I took an interpersonal conflict exercise recently – the teachers argued that most conflicts boil down to issues of identity, where the identities at stake are often basic, indispensable self-beliefs like:
- I am competent
- I am a good person
- I am worthy of love & respect
This was a new concept to me, & eventually I’d like to read a couple of the books and research they mentioned. Even though “identity” is often used in the sense of community identification, “identity” in their very personal sense is probably a requirement just to get up in the morning. And it’s usually more at stake than even the most closely-held notions of group identity, which can change several times during a person’s life.