Personality Development

Psychological Identity and Identity Crisis

The loss of the psychological identity loss

David is a pleased and successful person. He earns a big salary, His wife loves him, and he has accomplished most of what he wanted to achieve in life. Everything in David’s life was perfect, and this was reflected in the way he walks, talks, and a confident attitude.

One day while he was happily driving back his way home, he received a phone call from his wife, who told him, “David, I don’t want you in my life anymore. I know that this is a surprise for you, but it’s my final decision.”

David’s wife hung up, and he suddenly felt worthless. He felt that all of his confidence and happiness had been lost. Ever since that day, David became an unhappy, desperate, and bad-tempered person.

What happened to David? What happened to his confident and strong character?
What happened is that his wife’s call made him lose his psychological identity.

What is a psychological identity?

Identity or psychological identity is your capacity for self-reflection and awareness. People usually acquire their identities through the tasks they do and the objects they identify themselves with. For example, if you asked someone, “who are you?” He replied, “I am the restaurant’s chef, “This person identifies himself with his job and thinks of himself as the chef instead of Robin or Tom.

Here are some examples of people identifying with other objects or other people in life:

Identity with a person: Children who try to imitate their parents and dress like them are doing so because they attempt to identify with their parents.

Identifying with a job: A person who proudly speaks of his profession and answers the question of “Who are you?” with his job’s title is a person who is identifying himself with his job.

Identifying with an object: A person who proudly drives his big car may be identifying with his car. He shows that he is rich but because he thinks of himself as the “Expensive Car Owner.” This is usually the same person you will find him walking with his head down when he suffers from the financial crisis that forces him to replace his car with a smaller one. This happens because he identified himself with his car, and so when the car was gone, he found himself with no psychological identity. He used to be the “Expensive Car Owner,” now he is nothing.

David’s psychological identity

Now let’s go back to David. David identified himself as the “successful person” who has a great career and a loving wife. If you asked David, “who are you?” he might have replied saying, “I am David, the successful engineer.”

So what was David’s problem, and why did his self-confidence desert him? David’s problem was that he identified with a mortal object, namely, success, so as soon as the object was lost, he lost his psychological identity and felt worthless.

Psychological identity Crisis

Identity Crisis is a psychological term that describes someone who’s in the constant state of searching for his identity. The identity crisis doesn’t refer to the real crisis, but it just describes a normal personality development stage. Now the real problem happens when the person fails to find a suitable identity and a fragile one.

As soon as the person who didn’t find the right Psychological identity faces a big life challenge, he will usually lose this fragile identity and search for a new one. Haven’t you ever met a person who always seems to be trying new roles over and over without adhering to any of them?

This is usually the behavior of a person who is suffering from an identity crisis. Identity crisis can give a powerful blow to your self-confidence and your self-image, and that’s why building a solid identity is something that can make you more confident and more solid when you face life challenges.

Some people even go a step further and identify themselves with their relationship partners to the extent that they fail to get over them just because of the fear of losing their identity. You can get over this problem by announcing the breakup as soon as it happens so that you help yourself develop the new identity quickly.

How to avoid a psychological identity crisis?

As you saw in David’s story identifying with a mortal object (his success in professional and family life) resulted in losing his identity when he lost that object.

David should have identified himself with his skills and abilities instead of identifying himself with his achievements because even if he lost his achievements, his abilities and skills wouldn’t go. After all, it’s his abilities and skills that made him succeed, and by identifying with them, he will be able to protect his self-worth better.

If David identified himself as “a persistent, intelligent and strong person,” he wouldn’t have faced an identity crisis at all.

One of the perfect things that you could do is to identify yourself with God!!!

“Who are you, sir?”…“I am God’s Servant.” Can anybody lose this identity? No, it’s the most solid identity that someone can ever acquire because, in this case, the person is identifying himself with an immortal… God himself!!! People who identify themselves with God tend to feel more worthy because they believe that if they were not that important, then God would not have created them.

Religion and Identity

What’s so bad is that some people get involved in new things just because they are trying to find an identity. For instance, some people try to get into religion to identify themselves as religious people or preachers.

Of course, I am in no position to say whether God wants those people or not, but what I can say is that the people who learned about religion because they found solid facts for creation such as these are much better than those who got into a religion such because they want an identity.

Identifying with Objects

Some people go further and identify themselves with precious objects and even places. For example, when someone creates a group on Facebook, “I love Starbucks,” then make sure that he is trying to identify with that place because it makes him feel more worthy.

This doesn’t mean that all people who join online groups want to seek an identity, but of course, some of them did it for that reason.

Final Words about psychological Identity

The more you make your psychological identity dependent on your job, wealth, friend’s love, or any external object, the more likely you will lose this identity when you lose that external object.

On the other hand, the more you make your identity dependent on a constant, the less likely you will suffer from a psychological identity crisis.

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