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Who Are You? : Fun Little Research

Updated on July 7, 2017

How You Defines Yourself Over The Question?

“Who Are You?”

Often we heard people asked. They want you to tell them who you really are. This is really simple question, is it? Or it is not?

Have you ever noticed how people can come up with different answer for that simple question? And sometimes they also come up with more than one answers.

“I am a Policeman.”

“I am a Husband.”

“I am an Atheist.”

“I am just a simple average man.”

Did you ever wonder why different people can come up with different answer for one simple question?

I put this questions above on the Forum "What you will answer to "who are you?" question and why?" the other day, Categorized under Cognitive Psychology. The goal is simple; I wanted to see how people will react on the question itself. Not what they will tell me about who they are, but how and why they choose those answers. Several people gave the answers which I already predicted before. The other, seem more into humor. Some seriously broader the topic itself, and some seem feel offended by the question.

Most of people agree that the answer of the question will be relating to the context; who is asking, why he is asking, when he is asking. And the answer will be relevant to it, in the way to help make the questioner more understand about what they want to know at that time, and (Someone added in the forum that) it is better if the answer we give limited only to the relevant one, because too much information will only cause unnecessary confusion.

I am Freya Cesare.”

For the example. “Freya Cesare” is “Me”. The rest is only addition to make my identity become more personalized and easy to differentiate with other. But it is hard to accept that “Freya Cesare” is my identity, since it is not my real name. Its mean, if ‘Freya Cesare’ is part of my identity, it’s not really useful to define “me”.

To make it more personal then I will add,

I am writer for quality content.”

This is one of many things that I did in daily. Not the primary one, but in the context which I am talking as the Hubber at HubPages or as online writer, then it is the most fitted addition. Of course when this question being asked by people who I meet at the school, more likely I will answer him with,

I am a student.

Which I still am; a mere student (Hhhh! T.T).

Names, occupations, activities: those often being used to defines someone when the question “who are you?” had taken place. And as the addition for full personal record; date of birth, addresses, name of parents and siblings also spouse and children, religion, education history, working experiences, and hobbies also interests, usually being added too so it can be complete. But do this list really is our identity?


I really don't think so. That list I did mentioned above is a list of tags or labels. This list indeed have ability to differentiated us with the crowds and make us easy to be find inside the ocean of human. But even with its uniqueness, the list is not able to explain what I really am as a person. I will only become the number of statistic, the record inside old paper, or just nothing more than physical presentation, which I believe I am more than any of those.

“I am human, a being.”

“I am a Muslim.”

“I am a social creature.”

“I am a woman.”

“I am a daughter.”

This is really who I am? Maybe yes, but only few part of it. Those are list of tags too. It is explaining our identity through occupations or group or the most exciting and most important things we do. These answers indeed are better than list of personal data (CV) only, because in these answers we can sense the tendency which possessed each one of them, but still, its not able to completely define who I trully am.


Sometimes we do not understand who we really are, even when we believe we do.

In our life we created self-schema which is a particular set of beliefs or ideas a person created about himself, which will be used to to guide and organize information processing, mostly when the information is significant to self. It is a cognitive structure about self, cognitive generalisation about oneself, derived from past experiences. It is a description about who we think we are. Self-schema is not about who we wish we will become, but more about how and who we see ourselves within.

Because the tool the person used to understand himself are his own eyes, then of course the conclusion he created as the result can be really subjective because there always a strong tendency for self-schema to be maintained by a bias in what we attend to, a bias in what we remember, a bias in what we prepared to accept as true about ourselves. This subjectivity becomes the reason why people can have different Self-schema which sometimes far from what other people see in him.

Self-schema can be good and can be bad, depend on what kind of experience which had been created it. It can be close to the truth or can be far from it, depend on this person honesty in analyzed himself.

Bad or good sometimes is not the main problem. But if Self-schema really different with the true self, sometimes it can give problem. For some people, they will adapt and growth from it. Many people have great ability to cope with the situation while keeping their own personality untouched. But for some, it will caused conflict within himself or with others around him.

When people responding to him in the way this person believe not fit with who he is, more likely he will become disappointed. One or two times of disappointment maybe will only casually ignore. But if it caused too much disappointment, negative response will be form and this person will start building a canal between him and others as his defense mechanism.

Whether he will continue outing and make relation with others to fulfill his need as social creature while slowly adapt to the new way of relating which only available as far as his new canal make it possible to him, or he will simply turn his back from those things which was important to him but in the same time only caused him a disappointment. Now, I think, it is the time when person will become defensive and in the process he will slowly turn (or suddenly: depend on how hard he had been badly beat by his disappointment) into cynical, sarcastic, pessimists, or a bully type of person.

Identity : Sometimes Its Meaning Really Different With Our Own Understanding

Cognitive Psychology define the term of “Identity” refers to the capacity for self-reflection and the awareness of self (Leary & Tangney 2003, p. 3).

The words: “You” which then turn into “I” in the mind of person whose get that question is referred to Ego. Ego is representation of self, an individual existence, a product of so many subjective experiences a person had created while experiencing so many matters in this person’s entire life.

Even some cultural influences can cause variation in forms, the times of expression or the expression itself regarding to the question; often the question about Ego will raise awareness inside the person state of mind and make him or her become more focusing their attention to personal appearance at that time. Therefore, as the result; the answer that people will give always something which they really proud of at first or what they are believe the most.

I am a cop.”

That is means this person really proud of his job and being a cop is the most important thing for him at that time. Remember, I underlined: at that time, because the answer can be vary as the experience keep changing and the sensitivity toward the meaning behind the question can be really affecting someone decision in giving answer.

I am a man.”

More likely this is masculine answer from masculine person who really proud to become a man and to his masculinity, who never considering femininity is also part of men’s behavior; or in another possibility of case, he feels his manhood under a threat.

I am God’s humble servant.”

Usually this person is religious one or he simply trying to make himself look religious. Need further observation to be able to check which one he really is.

I am Muslim.”


I am Christian.

usually come up in cross religions conversation, or when someone thought his or her religion under big question by those who want to know who she/he really is as the follower of one particular religion.

Just by analyzing those 3 answers above, we can see that most answers about “I” usually related to self-schema of the person, which means sometimes, not real objective self of the person.

The most complete answer had been given by 2 of our fellow Hubbers. Both have different way of explanations but have similar point in the end, which are:

Me” is what I believe who I am. Therefore will become guide for what I do in every step of my way.

How I will answer the question about who I am really depend on the context, but it do not mean it is who “Me” really is, but only a chosen response to the question which given by significant other or given under special circumstances, so it can fit with the questioner need.

In the end, easy to conclude, “Who are you?” question rarely will give us the real identity of the person as the answer, even when this person being honest to us.

Who are you?” It is a simple question indeed, but turned out, the answer not that simple at all. And from your answer, your core can be read and analyze.

Have a nice day, everyone! ^_^

Special thanks to fellow Hubbers who already involved in this Forum. Thank you very much!


Submit a Comment

  • Freya Cesare profile image

    Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

    Micky Dee, Thank you for reading this, King Micky. I hope you have great time. ^^

    Windresistant: Hello, nice to meet you here. Problem with my mind is I usually have trouble in focus on what I should have to work on but noticed on this and that which sometimes little unusual and silly, under the will of having fun. LOL. I'm glad this little curiosity of mind can be enjoyed by others too. Unless I know my weirdness not always bad for others. LOL. Thank you for reading this. I will visit you soon. ^^

    Agus Fanani: I am not sure this little 'remeh temeh' will be useful but unless it can be fun. hehehe. I'm glad you like it, brother.

    Nell Rose: Hello, Nell. You are indeed deep thinker with great sense of humour! One of the best Author HubPages ever have. I'm glad that I know you. And I think there always dark side in everybody, but of course as writer with length range of topics, you must be have the worst one! LOL. just kidding! hehehe. I love your dark side too, Nell, because it inspired me. Thank you, dear. ^^

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

    Hi, what a great question! I always say that we have psychological facets like a diamond. Each side is shown to different people at different times of the day, mother, daughter, etc, but also the way that we tell one person about a part of ourselves and another person something quite different, in fact I don't think there is anybody out there that actually knows all of me! scary thought, cheers nell

  • agusfanani profile image

    agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

    It's about something part of our life: a simple open question but needs contextual answers and you put it in an interesting package, in this hub. Thank you Freya for sharing good things with us.

  • windresistant profile image

    windresistant 6 years ago from Columbus, Ohio

    Really cool article! This is a subject I hadn't really thought to examine so closely before, and you did it beautifully. You are a wonderful writer!

  • Micky Dee profile image

    Micky Dee 6 years ago

    Thank you Freya. I love this hub. I love you dear. Thank you for lifting me up as always!

  • Freya Cesare profile image

    Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

    Epigramman: Aww! You really know how to make your friend blush and really happy, Mr. E! That is too kind. I am really blushing now. Hehehe... Thank you. ^^

    Neverletitgo: Salam, Abdi. This Hub had been created just because I tried to runaway from real study at that time. Bored make me started observing what I should not gave attention to, because I really don't have time. LOL. Thank you for the prayer. I really need that. Thank you, brother. ^^

  • Neverletitgo profile image

    Neverletitgo 6 years ago from Minneapolis, MN

    Good job Freya, this is well organized hub and you gave more time to create this wisdow that came out finally from you mind. I need to read more your hub youn and wise lady. Thanks for sharing this great article that one need to ask him/her self.

    Good luck for your study.


  • epigramman profile image

    epigramman 6 years ago of the great 'thinking' hub subjects of all time and it could only come from someone as astute, intelligent, inquistive and perceptive ..... as you!

    This is definitely 'one' for the ages and should be installed into every virtual library out there in the cyber universe. Bravo to you and your fine fine mind!

  • Freya Cesare profile image

    Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

    Eiddwen: Hello, Eiddwen. I'm glad you like it. Thanks.

    Accaetnna: No, not a great thinker. Just great person to be laugh with. I always observing all around me to look at something to be laugh at, with respect of course. Thank you, dear.

  • acaetnna profile image

    acaetnna 6 years ago from Guildford

    Wow this was incredible, you are such a great thinker Freya. Awesome.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

    A brilliant hub and thank you for sharing.

    Take care


  • Freya Cesare profile image

    Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

    Ahorseback, hi, Dad.

    Indeed, all of us are students of life which is very challenging in so many times. But if even before graduated, it able to created the wise person like you, I think the challenges is worth to face, isn't it? Hehehe... Thank you, Dad.

  • Freya Cesare profile image

    Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

    Urieeeeel! I miss you soooo much!

    I know! I know! I promised an email but I keep delay it since everything with me keep me so uptight and gloomy. I hate have to reported gloomy thought in my personal note. Do not like to think I will only share unpleasant thought to my friends. :( Like you see here, dear, it is so long without poem on my Hubs. It is hard to be romantic when my head flooded by textbooks and unromantic theories about human's mind! :(

    I am locked by my thesis right now. Can't move forward but never considering about walking backward too. Toooo not fun at all! But I think, still able to find distracted idea from my Thesis, like this Hub, means I still ok. hehehe

    "So called poet living double life?" Trying to be a misterious, dear? LOL. But indeed fitted with your gothic romantic image though. And fitted with my own description too. So, is it really that boring there? Hahaha

  • ahorseback profile image

    ahorseback 6 years ago

    Freya , as you so beautifully put it! We are all students ....of life. Great hub, you are such a wonderful soul.

  • Uriel profile image

    Uriel 6 years ago from Lebanon

    Freya so long no talk ! God i missed reading your hubs. Anyway, the hub is simply amazing. This reminds me of my first semester in college (which is like 6 months ago btw :D) when our english professor asked one of us to define his identity :D the person replied It is my ID number :S which made the class laugh but simply reduced his existence to a mere number :/

    Anyway the hub is simply a new perspective on the issue. Perhaps how you define yourself defines who you are. I really loved how you interpreted each response :D

    On the other hand my reply to your question would be "I am sara a so-called poet living a double life "

    so how have you been my friend? How are your studies going?

    Hugs :D:D and salam

  • Freya Cesare profile image

    Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

    Arkichner : Hey Audrey. I am agree! Human is complex creature and 10 or 20 labels will never enough at all.Thank you for reading this, Audrey. ^_^

  • Freya Cesare profile image

    Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

    JS. Matthew: Don't think too much. In the end, it is not important who we are, but more important is what we do. I believe this very much. ^_^ Thank you for reading this.

  • Freya Cesare profile image

    Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

    Mentalist Acer: LOL. aren't all of us too? But then, since you are the one whose claimed it, I think it is easy to analyzed, I did make you feel 'tickling' by this Hub. LOL. For me, Mentalist Acer is the most hardest poets I ever know. hehehe. Thank you.

  • Freya Cesare profile image

    Freya Cesare 6 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

    Reynold Jay: Hey! Thank you to be fan! Hehehe... I'm glad you like it because this one is fun to write for me too. ^^

    Thank you, Sir.

  • akirchner profile image

    Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

    Great job and very interesting thoughts on who we all are, Freya. I think we all make up many different parts to reach the whole and that's what SHOULD make us all interesting, right?

  • J.S.Matthew profile image

    JS Matthew 6 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

    You are a great thinker! Good job here...makes me think about what people really think about me and who I am!


  • Mentalist acer profile image

    Mentalist acer 6 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

    I'm Mind,Body,and Spirit,with a mouth to put food and a foot in:-)

  • Reynold Jay profile image

    Reynold Jay 6 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

    I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. Up one and Useful. Hey! I'm now your fan!