Events that trigger a disconnect with the Self

In this article, we take a look at some of the most common triggers that lead to a significant & possible sudden change in ones Self Concept, thereby leading to a disconnect with the Self. You want to take up a journey of Self Discovery if your life becomes dysfunctional after any of these events.

  • Breakup / Divorce
  • Job Loss
  • Death of a Parent, sibling
  • Moving out from parents house
  • Graduation, Completion of Student Life
  • New Job, Significant Promotion
  • Marriage, First child birth
  • Sudden Fame

Breakup / Divorce

The primary romantic relationship is not just a source of love & comfort, it also involves exposing one’s Self to be intimately affected and coupled with the other. If & when that bond is broken, it breaks one’s Self Concept in more ways than one. It affects all aspects of the self Concept in varying degrees. This impact is so common & so significant to Self Discovery, I have an entire section dedicated to it.

Job Loss

For most people, their job is forms one of the primary components of Identity. An unexpected layoff will cause a loss of identity. The secondary effects may be a loss of Self Worth & lowering of Self Esteem. All of this causes the individual to lose connection with the Self.

Death of a Parent, Close Sibling

Our first & foremost primary identity is tied to our parents. It is in the formative years that this identity is entrenched in our subconscious. It is not just how society sees us, it is also how we see ourselves. We hold on to many emotions (both favourable & unfavourable) towards our parents. The passing of a parent, it affects our very core sense of Self, beyond grief.

Moving out of Parents home

The first time you move out of your parents home, you take a step in creating your own identity through physical space. This event causes a significant change in how you function socially, and how you are perceived within your social circle.

Graduation / Completion of Formal Education

Being a Student is an individuals second Social Identity, after the relational identity derived from parents. For individuals, who never take on part time work during their studies, Graduation or Completion of formal education causes a dramatic change in ones identity and therefore may cause a dissociation with the Sense of Self.

New Job, Significant Promotion

Just like a layoff or termination of employment may cause a loss of Identity, a significant promotion causes a sudden shift in ones Social Identity.

Marriage, First born Child

Marriage creates the coupling of one’s Social Identity with another individual. The first born child imparts a very important role to the individual coupled with an identity – of being a parent.

Sudden Fame

In the modern hyperconnected world, more than anytime in the past, an individual may find himself/herself suddenly at the centre of attention. This may be due to their doing, or even due to something beyond their control. Irrespective of the source, a dramatic increase in attention will have significant changes to the Self Concept – primarily to the social components of the Self i.e. Identity, Self Worth & Self Image.

Questions for Self Awareness

  • Which of the above event(s) has had the biggest shift in your self concept in your life?
  • How did you cope with the disconnect with the Self

A disconnect with the Self does not necessarily imply dysfunctional behaviour or extreme emotions. Many people are able to deal with these situations with resilience & with support from family & friends. It is also very common to seek professional help.

If you have never experienced a disconnect with the Self due to any of the above events, it means that you have very low Self Awareness.