In everyone, there are two people. Their "I" personality and their "Me" personality.
"I and Me," is simply a theory. It is used by theorists to explain behaviors in everyday life. George Herbert Mead, a communication theorist, has done research on the subject, and even coined the term. It is used usually by theorists to help them explain a basic idea about the communication between people. Theorists first look at how one person works before they go on to examine a group of people.
The theory if I and Me goes a bit like this:
The "I" personality is the part of a person that wants to do whatever the person really enjoys. For example, such things the "I" would want to do: Take off your clothes
and run around naked
, burn buildings
, steal cars
, yell at everyone
, etc. The I is our creative
side. It's what says "Go, enjoy life, do whatever makes you feel good." It's our liberal
edge. In popular media
, our "I" is the guy on our left shoulder dressed like the devil
On the other end of the spectrum is "Me." This is that little angel, the perfect little man. This guy is our conservative side. He reminds us that, no, running around naked is not a good idea. Stealing is against our culture. This guy may seem "boring," but without him we would run wild and perform in a totally anarchistic world. The "Me" is the perfect balance to the crazy, wild, and creative "I."
A perfect example of this is in Fight Club. There is one man, Tyler Durden, who represents the I. He is everything "men" want to be. He is strong, he is creative, he's not afraid to get in a fight and get beaten up. He will say what he wants when he wants and doesn't worry about the consequences. On the other hand we have the nameless narrator (Jack) who represents the Me, he lives a comfortable life in a condominium with a nice cushy desk job and all the Ikea in the world. He is afraid to let go of his perfect world.
The I and Me theory is quite similar to the idea of Id and Superego by Sigmund Freud. However, Freud's theory forms around the idea that the desires are subconscious or unconscious, whereas Mead's theory purports that the I and Me wants and needs are up-front.
Another big difference is that in Freud's theories, there are three seperate parts, Id, ego, and superego split by nonconsciousness and consciousness. In Mead's theory, I and Me are complementary of the same conscious ideal. So that when we make a decision, we consciously weigh the two sides.