T Theres a comfort in staying the patient It seems to be the only choice

T theres a comfort in staying the patient it seems to

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T:There’s a comfort in staying “the patient.” It seems to be the only choicesometimes. To give that up means to throw yourself into this abyss you see—theunknown—and that’s pretty frightening right now.C:Hell, yes, it’s scary. I mean, what else can I be? Who the hell am I?T:That’s an interesting question. How the hell do people decide who they are?C:I’d like to know.T:What do you think? How does it seem that people decide who they are? Whatgoes into it? Take a guess or two.C:I don’t know. Hell. My daughter, when she talks about herself, she talks abouther job.T:So a person might define herself by her occupation, what she does. That makessense: people define themselves by their jobs, their hobbies, the things they dofor enjoyment, all sorts of other things. The things they do defines them, tellsthem who they are. What else?C:Things they stand for, or believe in. Like politics or religion, but I think both area bunch of shit, pardon my French. I couldn’t get involved in either and feelgood. Or real.T:Still, you make a good point. Politics, religion, groups they’re involved with.Gosh, there has to be a lot of ways people stand for things. But it makes sense.If you ask someone who they are, a lot of people might define themselves as themember of a political party, a religion, a social group, a club member, whatever.So it sounds like both what people do to fill their days—activities, work—andwhat groups they belong to—political, religious—are part of what makes themwho they are, who they see themselves as being. Their identities. What besidesthose? What besides activities and groups?C:People. Like people you know. My son tells me who he is a lot because of what120KnightThis document is copyrighted by the American Psychological Association or one of its allied publishers.This article is intended solely for the personal use of the individual user and is not to be disseminated broadly.
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I tell him he is, not that it’s always good. And I guess my parents told me a lotabout who I am. My dad always wanted a boy and I’d lay in bed at night andhope that I’d wake up as a boy, that I’d be what he seemed to want me to be.T:Great point! People either tell us who we are, or maybe at times the ways theytreat us tell us who we are. And it’s not always good, but are still the buildingblocks we use to build an identity. Relationships of all kinds help us decide whowe are, whether they’re relationships with bosses or friends or family or maybeeven just people we encounter. I mean, if we’re nice to a sales clerk and he tellsus we’re nice, we’re a little more likely to think of ourselves as nice people,which is a part of our identity.C:Yeah, I guess.T:So our identities, our sense of ourselves, is a lot about who people tell us weare—our relationships—what our favorite activities are, or our jobs, the groupswe identify with, the things we stand for. Our values, our beliefs, our dreamseven. Probably a lot of other things. All the things inside and outside ourselves
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