“Our relationships with others help define who we are”
In trying to make sense of ourselves we often look to others and our relationships with them to help us. Our first relationships are with our family. Their influence is often vital to our self- definition. These relationships can give us a sense of who we are and where we have come from and it is often comforting to know we are part of something bigger. Often these relationships are positive, but they can also be negative. Being rejected by our family is not wanted but it can have a big impact on who we are and how we live our lives. It can test our strength of character. As we move through to adulthood and start to gain a greater insight into who we are, we often look to others outside the family and they too can have a lasting influence on us. The people we meet and the experiences we share with them are crucial to our development as individuals. We need to cross these relationships carefully as we balance our uniqueness with conforming to keep those around us happy.
Our family strongly influence the sense of who we are and our behavior, family is a part of who we are. What we first connect with is our parents and our family. What our parents said and what they did will influence our behaviour. In the film Skin, Sandra’s father Abraham told Sandra ‘Never give up’ and he never gave up reclassifying Sandra to be white. All of these influence Sandra, even though she left him for nearly 30 years, Sandra still remembered and did as what he said. It made her try to connect with her mother even though she never get her mother write back and Petrus was angry about this, but she never gave up. In the end of the film when Sandra’s children question why she bothers to look for her white family, Sandra said ‘You never stop needing your parents, they are party of who you are.’ For me, my parents influenced me a lot. For example, my mum had always played sport as a young girl and teenager and even now she still plays, and this has influenced me because I now play or have played every sport that she has, and she is now the coach of my netball team.
Where we find happiness is where we belong. Sometimes we need to try to find where we really belong, where people accept us and care for us. In the film Skin, Sandra was rejected by her father because of her falling in love with Petrus. When she was rejected by her family she felt sad and confused, but she felt she did not belong in the white group and that she will never accepted by the white people, she felt happy when she stayed with Petrus, she had asked Petus ‘how could you make me feel better’ what Petrus did is he just accepted her. When she was rejected by her family Sandra chose to live with Petrus and found out that she was belonging to black community. What Sandra did is try to find where she really did belong, where she will be treated equality and be accepted. When Petrus found out that Sandra keep in touch with her mother, he got angry with Sandra he suspected her loyalty, he rejected her, and Sandra had to take her two children and left Petrus, to try to find other places where she will have her happiness and make her felt like she belonged.
Our sense identity also is influenced by other people, what other people say to us, say about us and how they act around us will change our sense of identity. When we move through to adulthood and start to gain a greater insight into who we are, we usually change our sense of identity by some outside influence. In the film Skin, when Abraham tried to put Sandra into a white school, what happened to her in the school changes herself identity. Sandra did not even know she was coloured unstill she started school where she was the target of prejudice, racism and abuse because the staff and students questioned her status as ‘white ’. When Sandra lived in the boarding, one of a little girl said to Sandra ‘They said you are black.’ When Sandra had maths class the teacher hit her and said she was ‘disgusting’, etc. What happened to her let Sandra know that she is not white, she is coloured and she will never got in the white community. All of these changed Sandra, when we can see that even at nearly 30 years old Sandra still feels inadequate, when she talks with people and she’s afraid look at others eye to eye.
Courtney from Study Moose
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