Who do you feel you are?

Martha Beck’s premise of the essential and the social self.

My essential self is happy behind the oars, floating down the Clark Fork River at sunset. Photo: Derek Laine

When someone asks: “Who do you think you are?” (usually with a passive-aggressive undertone that implies the addressed ought not to think of themselves very highly), they probably aren’t interested in getting an honest answer.

But what if they were?