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Many critics suggest that that personal identity is a concept that is highly negotiable. Simply, it is a way of expressing the aspects of an individual's self image which is presented to the world around us. Personal/self identity can easily be understood with reference to the social meaning of a person with meaning to represent our personality. Nonetheless, we are not unique in the manner in which we are created (Webb 1). This is brought forth by external influences that change our personalities rather than our genuine inspiration. As human beings, we are not free to construct an identity that we can easily present to those around us.
The main idea here is to agree or negotiate with others with reference to culture and the closeness of the society norms. For example, one might wonder the type of man or woman the society would allow in order for an individual to fit comfortably. Each one of us has a way of projecting his or her self-presentation which is done in diverse ways. Primarily, this paper seeks to discuss on self formation basing on the argument that personal identity is not a unique factor. In addition, this paper purposes to focus on personal identity being formed by the outside world rather than the genuine inspiration of a person.
Personal Identity being formed by outside influences rather than genuine inspiration
A simple definition of self image is that which revolves around the complete subjective perception or insight of a person. This covers an individual's body image, one's personality impressions as well as capabilities. The view point of most psychologists is that the self image of an individual creates his or her mental picture. The measurable quantities of an individual's mental picture might cover two significant perspectives (Webb 1). These are genetic attributes that remain the same from the time of birth and those genetic attributes that encounter changes as an individual develops growth. The other most relevant change in modern world is that of acquired materials which result to physical body enhancement on top of image.
Personal characteristics of various ranges accompany the factor of being exceptional. These are qualities that create an impact on how people view themselves, the response of others towards them as well as how well they can express their realized talents. Personal qualities may revolve around aspects such as the need of moving easily from one recreation or points of interest to another (Sigelman 270). This process encompasses characteristics such as scattered self critical labeling experiencing unexpected excitability, relentless curiosity, emotional reactivity and high levels of energy. Relatively, people use their full intellectual capabilities with respect to their talent domain in order to find a more ultimate and comfortable life path.
A good example of personal identity formed by outside influences is brought out in the movie "Face Off." In this movie scenario, starring Nicolas Cage and John Travolta, both parties assume the roles and physical appearance of each other in order to accomplish their goals. John Travolta who is the FBI is forced to go into an undercover operation in place of Nicolas Cage with an aim of getting the entire terrorist's information. The scene is composed of an action sequence of heroic bloodshed after each actor took in place two personalities. Out of this movie, it is evident that people take different forms and personalities in order to fit into the society equally (Webb 1). As a result, it becomes easy to accomplish and mingle freely with the rest of the society. This movie has captured the views of many concerning real world happenings. In our case, the actors and producers of the movie managed to bring out how outside influences greatly affect one's personal identity in order to accomplish something or fit into the society.
In another case, androgyny is a giftedness identity aspect that was developed by a psychologist from Stanford University which focuses on masculinity and femininity (Baron 143). The psychologist's main concern on this concept was not on the single continuums opposite poles for both gender's but rather the existence of parallel traits. A person termed as androgynous experiences high masculine traits and feminine trait levels. According to Sandra Bem, one of the psychologists of Stanford University, gender polarization can cause great destruction to both the society and to an individual (Webb 1). She made remarks in her book Revolution from Within that often, women become more androgynous than men. Creativity studies emphasize on the point of higher degrees of self-esteem and androgyny for creative people.
Personal identity can be complex and difficult to understand. It is multidimensional and consists of components that define who an individual is. Psychologists points of analysis on personal identity is that it is when an individual considers himself as being unique including an ethnic identity (Baron 150). This feature makes it possible for one to distinguish herself or himself from the rest of the people. Identity's etymology is one area that handles matters of one's nature and not those of an individual's experiences. Within the comparative world, what happens affects greatly what an individual becomes.
This is a clear indication that personal identity can easily be altered by environmental and societal happenings (Sigelman 272). Experiences that happen to people may lead to change in behavior and character traits. Over time, people adapt to their environment causing change of definitive characteristics to an individual. In short, one can view personal identity as a feature that acts and reacts when invoked and continues with the same trend until the last breath of an individual. Ideally, the personal identity establishes a pattern that helps one deal with life comfortably. This is what we refer to as a natural self.
On the centrally, environmental self is an identity that is acquired and changes continuously from the time one is born to the time of death. Majorly, the continuous change in physical and mental growth relates to that of the immediate environment. What is more is that these changes are also related with the society (Webb 1). This creates a framework consisting of concepts or qualities as well as concretes or quantities that develop characteristics that have power towards change. Every experience encountered by an individual brings an effect either to those around us or to the person himself. In such cases, it is possible for an individual to notice such changes and in other occasions it is not easily noticed. Awareness of such effects brings forth judgment of an individual as an interpretation of the experience.
The need of creating self identity takes several facets for one to become a member of a group. Personal identity comes as a result of a chain of related steps within a specified time period. On the other hand, personal concepts cover all qualities present in an individual which are not acquired by measurement but by estimates. Such qualities may involve the accomplishments of a person. The environment around us plays a major role in modeling our characteristics especially the society at large. From the context of this discussion, it is evident that the character of a person defines his or her personal identity with respect to the external environment.