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Self Concept And Interpersonal Communication Essay

Self-concept, or self-identity, refers to the ideas one holds regarding himself or herself. These ideas refer to one's sexual preferences, academic mind, cultural/racial identity, personality, and physical characteristics. Communication with others greatly depends upon how one compares himself or herself to others, the environment, personal anxieties, and the people around.

For example, a person who is homosexual may communicate very well (openly) with other homosexuals. On the other hand, if the same person is around...

Self-concept, or self-identity, refers to the ideas one holds regarding himself or herself. These ideas refer to one's sexual preferences, academic mind, cultural/racial identity, personality, and physical characteristics. Communication with others greatly depends upon how one compares himself or herself to others, the environment, personal anxieties, and the people around.

For example, a person who is homosexual may communicate very well (openly) with other homosexuals. On the other hand, if the same person is around people he or she considers to be homophobic, the conversation can be strained. The person may try to hide who he or she really is based upon internal shame felt.

Another example of a situation, where a conversation may be strained or easy-going, could be one where a person feels uncomfortable regarding the cultural or racial environment. For example, an African American man may feel uncomfortable around a group of southern whites. The conversation would be guarded (most likely). On the other hand, if the African American was around a group of other African Americans, he would feel the same (as the previous example) and conversation would be more easy-going.

In some cases, people who feel below others (in any way) may not choose to converse in a group setting. Instead, he or she may choose to stay quiet (feeling self-conscious about what he or she could add). The person may feel as if he or she were to say something that he or she would be judged (given the lack of "equality").

Other people have very strong self-concepts. These people will have a conversation with anyone at anytime. Nothing makes them feel out of place, and they thrive in social settings.

The Importance Of Self Concept To Personal Communication

The Importance of Self Concept to Personal Communication

The observation of yourself as an individual is called self-concept.
Self-concept also embraces how well you know yourself through the
medium of thoughts, feelings and emotions.
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Perception plays a key role in the making of self-concept. How you
perceive yourself and how you think others perceive you, shape your
self concept. This means that if you have difficulty with perception
your self concept is likely to be distorted. For example, someone that
thinks everyone loves them and agrees with every idea of theirs may
have trouble with their own perception of what people really think of
them. Because it is very likely that not everyone does agree with them
and love them.

The way you feel about yourself or view yourself reflects foremost in
how you behave and the characteristics you possess. Therefore
self-concept strongly influences personality. If you feel that you are
a quiet person you will end up being a quiet person, this is a classic
example of the "Self Fulfilling Prophecy". This is the concept that
how you think you behave will lead to the expectation that you should
behave like that and therefore you will fulfil that expectation. An
example of this prophecy is when a child is predicted to behave badly
in a certain social situation by his or her parents'. If somehow this
prediction is communicated to the child, he or she will 'play' up to
the prediction and the expectations of the parents will be fulfilled.
Consequently the self fulfilling prophecy occurs when a prediction is
fulfilled.

We have seen that self-concept affects personality dramatically. This
leads on to the factor of "Role". Your personality changes according
to what roles you play in your life. An example of this is a 16 year
old playing the roles of friend, student, son, employee and uncle.
When playing the role of uncle, the boy will act more responsible, but
when he is playing the part of friend he will be less responsible and
act childishly. This indicates that depending on the role you are
playing, your personality will alter.

Perception also has the ability to transform the roles you play. The
perception of yourself and perception of others have of you will have
an influence on the roles you play. For example, if you think you are
an outgoing person you are more likely to adopt a lively,
happy-go-lucky, friendly 'character' than if you perceive yourself to
be a quiet, shy, lonely person. This means that overall self-concept
has an influence (via perception) over certain roles you play in your
life.

All the factors so far, link in very closely with identifying how
important self-concept is to personal communication. If there were
change in any or all of the...

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