This is the guy who doesn’t believe anything. Completely unconcerned with politics, religion, or even opinions about himself, he’s infuriatingly hard to pin down. Frequently contradicts himself and doesn’t seem to care. Ask him what he thinks is true and he’ll shrug his shoulders, exhale a bong rip, and say “what is truth anyway?”
This is the guy who is very right and wants you to know it. He knows exactly what is going down with the world and is hostile to any opinions contrary. This guy is present in every belief system known to mankind. He builds himself a castle of opinions and a fort of cherry picked facts to keep away the marauders with their links to objecting internet articles. His strong convictions also mean he’s a signpost for others who aren’t sure what they believe yet, and in the public sphere can help sway opinion.
The Now Girl
This is the girl who says “the past is just a story we tell ourselves” and frequently avoids questions about her childhood. Ask her what she did yesterday and she’ll make a joke. Has memory problems, probably from systematic lack of caring. Doesn’t tell you about herself, not because she’s mysterious, but because she doesn’t consider it relevant to your friendship with her. Why would you need to know if it doesn’t matter?
This is the girl who presents herself carefully and loves it, even if she thinks she doesn’t. She can give you her life story in three sentences but often chooses to do it in three hours. She wants to write an autobiography. Her life is divided into “before” and “after” some sort of important event. She can point to aspects of her personality and tell you exactly where they came from. Doesn’t consider you intimate with her unless she’s told her Story(tm). Brings all her past experiences in to justify her actions and absolve herself of blame. Probably into photography.
This is the guy who doesn’t take a lot of pride in what he does and isn’t particularly motivated either. He might enjoy activities, sure, but he doesn’t do them for you. He gives off a confident ease that comes only from not caring if people think he’s smart or not. You might know him for a year and then suddenly find out he can draw really well, or maybe has a Diamond ranking in League of Legends, but more likely you find out he deals weed with upsettingly lax security.
The guy with the Asian parents
This guy, on a deep level, views his life as worth living only if he hits the bar of ‘good enough,’ which he always sets just outside of his reach because subconsciously he can’t handle the idea of actually being good enough. He is usually terrifyingly competent, motivated by low self esteem and the need to prove something to anybody. He knows his IQ and wishes someone would ask him. He owns a really nice suit which he doesn’t get to wear as often as he’d like.
The Manic Pixie
This girl doesn’t like being labeled, and fitting into the liberal counterculture is too much fitting in for her comfort. She doesn’t wash her hair out of sheer laziness, she’s pegged at least three guys on tindr dates, and she’s lived in four cities in the three years. Floating between groups, she’ll come in and out of your life without much predictability. She’s not doing this because she is trying to make a point, but because her parents didn’t give a shit and she operates on a strict ‘whatever feels good’ rule. Will sleep on your couch till you kick her out, and the next time you hear from her will be 6 months later asking if you saw her vibrator.
This girl loves playing by the rules of the social group she’s in. In conservative culture, she is the perfect housewife who shakes her head at homosexuals. In liberal cultures, she tweets “radical” messages even though she’s only followed by people who agree with her. She is the archetypical dedicated group member, flag holder, activist of whatever community she belongs to. She is more likely to join a cult. People are frequently loyal to her and a good deal of her mental attention goes towards the cohesion of her group.
rate yourself, with 1 being the first one and 10 being the second
I’m 5/10 belief, 8/10 memory, 4/10 ability, 5/10 society.
3 thoughts on “Spectrums of Identity”
Belief: the spectrum seems fake to me, or at least incomplete. The rationalist ideal of “strong opinions lightly held” nowhere to be found on it. I have strong takes on everything, including the nature of objective truth. And I’m very interested in your internet articles debunking them.
Memory: I’ve heard this described as “episodic” (the now girl) vs diachronic (photographer). I’m 2/10 – I automatically unendorse all opinions after 3-5 years, I take photos and don’t go back to look at them, I would much rather tell you what I’m obsessed with this week than my life story.
Ability: I’m not sure that’s the right name for this spectrum, but I’m 7/10 at least. I think another strong correlate is how much you enjoy competition. I always play video games at the highest difficulty level, and don’t like soccer leagues where I’m better than most players.
Society: 4/10. Have you seen my vibrator?
?/10 belief, ?/10 memory, ?/10 ability, ?/10 society. I actually thought really hard over these answers, but based on the descriptions I can strongly lean towards any of these identities at different times. I guess I’m a friggin chameleon.
Very interesting post. I’m 5/10 belief, 8/10 memory, 6.5/10 ability, 3/10 society.