Who are you? How many?

Who are you? How many?

If I asked you who you were, you would probably answer using the category of profession. I am an engineer, politician, or entrepreneur, you might say. 

If I pushed harder, you might speak of roles. I am a dad and a wife. If I still pushed harder, you might talk about characteristics. I am a happy person. I am an optimistic person, and so on. 

Science is now showing us that we have multiple identities. 

No, I do not mean you are impersonating someone. I actually mean that the "you" that you identify with is made up of more than one identity. Allow me to explain. 

We have been witnesses to our behavior. You already know that you can be incredibly kind and warm in one situation and ruthless and spiteful in another.

You can be rule-bound in one situation and carefree in another. You are one person at work and another at home. Do you see how we have multiple identities? 

This came as a shock to me. I greatly valued consistency. In fact, it was a characteristic that would give me pride and joy. The notion that there is a core me that is unchanging, regardless of the ebb and flow of life,. 

But that is a fallacy. 

There is no core to you. There are beliefs, values, and habits that would overlap in varying situations. But even the habit of being tidy, for example, can wildly vary between you being in boarding school and you being at home. 

Strangely, the realization sets you free. It releases you from the tension that I have to be a certain way. It releases you from the tension that arises when you are not consistent with your self-image. 

Once you can intuitively recognize that you have multiple, perhaps hundreds, personalities, it allows you to be more consistent with what you cherish. 

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