I chose the topic of self-concept through interpersonal communication because I had an interest in it. This interest is because I didn’t understand that one’s self-concept affected the way one is perceived by others. I learned self-concept through class discussions, but I wanted a better understanding of how communication affects one’s self-concept and how it affects one’s perception
One’s self-concept affects one’s perception, attitude and behavior, which can be demonstrated during the process of interpersonal communication. Aspects of one’s life influence their self-concept, which not only affect how people perceive them but how they perceive themselves. Such things are gender, motivational level and psychological type. It is widely known that in order to communicate with others one must first understand oneself. This is self-concept, and affects the way one communicates. In the process of communication, self-knowledge and the way one feel about oneself is revealed to others, and affects how others react to them. Consequently, the perceptions one believes others have of them affect how they receive their communication, which influences their response.
In order to understand how one perceives situations and how they can determine the way one communicates; we first must understand the value of self-concept. Self is easily defined; it is one’s beliefs, attitudes, feelings and values. It is who one is and what one stands for. Self-concept, is a relevantly stable set of perceptions and emotional states. It is the way one sees and understands oneself, and contributes to how one perceives oneself and perceives situations. One’s self-concept may alter their perception, and either enhance or impede one’s communication effectiveness. The way one sees oneself can influence the way they see their social surroundings. Only after one become aware of oneself can they be aware of their physical and social surroundings, which will allow one to perceive situations and people with a truer idea and create a more positive outcome.
Communication affects self-concept and self concept affects how one communicates. If one has poor self-concept and sees oneself as unworthy then they will present themselves this way, which will result in a negative response from people. If one feels good about oneself, they will present themselves as worthy, which will result in a more positive response from people. The perceptions, beliefs and attitudes that steam from self-concept, will affect one’s social surroundings. One will either come out of a situation with a positive or negative concept of these surroundings. Poor communication can cause one to have a poor perception of oneself. One’s emotional state, dislikes, likes values and body image are affected by the opinions of others and can render one to have an inferior and insecure self-concept.
How one communicates is also influenced by gender. Studies show that ones sex can place a person in a gender role expectation. Women and Men communicate differently and because sexual identity is defined through same sex parent or role model, women and men can get into gender role expectations. These expectations influence their perception attitudes and behavior that will result in a communication style. This early self-concept can effect each one’s interpersonal relations. Women for instance are much-attached human beings they have very early identification with their mothers, and this can cause an on going pattern of role expectation. It can lead to interpersonal communication skills that are very nurturing and understanding. Women are not threatened by intimacy and communicating at a close range with people. Similarly, men also have an early identification process not with their mother, but their fathers. Men tend to be fairly reserved, and quite. Men are most comfortable when there is a level of separation. This male role will contribute to the communication processes and it can cause communication to be very distant. Therefor an androgynous role can cause success in interaction. If men and women follow these role expectations, it can lead to a misconception of their personalities Motivation is a very big part of self-concept. Whether one understands what motivates them or what doesn’t motivate them can alter their attitude behavior and perception. If one does not understand the reasons why they are motivated or unmotivated, this will show as a lack of self-concept, which can make it difficult for people to determine one’s motives. People will take on the role of assuming one’s motives and may perceive them as dishonest and conniving or contrary, they may perceive them as having good intentions and honest. Regardless, people will never feel like they can completely trust the person because people will never be sure if that person has hidden motives. Further, if one is not sure of their motives they might project them with out being aware, and consequently end up causing confrontation. Subsequently, if one understands the reasons behind their motives than they are in a better position to communicate honestly and sincerely. With self-concept, people will understand one’s motives and they will see one’s real intentions, this will result in a higher level of communication between people.
Without knowledge or self-concept, one’s psychological type can be altered. One’s psychological type is the manner in which one perceives, make decisions, and orient toward the world . By one understanding their own psychological type, they can gain self-concept, and in contrast, by self-concept one can begin to understand their psychological type. One perceives things in a certain manner depending on how they see and understand themselves. They way one perceives and make decisions can cause stress in communication. If one is not aware of their self-concept and does not understand the way they perceive, it is hard to have communication. One can understand self-concept if they observe their decision-making, if they understand why, and how they came to that decision. Understanding how one comes to their decisions also ties into motivation. Through understanding one’s decisions making process they have a better self-concept of what motivates them, which can lead to better communication skills. Further, with familiarization and adaptation to the world, one can gain awareness, experience people and attribute cause and meaning in order to form impressions of others and themselves.
Self-concept also deals with control over oneself. If one is able to see how they treat people and how they deal with the world in front of them, one can be in control of oneself. One can govern their own being, because honest communication with others will allow them to make clear and precise decisions about what they want to do and how they wants to live. Further, understanding oneself can help one to understand other people better. The first step to understanding others is understanding oneself. With self-concept, one can understand their perceptions, attitudes and behaviors, which will help them to understand other people better.
Communication with understanding is the best type of communication. Without understanding oneself, it is impossible to have clear communication with anyone else. Self-concept affects one’s attitude, perception and behavior, and without having good self-concept it is impossible to communicate clearly. Three aspects discussed that have affect on self-concept are gender, motivational level and psychological types. These all play an essential role in the way one communicate. A large portion of one’s self-concept comes from past experience, and the people that surround them. Therefore one’s perceptions, behaviors, attitudes gain from experience and people may alter one’s self-concept.
Douglas Degelman, Ph.D. Copyright March 21, 2005.
Ronald B. Adler, Russell F. Proctor II, Neil Towne. Look Out/Looking In. Copyright 2005
Wadsworth and Thomas Learning, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
D. W. Hamlyn – author. Publisher: Routledge ; Kegan Paul. Place of Publication: Sensation and Perception: A History of the Philosophy of Perception. Contributors: London. Publication Year: 1961. Page Number: iii.