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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

To be truthful is it plausible some people are clueless to what their true identity is?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26821points) November 9th, 2014

Some of the things said of identity are:

1. The state or fact of remaining the same one or ones, as under varying aspects or conditions.
2. The condition of being oneself or itself, and not another.
3. Condition or character as to who a person or what a thing is.
4. The state or fact of being the same one as described.
5. The sense of self, providing sameness and continuity in personality over time and sometimes disturbed in mental illnesses, as schizophrenia.

Some people by their behavior appear to not know who they are. Some people say they are X, and will defend it tooth and nail while they act like Y, or something else. If a person says they are this and that, but act nothing like what they claim, is it plausible they are clueless to whom they actually are?

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9 Answers

dappled_leaves's avatar

Yes, I think this is true of a lot of people. There are some who simply don’t seem to either know or want to know themselves.

The opposite also occurs, of course – those are people I always find interesting in conversation.

kritiper's avatar

I don’t think anyone really knows who they are, no matter their age. Part of life’s quest is to find the answer!

tinyfaery's avatar

You are assuming we have a fixed identity. And you are assuming that another person knows the “truth” about another.

Whose perspective are we using and what makes you think that anyone is capable of knowing another?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I’m kind of with @tinyfaery here. Identity can be an elusive thing. I think that there are fundamental aspects of self that always exist, but on the other hand, we are very rarely the same person we were at 12, 18, 24, 30, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

I think sometimes people are unaware of how they come across, but at the same time people on the outside can make assumptions about a person and not really know what is in their heart and mind.

It’s partly a communication problem. Also, a perception problem.

People who are really out if touch with who they are do exist if course, but I think it is rare. It’s like those personality tests. Or, even the quick tests you find in magazines and online; how often is your result way off from who you see yourself as? Usually not often.

What comes to my mind is how when I was a little girl I used to want to film my dad in the heat of his temper. I don’t think he had any idea what he looked like. Another example is a show I once watched where a wife used baby talk all the time and get husband didn’t like it. They did film her and she finally worked at not using that voice and tone.

Bill1939's avatar

@DrasticDreamer I agree with you. Reflecting on my life, it seems that a core identity has existed from early childhood to now. I have been told my many mothers that the character of their child was obvious at birth. Children in the same family maybe born with propensities to be fussy, compliant, happy, etc. Others maybe autistic, anxious, or otherwise exhibit unusual personalities. These qualities frequently continue into adulthood.

Coloma's avatar

I know myself well and have a strong sense of who I am. The truth is, there really is no such thing as “identity”, we are all pure consciousness/awareness, that is our true identity. However, that said, on the philosophical side of things, many people are chameleons, morphing into whatever they feel they need to be in the people and circumstances that present.
Aside from consciousness/awareness, the closest we can come to true identity is in self knowing and not relinquishing our true selves, convictions, ideals, to blend with the crowd in the moment.

I am very solid in how I show up, quite genuine and loathe phoney people that make themselves up from the outside in rather than the inside out. I can relate to anyone on any level and remain myself.

kess's avatar

The one who does struggle with his identity is the one who knows not his origin and knows not his destination…..this is the cause of instability in his present life.

This includes 99% of this world population

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@tinyfaery You are assuming we have a fixed identity.

And you are assuming that another person knows the “truth” about another.
Hardly, what anyone sees is at best a poor representation because a person cannot see the truth in another person they can’t even project.

@Coloma However, that said, on the philosophical side of things, many people are chameleons, morphing into whatever they feel they need to be in the people and circumstances that present.
That seems to be more spot on then anything, if you ask me. People will identify with what or who best serves them at the moment. I can imagine many in the deep South way back when would have thought themselves good people, and do so the day after hunting a Black man down and torturing him before stringing him up in a tree by the neck. Some people believe themselves to be rich or having money or wealth because they possess the latest gadgets or roll around in a car with a booming stereo and 22 in. chrome wheels, but they don’t have a gold card, they can’t borrow money from a bank with just their signature, etc.

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