Self-Concept in the book “Looking Out, Looking In” is defined as the set of perceptions each individual holds for him or herself. This isn’t just how you view yourself physically, but also emotional state, talents, like, dislikes, values, morals, and so on. Self-concept also has to do with self-esteem and self-worth. The things you do and the things you say, generally relate to self-concept, which is why self-concept and interpersonal communication have such an important relationship. When you think of Self-concept, you should think of the question “who am I?” Self-concept is the image you have of who you are as a person. One’s self-concept is a collection of beliefs about themselves that includes elements such as academic performance, gender roles and sexuality, racial identity, and others. A person’s self-concept affects their past, present, and future selves.
For example, a 20 year old entering college thinks to himself “College is going to be a disaster because in high school, I didn’t have any friends” In the past, since the person didn’t have any friends, their self-concept leads them to believe that in college they will not have any friends either. Last week in my ICOR journal, I recorded a conversation I had with my district manager of Loss Prevention at my work. It was a phone conversation in which he called me and told me that our store was the #1 store in the district, in regards to productivity. But he didn’t stop there. On the phone he continued to tell me how productive I am personally, and that I had the #2 most theft stops in the region, and the reason my store is #1 was directly because of me. Instantly I felt a sense of self-worth and pride in my job. I choose this journal entry to write about because I think it directly relates to Self-Concept. Due to the fact that my district manager recognized, and felt it necessary to call and tell me personally how good I have been doing at my job, it really changed the way I saw myself.
Not only did it boost my self-esteem at that point, but it also improved my overall self-concept. Sources of self-concept include others’ images of you, social comparisons, cultural teachings, and your own interpretations and evaluations. In regards to interpersonal communication, self-concept really affects the way one may communicate. In communication, self-concept and the way one feels about themselves, is revealed to others, and affects how that other reacts to them. Subsequently, the perceptions someone believes others have of them, affect how they receive their communication, which influences their response. A major factor of your own self-concept is others’ image of you, or how people generally see you. According to DeVito (2009), we look to people who are important to us to see how they treat us. He states, “If these important others think highly of you, you will see this positive image of yourself reflected in their behaviors; if they think little of you, you’ll see a more negative image.” To me this shows proof that self-concept is not entirely comprised of how you see yourself, but how others see you, also affects how you see yourself. Next is your own interpretations and evaluations. An example of this is if you view yourself as a “good person” but find yourself doing something that goes against this interpretation of yourself, you may later feel guilty about it, ultimately changing your self-concept. Cultural beliefs are also a factor of self-concept because the fact that in current day society, culture tells us what/what not to do, say, believe, etc.
If something is not culturally accepted, the things we do will alter our self-concept. For example, the age at which kids are sexually active is getting younger and younger by the day. If one decides not to have sex until they are married, (possibly in their 30’s) this is not going to be socially accepted by some, and people may label you as a “prude.” This can change how people look at you, and ultimately change how you view yourself, for better or worse. Lastly, another factor of self-concept is social comparisons. For example, when trying to analyze your own self-concept, you may ask your friends/family what they think. Comparing what you believe and what your friends/family believe, can ultimately help you decide your own self-concept.
In conclusion, self-concept is ultimately how you see yourself. Not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, in all aspects of your life. It is the perception of yourself as a whole, of your entire, individual being. “Self”, is a very large aspect of interpersonal communication. It is how you see yourself, how others see you, how you see others, and how you see, others see you. It creates who you are, whether it be shy, outgoing, confident, cowardly, good, bad, etc. A true definition of self-concept can be expressed entirely by the question, “Who am I?”
(2005, 04). Self Concept Through Interpersonal Communication.StudyMode.com. Retrieved 04, 2005, from http://www.studymode.com/Self-Concept-Through-Interpersonal-Communication-51765.html Lane, Shelley. “INTERPERSONAL COMMUNICATION: COMPETENCE AND CONTEXTS.” . ALLYN ; BACON/LONGMAN, n.d. Web. 29 Sep 2013. .