Who am I: the Impact of Self-Perception and Actions on Identity

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“Alright, everyone, let’s go around in a circle; just share your name, age, and one fun fact about you so we can get to know each other.” What is my fun fact? A terrifying question. How could I possibly sum up my entire existence into one single fun fact? I’ve always been told first impressions are incredibly important, so that means this fun fact will leave a lasting impact on the rest of the circle, right?

The Dilemma of Self-Definition: “Who Am I?”

We’ve all been in this situation.

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Small talk is an inevitable side effect of making new friends. Here are some even scarier questions: What makes you special? What are your talents? What makes you you?

Look, I’m not double-jointed. I can’t juggle three tennis balls at once. I can’t ride a bike with no handlebars. I’m just me. Don’t get me wrong; I’m an interesting guy. I’m just average at many different things. I’m fascinated by history, but I couldn’t quite name all the U.S. presidents in order. I thoroughly enjoy music but have never gotten around to crafting a perfect melody. So who am I if there’s nothing outstanding about me?

For a long time, I struggled to understand why this was something I spent so much time thinking about. It was all-indulging. How could I even begin to get to understand people beyond the surface level if I can’t even come up with one good fun fact about myself? I thought I needed to have a specific persona to identify by. Until something happened that helped me realize I don’t have to.

A Role as a Peacemaker: The Impact of Family on Identity

My mother has anxiety; my father has bipolar disorder. My sister is diagnosed with both. I guess she got the short end of the stick on that one. I don’t mean to brag, but at a summer camp I attended in fifth grade, I got a tiny plastic medal for the “Most Chill” superlative. And this is true within my family as well. I spend lots of time trying to soothe tensions that often arise within my family. I love them all very much, and it pains me to see them fight all the time. I’m no therapist; I just naturally assume the role of peacemaker. Someone has to.

One night in October two years ago, my sister was facing the ultimate test of adolescence, also known as the college application process. She would have breakdowns every now and then about her friends, school, sports, or any other source of stress in her life. It would be natural for her to get into emotionally violent confrontations with my parents. And this time was no different.
After all the yelling and door-slamming had subdued me, I walked into my mother’s room to try and console her. Before I even got to say anything, she gave me a simple “Thank you.”
“For what?” I said.
“For being you.”

Such a simple conversation has had a huge impact on my personality ever since. I had never realized that my presence had that much of an impact on her. Telling her everything was going to be okay was just a habit. But I guess that’s who I am.

Conclusion: Discovering the Authentic Self

I’m more aware of my actions now and how they shape what people think of me. Way back in fifth grade, the person I displayed on the outside came across as being “chill.” So that’s why I try to be the best possible version of myself, because what we do shapes who we are. No palm reading, horoscope, or Buzzfeed quiz will tell you who you are. Just awareness of how your actions come across to other people. I guess next time I end up in an icebreaker circle, I’ll just crack some joke that makes me seem cool and approachable. After all, maybe telling people I got a medal for being “Most Chill” is a good way to start.


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Who Am I: The Impact of Self-Perception and Actions on Identity. (2023, Aug 01). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/who-am-i-the-impact-of-self-perception-and-actions-on-identity/