I would say Identity is an intimate feeling about one's self. A kind of awareness that is developed only through life experience. If one ever wishes to gain insight on what their identity could possibly be, I would say it is that one "common theme" that is present in every chapter of a their story.
     
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  13. JGirl

    JGirl no chocolate flavored gum? wow

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    i can finally say, at 53 yrs old, i have achieved what i consider to be a stable sense of identity. in my opinion it's not always about liking or being comfortable with it either - it's being aware of what and who you are regardless. knowing your self.
    i do think it's necessary if you want to improve yourself you need to first understand who you are presently.
    no i don't think it just naturally develops in all people, i think it's affected and shaped by our life experiences. if you're wondering about it chances are you're on the road to discovering it.
    good journey, niffer
     
  14. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    I've realized that I don't have, want, nor need one of those and I've never been better.

    Ironically though, I'm more settled and stable through not trying to achieve identity. I take a bit from Taoism in that regard. Less and less is done until one reaches non-action. When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.

    Or put it this way. I'm a part of nature like everything else and I'm going to be what I am regardless so probably the less I worry about it and interfere with it, the better.
     
    #14 sprinkles, Jun 22, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  15. Sensiko

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    i think it's more about the journey of learning the lessons that will free you from coming back to this world again... each lesson learned gives you more of your purpose... which shapes how you perceive yourself... and your relationship to your reality... which is constantly evolving...

    a few lessons i've learned:
    *you cannot make people love you, let them go
    *money cannot make you happy
    *be grateful for your suffering
     
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  16. TinyBubbles

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    i think because identity forms around a sense of lack, without a stable identity, that original perception would be impossible to move beyond. it would be like trying to climb stairs made of sand.
     
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  17. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Personally I don't believe that is the case. You can understand your self like you understand baking a cake.

    I don't consider self understanding to be identity though. Continuing with the cake analogy, identity would be one specific cake which you can only bake once without being able to apply the principles to other cakes - it misses the underlying understanding that baking is not just for this cake alone - the ability to understand general baking allows you to learn many cakes, comparable to many states of being as anyone is always in flux and not completely static.

    We aren't one cake.
     
  18. TinyBubbles

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    The fluidness of reality is exactly what I am talking about, we aren't one 'cake'. But without that original point of reference, how would you know? I think you need to believe the lie before you can transcend it, so to speak. It's an anchor, if only a false one, it's like a mirage in the desert that keeps you moving towards it, in the hope of finding water. You wouldn't find it, but without it you would not move at all. motion in this sense is what constitutes identity.
     
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  19. sprinkles

    sprinkles Well-known member

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    Interesting way of looking at it. I think you're right, generally.
     
  20. ThisIsWhoIAm

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    I think a stable sense of identity is mostly for boring people with very grey lives.

    If you run in a circle you have that.

    On the other hand, if your life is more like a spiral, you develop yourself and continue having meaningful experiences, and you continue to change.
    As reality is ever changing, so is the person who seeks truth.

    What is stable in my life though, is the core of my moral values.
     
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