Keeping your own identity

One day you're an individual, the next you’re a carbon copy of your best mate. Thing is, if you’re hanging around with the same group of friends or a specific person, their personality tends to rub off on you. But don’t worry, The Mix is here to help you keep your, dare we say, awesome personality while maintaining strong friendships.

A young woman is dancing on her own. She is embracing her own identity. This is a wide-angle image.

How can I lose my own identity?

Often losing your own identity kinda just creeps up on you, and by the time you notice you can barely even recognise yourself as an individual. If you’re happy with this arrangement, that’s fine, just make sure it’s not a symptom of an underlying lack of self-esteem. Remember, you bring something to the table that’s unique and irreplaceable. So never be afraid or embarrassed to be yourself (easier said than done, we know).

Is it really a problem?

Some similarities between you and your mates are natural, and probably what brought you together in the first place. It only starts to become an issue when you realise that all your different personalities have blended and blurred to essentially create five copies of the same person. While we need friendships, we also need to be a whole-arse person on our own. Giving up your individuality will eventually come back to haunt you; you’ll end up feeling anger, resentment, and/or regret. You may even take it out on your mates.

What to do if your friends are copying you

Ever heard the phrase imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? While it may not seem like it at the time, your friends are simply showing that they admire you and your style. But it’s not all harmless. Copying your style might suggest that your friend has low self-esteem. In that case, we suggest helping them feel better about themselves and take them out to help choose their own style. Let them know that you’re friends with them for who they are as a person, and you don’t want them to lose that unique spark. 

How do I keep my individuality and own identity?

Standing up for yourself

Assert yourself; if you are fed up with the way your friendships are going, say so. If the cloning irritates you to no end, or their company bores you it may be worth thinking about finding some new mates. But don’t make any rash decisions. You may just need an honest chat to communicate how you’re feeling. But if that doesn’t work out, then check out this article on how to make new friends. 

Keep up your hobbies and interests to keep your own identity 

You need to maintain other hobbies and interests. Don’t give up what you love for the sake of your friendship, because those things make you you. It’s probably why your friends are friends with you in the first place. Plus, it’ll give you something fun to talk about when you go out for dinner. So now, we challenge you. Write a list of all the things in life that you enjoy, no matter how trivial they might seem at first. Plan to do at least one small thing every day, and have bigger things to look forward to as well. 

Spending time with other people

Maintain other friendships and make new friends. Spend time with a wider variety of people, this way you won’t get stuck in a friendship rut. Another bonus is that you’ll avoid losing your individuality by being with different groups. It’ll also help you open your mind to a tonne of different life experiences and some pretty epic stories.

Having personal goals

You have to have your own personal goals and set out to achieve them. Stay interested in life and the world around you. If you step outside your little friendship bubble every so often, it’ll be easier to avoid getting stuck in the same place, with the same people.

Don’t forget to compromise when you need to

Compromise. Note the difference between remaining unique, and just being stubborn. Just because you want to remain an individual doesn’t mean you have to do everything your way all the time. You need to be able to compromise with your mates, or you’ll risk losing them.

Next Steps

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By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 10-Oct-2021