Definition of self-concept
Self-concept can be termed as self-perspective, self-construction, self-structure or self-identity. All these terms could mean a collection of attitudes, values and beliefs of the self that include factors like sexual identity, gender identity, academic performance, racial identity among other individual identities (Huitt 2011). Self-concept can be distinguished from self-awareness which refers to the extent of self-knowledge that is consistent, defined by an individual and applicable to one’s dispositions and attitudes. At the same time, self-concept is different from self-esteem because the former is a descriptive or cognitive component of the self; for instance-I am an exceptional runner. The former is an evaluated opinion of the self; for instance I feel so good about being a brilliant runner. In simple terms, self-concept is the idea that an individual holds in regard of herself. How we communicate with others is highly dependent on how we compare ourselves to others, those around you, personal anxieties and the larger environment. For instance, if you have a friend who is homosexual, it is very common to find them communicating freely with other homosexuals (Larson 2012). When in a communication surrounding that has another person being homophobic, the communication would be strained because one party is trying to hide who he really is basing on internal shame.
Role of self-concept in communication
Just like the example presented above, a homosexual would be comfortable in a conversation that involves other homosexuals. Another instance of a communication that could be strained is one that one party feels uncomfortable because of the racial environment. An African American would find it hard to be on the same communication platform with Latinos because African Americans might feel inferior to Latinos. Self-concept is the notion about self and it applies in our day to day interactions. When involved in group communication, there are those people who superior and would want to take charge of the whole discussion while those who feel inferior would try to fit into such conversations though not comfortable. People who have strong self-concepts would be free in any kind of communication at any time because nothing makes them have an ‘out of place’ feeling in a social setting (Howell 2016).
Definition of my self-concept
I choose to stay true to myself even at the expense of attracting ridicule from my friends rather than be false and detest myself (Freund & Kasten 2012). I do not choose to worry about what other people think of me, I do not care how they perceive me and my personality because for one, I have knowledge of myself and my demons. As an individual living a life of my own, I focus on my gains and benefits, engaging in activities that aid in individual betterment and advancement. At times I could be egocentric and self-seeking. I care about others but I place myself first. I am more introverted, conservative, ignored and unstained because I value myself. Just like everyone else, I make mistakes and that is just who I am. However, I also believe that is am good and have the ability to bring out the best in me. I am not out to be loved by everybody because I think less of what they do. For me self-awareness is adopting a clear perception about your feelings, thoughts, beliefs, emotions, motivation and personality and I also believe this is what makes me understand those around me, how they view me and we respond to each other at a moment. I could confidently say that I am fully aware of my strengths and weaknesses, my potentials, my weak spots, my assets and my friends. I think I am my own best resource, I am confident of my abilities, appearances and for that reason I have formed a good image of myself and so I have the ability to value others.
Influencing self-concept of others
Growing up as a child and learning to involve in many activities, I have always been given the post of a leader. I have learnt to bring out the best in other, motivate them to get to the highest of their potential and believe in them. As a leader I focused on working together and ensuring no one is superior and no one is inferior. This helped me turn introverts into outgoing group members with full participation in groups.
Difference between perception and self-concept
Self-concept is basically knowledge about oneself. It is also similar to knowing what others feel and how they react to certain things (Fournier 2016). Perception on the other hand is self-evaluation on a scale that ranges from positive to negative. Perception is based on the feedback we receive from significant people in our lives about how they think of us and what they hold as our self-worth.
Improving perception and communication
Creating and maintaining supporting friendships could help improve perception and self-concept. Apart from self-prophesying to self, being around friends who build your self-esteem is a way to increase how you view yourself (Stinson et al., 2011). We have the ability to make a choice in deciding who sticks around us and who does not. Secondly, self-concept and perception can be increased by staying aware of distorted thinking and action patterns. Learning about the dangers of negative thoughts and actions could help us acknowledge and intervene in creating a change. Instead of negative thinking, individuals can engage in overcompensation and building self-esteem.
Fournier, G. (2016). Self-Concept. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2017, from https://psychcentral.com/encyclopedia/self-concept/
Freund, P. & Kasten, N. (2012). “How smart do you think you are? A meta-analysis on the validity of self-estimates of cognitive ability”. Psychological Bulletin. 138 (2): 296–321. doi:10.1037/a0026556
Howell, G. (2016). Personality self-concept affects processing of trait adjectives in the self-reference memory paradigm Journal of Research in Personality. 66(2017); 1-13.
Huitt, W. (2011). “Self and self-views”. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University.
Stinson, D. A., et al., (2011). “Rewriting the Self-Fulfililng Prophecy of Social Rejection: Self-Affirmation Improves Relational Security and Social Behavior up to 2 Months Later,” Psychological Science 20, no. 10 (2011): 2.