Childhood and adolescence are very important stages in the life of every person . It is at this moment that the personality and character of the little ones is formed, based on the relationship with others and the environment that surrounds them. For this reason, it is very important to be aware of how their social activity develops both at home and at school , in order to determine if the child or adolescent feels happy and complete; or on the contrary, see if you are suffering emotionally or if you have any deficiency that can be solved with the help of loved ones or by going to a health professional, such as a specialized psychologist.
The child’s own personality and, later, the adolescent will be formed as they have experiences at school and at home . It will be during school hours that they have a greater relationship with other children and that they can develop their social skills. Each person is different, so depending on their tastes or attitudes, surely they have more affinity with some colleagues or with others .
However, we must bear in mind that, during this stage of his life and also during the subsequent school years when he is of legal age at the university, for example, belonging to one group or another within the educational center can have a great impact in his actions and in his personality . This is what is known in psychology as Social Identity Theory and can be decisive for the well-being and future of the youngest.
What is the Social Identity Theory?
Within a group it is normal for different groups to form, depending on the tastes and affinity between each of the members . Above all, during adolescence and early adulthood it is normal for these groups to want to define the personality of each of the people who make them up. Remember that it is at this moment in life that the person is getting to know himself better and looks for references in others. As he does not understand what is happening to him , in terms of physical and mental changes, it is normal for him to look for people related to what he is or what he would like to be, thinking that the group will define his personality.
However, belonging to one of these groups or the impossibility of being able to enter one of them can have a negative effect on the adolescent and cause him emotional pain by not being able to reaffirm the one that believes his identity together with that group of people that he considers as referents. Thus, the Social Identity Theory is a branch of psychology that studies the behavior of the individual within a group , in terms of reaffirmation of their identity and personality, but is also interested in knowing the effect of permanence in the group. this concept of a group in the same person, since those who make it up can help each other and reinforce the values that unite them, be they positive or negative.
Theory of Social Identity and effects on the individual
Being part of a group helps the adolescent or adult to feel integrated into a group of people, whom they probably admire and want to spend time with. However, they may not have as much in common as you think and, to show that they deserve to be part of this group, the adolescent may have the need to do or say things that may go against their common way of acting . Therefore, you will be looking to change aspects of yourself only to fit within the group., something that may not be positive for them both in the short and long term, since having to be constantly acting can be very exhausting and make you feel like you are not good enough to deal with certain situations of life.
In addition, being part of a more or less broad group, the Social Identity Theory also observes that the individual will have a tendency to constant comparison with other members , which can cause great frustration. Nowadays, with social networks and new technologies , this comparison is even greater. Thus, you must teach the adolescent that what they see on the networks is not always real. Many of the images are retouched and nobody has a perfect life, so you should not aspire to false ideals that can only lead to dissatisfaction and frustration, both in the short and long term.
A good way for the adolescent or adult to try not to close in on a single group and not become obsessed with one aspect of their life or with the need to appear or adapt to a series of people, will be by socializing in various environments, as Either in addition to school or university, also in the gym or a sports club, doing some extracurricular activity or working . The fact of being part of several groups will help the individual to understand that there are many different perceptions of the world and that he does not have to change his way of thinking or acting to adjust to only one of them, allowing him to be himself without the need to pretend something it’s not just about fitting into a group.