All About Identity

"We contain multitudes," wrote Walt Whitman, referring not to the highly contested diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder but to the fact that we see ourselves radically differently in different contexts. Everyone struggles with that existential plum, "Who am I?" For people who are overly concerned with other people's impressions, or who feel a core aspect of themselves, such as gender or sexuality, is not being expressed, this struggle is acute.

Recent posts on Identity

8 Crucial Differences Between Healthy and Unhealthy Pride

By Leon F Seltzer Ph.D. on September 28, 2016 in Evolution of the Self
The term "pride" is saddled with negative connotations. But it can be a good thing, too. So is pride a matter of degree, as in "too much of a good thing"? Or is it something else?

I Just Can’t Get Over Him!

When a man walks away from a marriage, particularly when the wife didn’t see it coming, it is often a profound emotional injury, which leaves her feeling abandoned.

New Study Finds the Average American Woman is Now Plus-Size

Although it is widely acknowledged that the standard sizing system is flawed, being designated as plus-size is nevertheless something of a damning fate for many women.

A Weird Trick To Free Yourself From Your Identity

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on September 19, 2016 in Intentional Insights
Are you worried about your identity labels limiting your freedom? This simple reframing trick could be all you need!

Butterfly Professions: Handling the Ending Edge

Coping at an early age with the end of a career that's defined who you are--for athletes and dancers--offers challenges and solutions.

On Being a Weird American on 9/11

By Gleb Tsipursky Ph.D. on September 11, 2016 in Intentional Insights
Do you ever struggle with your identity as an American? A simple reframing can really help!

Why Do British Accents Sound Intelligent to Americans?

By Kevin Bennett on September 09, 2016 in Modern Minds
My American baby is speaking British! Is it still acceptable to discriminate based on accent?

Recent Findings From the CDC on Gay Youth Are Flawed

A flawed study from the CDC could potentially harm sexual-minority youth.

Feminism Is Good for Your Heart

By Karlyn Crowley Ph.D. on September 08, 2016 in Woman Power
Women are dying from broken hearts because systems are broken not because women themselves aren’t doing enough. We need feminism to help us diagnose the problem.

Stresses & Risks for Transgender Teens

By Michele Ybarra MPH, Ph.D. on September 07, 2016 in Connected
What social stresses might transgender youth face?

An Anti-Establishment Theory of Trump

By Gregg Henriques Ph.D. on September 06, 2016 in Theory of Knowledge
This blog lays out a framework for understanding the social and political forces that have influenced the rise and success of Trump's candidacy.

Is Female Sexuality Flexible?

By Temma Ehrenfeld on September 06, 2016 in Open Gently
Sexuality is fluid. Be gentle to yourself when you feel changes and conflicts.

How Should Market Researchers Ask About Gender In Surveys?

New gender identity research shows we need to rethink the answer for designing accurate and inclusive surveys.

Is our DNA our Identity?

By Robyn Fivush Ph.D. on September 04, 2016 in The Stories of Our Lives
Get your DNA tested for fun. But make sure you listen to the family stories that truly define your identity.
VGstockstudio/Shutterstock

Can Life Be Lived With No Libido at All? No Sex Ever?

By Michael Castleman M.A. on September 01, 2016 in All About Sex
"Asexuals," up to 1 percent of adults, never feel sexually attracted to anyone—and feel fine about it.
Dreamtime license

Clinton & Trump: Inside Out

By Margaret Moore on August 31, 2016 in Life Changes
Imagine the inner dialogue of Clinton and Trump.

I'm Not Really Unemployed! (Am I?)

By Dawn R. Norris, Ph.D. on August 31, 2016 in The Next Step
Being out of work can make identity confusing.

Is Authenticity Worth It?

When others won’t accept us as we are, what do we do? We must choose between two important values.

Back to School Is a Trusting Time

Trust needed for mountain climbing: 100%. Trust needed for most other tasks: a lot less than that.

Admit It, You Are Secretly Voting for Donald Trump? Right?

Many people will not follow their expressed views with their vote. These stealth voters will hit the ballot box en masse in November. But will they make a difference?

Are Selfie-Takers Really Narcissists?

Selfies are becoming the new normal in social media, but not for everyone. New research predicts who is most likely to follow this trend and why.

Is the “All Lives Matter” Slogan Racist?

By Gordon Hodson Ph.D. on August 25, 2016 in Without Prejudice
In the lead up to the 2016 US election, racial tensions are running high. Many Blacks are offended by White retorts that “All Lives Matter.” Racism may underpin this slogan.

Who Am I? Someone? Or Nobody?

By Tom Bunn L.C.S.W. on August 24, 2016 in Conquer Fear Of Flying
Celebrity is competitive. The outrageously competitive have no limits on what they do to get noticed. Winning often means being a bigger jerk than anyone else is willing to be.

How to Stay True to Yourself in Your Relationship

Feeling that you can be authentic in your relationships is one of the keys to fulfillment. New research gives you the tools to see how well you measure up.

Firebird Redux

The human spirit is imbued with an individual and social resilience worth celebrating.
Twitter [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Stephanie: Bisexual Orientation, Lesbian Identity

Stephanie looks back at her process of recognizing her attraction to women. Lesbian novels, a gay pride march, sex and a relationship helped.

Treating Road Rage: A Free-Range Approach

How a hawaiian shirt, the music of Gabby Pahinui, and a lump of coconut-scented surf wax helped cure a case of road rage

Looking for Work? 9 Things You Need to Know and Do

Remember: there are a lot of jobs out there, just like there are a lot of apartments or potential true loves. You only need one. (You might want more, but you only need one.)

The Fragility of the Extreme Narcissist

For an extremely fragile narcissist, being told he screwed up makes him feel so badly that he can’t even entertain the fact that he may have made a mistake.

Letter to Young Activists

This post is adapted from a talk recently given to young community organizers about self-care and well-being on the journey to a more compassionate and just society.