Identity is what one identifies own self with. Its who one is, who one relates to. As per Merriam-Webster, identity is the distinguishing character or personality of an individual. Identity is also referred to as INDIVIDUALITY. Identities get set right from childhood. As small as a concept of being a male or female starts coming into shape right from age 2. The child is made to believe that he or she is a particular gender and should dress up accordingly. Even thought the child has no detailed concepts at that age, yet he or she is made to aware that there is something different.
Obviously with growing years one get more stuff that form his / her identity, in terms of preferences and concepts of right and wrong, values, aspirations, life goals etc.
People start relating to certain sects, cultures, groups which they find similar to their identities. A very common example is the way an individual makes friends. It’s a old saying, ‘birds of same feather flock together’.
One relates to those who think closely to how the person thinks. Of course there cant be an exact replica of one’s identity, but the degree of similarity of identity is quite high amongst friends and groups.
Now Relationships go through their own phases of maturity. The first stage is when people come together and relate to each other on the basis of various factors of their identity example gender, age, religion, hobbies etc. the second stage of relationship is where they discover differentness in each other’s identity (which is inevitable). The result is frustration. People get frustrated because they are not able to handle the differentness. And this leads to the next stage which is critical for the survival of any relationship. In this stage either people after some frustration come into acceptance of the differentness in each other’s identity. Infact any relationship can be actively and consciously created at this stage. When the differentness in identity or individuality is not accepted consciously then the relationships break apart. This calls for a lot of maturity and dependencies though. And those relationships which survive the stage of acceptance of individual identities, become stable and last forever.
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