Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Whats Of Self-Concept

Self-concept is an important element to everyone as to how we perceive ourselves. It can actually affect a person's development and achievement in life.

Self-concept is made up of 3 components: the Perceived Self, Desired Self, and Presenting Self.

Firstly, the Perceived Self is the person you belief yourself to be. This task of determining your identities begins at an early age. However, once the identity is decided it is very difficult to change.

Secondly, the Desired Self is the person that you wish you were. We often compare ourselves to others and would sometimes wish that we could acquire that particular quality the person has. For example, if I've always wanted this I-Pod Classic, and I'm surrounded by people who have one each, I begin to suffer by comparison and the image that I hold for myself would be negatively affected. This sense of belonging is an essential need to achieving a healthy self-concept which can also be seen as the 3rd tier in Maslow's Hierarchy.

Thirdly, there is the Presenting Self. The Presenting Self is a role that we, as actors, take on and play on the stage of life. That explains how people can be so aggressive and some have control over their behaviors.

An individual's self-concept can be easily diminished through several factors. The first one is having obsolete information. This usually happens when a person refuses to admit his or her current physical conditions. For example, James used to be the fastest runner for his school about 30 years back and is now a potato couch but still thinks that he's the all-star athlete he was. A healthy self-concept should be focused on the present.

Secondly, giving distorted feed backs could hurt a person's self-esteem and self-concept crucially. There are people out there who are cruel and are constantly compelled criticize and belittle others. It could actually take awhile to build up the person's self-concept depending on how he or she took the criticism and how harsh it was.

Thirdly, there is a social expectation that exists in most society. The reinforced modesty created by our society makes us feel compelled toward humility no matter what the cost is. In truth, it is actually considered arrogant to desire a positive image of ourselves.

Our individual self-concept is partly determined by how we seek from others to find out who we are. This discovery process under the watchful eyes of others can make or break our self-concept with their opinions. However, we have to learn the ways of dealing with opinions from others once we receive them. We can either accept or reject it. Understand and discovering your self-concept is very important as it can affect many sides of our development. Hence, for my next post I shall be talking about How To Determine Your Self-Concept.

Gaddis, Susan (Ph.D). "Prescriptions for Improving a Poor Self Concept". The Communications Doctor. N.d. Web. May 17th 2009.

Yang Su Ying

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