Thursday, March 27, 2014


Each of us clings to our identities in one way or another. Some employ a white-knuckled death grip. Others hold on loosely. It may not be strictly true in all cases, but it seems to me that the strength with which we hold onto our identities is directly correlated with how we view ourselves. What I mean to say is that those who have a very positive self image seem to hold most tightly to their identities. Those who have a very negative self image tend to hold quite loosely. As an example you are more likely to find someone with high self esteem wearing a shirt with their name emblazoned across their chest in rhinestones. Think Laverne as aligned with a positive self image and Shirley as aligned with a negative self image.

There is a young man who has been working with the technicians in my group for the past few months. He tends to be used by this group as something of a "go-fer". He runs errands, carries the heavy equipment, and serves as an extra set of hands when needed. When he was assigned to do some work for me for a few weeks, I introduced myself and asked him his name. He told me his name was Brent. However, every time that I have heard someone use his name, they have said Brett. After hearing this for a while, I took Brent aside and told him to correct the others when they call him by the wrong name. His response to me was, "It doesn't matter." I kind of felt bad for him. I worried about how he saw himself and if he felt small or inconsequential. He tends to be satisfied to hide in the shadows and not to draw attention to himself. I have tried to correct the guys when they call him by the wrong name. Hopefully, his identity crisis will pass and eventually he will come to see himself as part of the crew.