Identity is a complex concept studied and discussed by many disciplines, including psychology, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, and theology. In its most basic form, identity can be defined as the characteristics or qualities that define an individual’s sense of self. It includes both physical attributes such as gender or ethnicity as well as psychological aspects such as beliefs and values. Identity also encompasses how we view ourselves about others; for example, our social roles within family life or work environments.

Our experiences shape our identities throughout life from childhood onwards – from the people, we interact with to the things we learn about ourselves through trial-and-error situations – which all contribute towards forming who we are today. Our identities may remain relatively consistent over time, but they will also evolve due to changes in environment or personal circumstances; this process is known as identity formation, which involves developing a sense of self-based on past experiences while simultaneously adapting existing beliefs and behaviors according to new information encountered along the way.

Overall it can be said that identity refers not only to what makes us unique individuals but also to how these differences shape our relationships with others around us – positively (e.g., shared interests) and negatively (e.g., conflicting opinions). Thus understanding one’s own identity is vital when trying to build meaningful connections with those close by – whether friends/family members/colleagues etc. – so it’s essential to take some time to consider who we are!