The development process begins at about six or seven months of age. The child begins to recognize “self” as distinct from surroundings. They stare at anything they see, including their own body parts; hands, feet, toes, and fingers. As they grow, their sense of identity expands through interactions with others –creating self-esteem levels that become the “booster” for the ability to interact.
There are two theories that describe how interactions shape our self-views. One defines perceptions of the judgments of others called Reflected Appraisal. It is the notion of receiving supportive and nonsupportive messages. It states that positive appreciation and a high level of self-value is gain when supportive messages are received. In contrast, receiving nonsupportive messages leads to feeling less valuable, lovable, and capable. Everyone that you and I interact with influences these self-evaluations. Either from your past or from present –all shapes how you view yourself, especially from our significant others. The strength of messages from significant others become stronger and eventually affect the health, when they are nonsupportive; depression, for instance, leads to less physical activities that are necessary for a healthy body. However, the foremost important influences are our parents. Supportive parents raise children with healthy self-concepts. While nonsupportive parents raise an unhappy child who view his/her self in negative ways.
The other theory defines evaluation of ourselves in terms of how we compare with others, called Social Comparison. There are two types, superior or inferior comparison and same as or different from others. We compare by attractiveness, success or failures, intelligence, and it all depends on whom we are comparing ourselves with. For instance, an individual might feel inferior when compared with an inappropriate reference group. Therefore, he or she might feel inferior because she feels less of everything from the reference. Similarly, the opposite occurs when compared with an appropriate reference group.
In addition, we a...
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... behavior. This means that self-awareness must also come into play. I will have to be concerned about the way I present my ideas, as well as my behavior; otherwise, it will be perceived negatively.
So far, my self-concept has changed positively and in time, it will improve (optimists). The only difficulty that I have been facing is the ability to defend myself against negative comments from others. Because of my thinking process speed, it takes time for me to acquire comments and how to say them immediately. In addition, I found that it is not necessary to give a response back to negative comments in order to defend yourself, except in courtrooms. Nonverbal expressions are also as powerful. For example, ignoring critical comments create a serious climate between you and the speaker –sending a message that the comment was unnecessary and offensive. But in some cases, verbal messages are necessary, such as that in debates over issues.
In conclusion, I would have to say that what has been written are only a scratch on a big surface of interpersonal communication skills that I have learned from this class. This concept just happened to be the most important for improvement.
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