Do you have a strong sense of who you are?

Do you tend to take responsibility for other people’s feelings?

Do you carry the weight of other people’s problems on your shoulders?

Creating a strong identity and sense of self is a fundamental part of our mental, emotional, and spiritual development growing up.

All children undergo a natural process of attachment to their parents as babies and then disconnected from their parents during toddlerhood through to adolescence. Detaching from our parents is essential if we are to function in a healthy and mature way in the world as adults.

But often times we are not permitted by our parents to go through our detachment phase. In other words, we are not allowed to develop an individual identity and a clear sense of IAMness. Instead, we are enmeshed and undifferentiated from our parents, just as a baby is.

The Dangers of Not Having a Clear Sense of Self

What happens when we remain undifferentiated from our parents? What happens when we don’t have a strong identity?

The answer is that we cannot function in a healthy way in our relationships. We may face issues such as: