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Stories about ourselves and the identities that define us

  • Broadcast in Psychology
Stories We Live By

Stories We Live By


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The self exists as experience, as observer, actor and the recipient of the actions of other selves. How identities are defined can control what actions we take, how we are treated by others and the very perceptions at the heart of the self. We are given a name, a family, a place in our community, tribe, religion, economic class, "race" and other aspects of social status. We eventually get defined morally, by others and ourselves, as either a good person or a bad, as worthy of respect, love or even our right to continue living. As a result of our moral definitions of identity our selves might become infused with pride, self love and respect or with guilt, shame, and self hatred. We can live honestly and openly or as individuals with ruined identities whose every moment is a performance to impress others as we try and hide who we really believe we are. The totality of our identities often determines the quality of the live we end up living.