Social identity refers to the self concept of an individual which results from his or her membership in the society. The social identity theory introduces social identity as a way to explain intergroup behavior. Social identity affects interpersonal relationships in a great way. Some of the effects that it has include the following:
Social identity defines behavior. The way a person behaves is greatly controlled by the people around him. A student in class will tend to boast of him being great due to mob psychology. A teacher will tend to be very well behaved when around his students. This however might not be the real behavior he or she exemplifies when they are alone. A person is likely to be very conscious of his or her words and actions when in public. This is in contrast to when he or she is alone. When in public the individual cares too much about his image. He might as well talk too highly of himself when certain persons are around. It is common for men to brag a lot in the presence of ladies as opposed to when they are with their male counterparts.
Social identity also affects communication between persons. A person is likely to communicate differently in different scenarios. A person is likely to be polite when in the company of elder members of the society. At the same he or she is likely to be careless as he deals with his or her peers. Communication in public also differs from when the individual is in a group of fewer persons. The person feels less confident when a larger audience is listening to him or her.
Social identity also defines the role of a person. A person is likely to take up roles that will help him or her to stand out and be recognized. This is common especially in the leadership positions. A person will go campaigning for a leadership position so that he becomes famous and so that other people see he or she exists.
Learning about social identity affects a lot the way I relate with other people. I have learnt that the way I relate with people determines a lot the niche I occupy in social identity. People determine in a great way what becomes of their friends and the people they live with. It is important that respect become the virtue governing relationships. A disrespectful individual ends up with scaring people away from him, (Jenkins, 2008).
The idea of social identity has also challenged the way I express myself. I have learnt that using proper communication skills defines what becomes of me. Communication will also define how my friends and the society generally perceive of me. I must be in a position to express myself confidently and properly to stand out. In addition social identity will define the roles I take up certain roles. The way people perceive of me determines the responsibilities they can trust you with. Leadership is always placed on persons who know themselves and who can communicate. Leaders are also known to have good interpersonal skills with their friends and the society. This gives them confidence since their principle role is to speak on behalf of the people they serve. They are their representatives at the helm of administration and other areas.
Social identity directly affects my relationship issues. I have to relate with my friends so as to receive high social status. The way people perceive of me is greatly controlled by my social identity. Social identity also determines the frequency of occurrence of wrangles and chaos. Positive social identity keeps this on a minimum.
In conclusion, it is important to know that, marriages can benefit a lot from social identity. Communication is an integral part of marriage and as such must be maintained. At the same time, social identity affects friendships. It is also important in the work place.