What is the defining moment that shaped your identity?

An interesting question popped up in one of my social media time lines. It possetted that the best way to get to know people was instead of asking where someone is from or what they do, ask what was the defining moment that shaped their identity.

We are often defined by our job title, our social status, our religion, relationship status and so on.

I like questions like this but I’m not very good at answering them myself. I’m not sure I could pinpoint a defining moment, more a steady build up of experiences.

Getting to know yourself is important in defining who you are. Finding out what makes you tick. Observing how you think and feel, reflecting on thought process and recognising and catching some of these thoughts before they cause any anxiety.

I read an article in Psychologies Magazine offering a series of questions to ask friends or colleagues to get to know each other better. The idea is each person completes the following sentences then shares them with each other (I’ve added my own answers in italics):

To get the best out of megive me all the data and the time to analyse it and formulate questions and an action plan. Give me some encouragement that I’m on the right track. Treat me how you want to be treated.

In social situationsI’m generally uncomfortable, give me an “in” to a conversation so I’m not stood on the sidelines like Billy-no-mates, but give me and “out” opportunity to leave when I’ve had enough without it being awkward.

If I am stressed or worried ... I will shut my office door ear a lot of rubbish food, or sleep. It can’t bother me if I’m asleep.

When you ask me to do somethinggive me all the information then let me get on with it. Don’t micro manage me. I will shout if I have any problems or questions. You will be kept up to date.

If you are upset or angry with me tell me straight away. I can’t put it right and learn from it otherwise. And the sooner its dealt with, the better for everyone.

If you have feedback for me ... let’s go grab a coffee and go through it together so I fully understand and we can formulate a plan.

If you want to praise me or reward me please do, be genuine about it but don’t make a big deal about it.

If I say no to something be assured there’s a damn good reason. I won’t say it unless I have to and I will tell you why.

When I want time to myselfI’ll take myself somewhere else, and probably bake something or read, or sleep.

I am trying to get to know myself better and be more curious about others, to know them better too. That’s all still work in progress.

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