How do you identify a Rose? By its fragrance? Color? Texture of thick petals? Or from its stem, thorns or leaves??
How do you identify a tiger – by looking at the tiger’s stripes as camouflage allowing them to closely stalk their prey, by looking at the tiger’s color, how white is the chest and belly, a vibrant reddish orange fur and with thick coat of skin and so on.
In this digital world, human beings are identified by their PII – Personally Identifiable Information.
Social Security Number, Credit Card Numbers, Driving License number are some of PII – Personally Identifiable Information. A person could be identified with any one of these in this world. These are designed to identify people and to restrict them fraudulent activities. These are digital identities which could assess a person from others. Identity is sometimes used to refer to a sense of integration of the self, in which different aspects come together in a unified whole.
The identification numbers change once they are lost. I go with wikipedia’s definition on identity- the distinctive characteristic belonging to any given individual, or shared by all members of a particular social category or group. Identity is not an identification. Identity is how we classify us from others.
What are the constituents of one’s psychological identity? A person’s mental model of him or herself, self esteem and individuality.
Family identification would define a person as a son or daughter or as a father or as a mother and so on. Social identification could be as a philanthropist, a social worker, as a professor, as a doctor and so on. Often we construct ourselves with “I am X” or “I am 50% X and 50% Y” or “I am not Z”. The sense of “I” determines everything- the personally identifiable information in us. Many people are blessed with a dualistic sense of “me”.
Some people live in this world with numerical identity which is quite different from qualitative identity. Qualitative identity is comprised of social identity and the psychological identity.
A socially intelligent person focuses on how his behavior impacts how he is perceived in the society. This is a subdivision of impression management techniques and we will discuss about that in the future posts. For example, a socially intelligent may be known to his professor as an effective speaker but he must engage in deliberate behaviors to create the same impression in the minds of others he is dealing with. He has to be self expressive for instrumental reasons, simply to be liked by others.
When it comes to psychological identity, I would connect that to the mind map of one’s self esteem and individuality. On several occasions a person loses his balance in adjusting these three. Social identity, personal identity and psychological identity.
People are hardly trying to superimpose what they have and what they do not have. Thanks to the social media. Posing oneself is considered as exhibitionism by several psychologists. Since the importance is given to the social identity, the balancing problem arises. Balancing social identity, personal identity and one’s psychological identity – the most important subdivision which decides the rest.
Best balance could be realized if we master in impression management. Impression management refers to the ways individuals seek to control the impressions they convey to other people, however, there are impressions given and impressions given off—the impression you believe that you are giving and the impression the other person has of you.
But I would say, balancing with own impression to oneself and impression to be exhibited is the challenging phase. Every individual has to face this importance phase and only few of us are able to balance in a better way and others are still – struggling !