Reading through a journal article, looking for insights into the relationship between individual and social identity, I came across the following model:
Is this how you perform identity negotiation over time?
What I do is kinda different:
Step 1: I try to figure out who the heck I am, and how that compares to what other people seem to be saying about me.
Step 2: I try to act upon this understanding of who I am, and it doesn’t work out.
Step 3: I look around to see how other people are doing what they do, and try to copy them. That doesn’t work out either.
Step 4: In the meantime, social expectations, relationships, and technology all change. I go back to what I was doing, and wonder what I was thinking.
Step 5: I try to make up for all my confusion by getting extra sleep. It doesn’t work.
Step 6: People look at me sideways and ask, “Are you feeling all right?”
Step 7: I retreat into a corner until people stop noticing me. Then, I slowly emerge, and go back to step 1.