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Why Your Identity Harms You

Identity is part of human nature. But did you know, it can harm you more when you are not careful enough?


As cool as it might sound to say ” I am an X, so ....”. Doesn’t matter what X is actually is. It comes with danger.

To reduces your bias and makes you more open to what I say, I’ll use software developers as an example. And in case you are one, be assured I am too.

It’s also close, yet alien enough for most of us to bring over my points.

When we identify with a certain group like software developers, we become part of that group and we start to learn, consciously and subconsciously, the customs and believes of that group. If they are true or false does not even matter.

However, that is just the top group, there are myriads of sub-groups if you dig a bit deeper. There are groups for almost any programming language on the planet and for other technologies too.

And they all come with their own sets of beliefs. For example, many developers don’t like working on UIs - the graphical interfaces users work with.

This disliking can even go so far, that they start to believe that people developing Uis are not real developers.

Sometimes, they outright refuse to work on such projects. Some even rather quit their job if they have to work on that.

Imagine a guy quitting his job because he has to use a manual screwdriver than an electrical one…

Sounds silly?

Sure, it is but these things are real. I’ve seen them.

Not only there but everywhere.

Literally every group is doing essentially the same thing.

People enter the group. Acquire the groups beliefs to a certain degree and at some point, many of them have attached this identity to their self and self-confidence.

This is where bad things happen.

When you are at this stage any critic, good, bad or justified, doesn’t matter, has a high chance of being perceived as a personal attack.

You can not distinguish between the thing and yourself anymore. And take everything personally.

Every time your self-identity and confidence are at risk.

And what do humans do when this happens?

They close their mind and fight back.

And start to see threats everywhere.

Threats they need to fight, no matter what. Best before it even can shake their own identity and beliefs.

Shutting down everything that runs contrary to their identity beliefs.

That’s a dangerous place to be.

But there is an even more dangerous place you can go to.

The place, where you start believing that others are doing things only because they don’t like your identity.

It’s the rabbit hole going down to blaming city again. Suddenly, you blame anyone for anything happening in your life - because they just don’t like you are X.

See, being part of groups is nice but don’t you fall into the danger zones.

Question the group beliefs and make up your own mind. Even look at the groups “opposing” yours and see what might be true or wrong with yours.

Question yourself, your identity and you’ll find ways to grow. And avoiding the danger zones at the same time.

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