How we interact socially, and with who we invest our time, is driven by a lot of elements. This includes factors, such as:
- The characteristics of our family;
- Work location;
- Where we live; and
- Access to others similar to us.
Each of these plays a large roll in what we make with our spare time, as well as the close relationship of our overall identity to our social identity.
Characteristics of our Family
First, let’s look at the Characteristics of our Family.
Our household dynamics determine our social life. The lives of parents are typically based upon what the interests of their children are. Parents’ personal calendar and social lives tend to gravitate around their kids’ school activities, sporting events, and other activities related to the clubs or organizations their kids are part of.
Next, one’s Work Location impacts social lives.
Many individuals spend their on- and off-duty time with their co-workers since they generally have established relationships and proximity to those people. It’s not uncommon for somebody to want to socialize with work colleagues during off-hours, since they spend so much time together as is. Because of this, where a person works has a tremendous impact on one’s social life and social identity.
Where We Live
Where We Live is the third factor that impacts our social identity.
Geography and proximity have a large influence on our personal relationships. One’s social circles are likely comprised of neighbors, community members, church goers, and other community organizations. Where we live, and possibly our zip code, has a lot to do with our social identity.
Access to Others Similar to Us
Lastly, our social identity is comprised of having Access to Others Similar to Us.
It’s not uncommon for individuals to feel driven to establish relationships and friendships with those that are similar to us. Having similar backgrounds, cultural practices, opinions, and practices make it easier to find common ground. Ultimately, this leads to the greater likelihood of having more positive interactions.
Unfortunately, these four factors don’t always lead to positive relationships with others. We are all unique, so there is not guarantee that we will have great friendships with those around us. Because of this possible reality, we could experience a social identity crisis.
This could be bad since you might be denied the ability to “be yourself” or find fun experiences with others. If it’s possible, at all though, to make the most positive experiences possible with those around you, your overall emotional well-being might be strengthened.