Self-image or self-concept is the mental image we have of ourselves. Have you ever wondered who I am? The answer you give to this question is your mental image of yourself or the self-image. This image grows in several ways; But it specifically affects our interactions with the important people in our lives. In this article, we describe the definition of self-concept, self-concept in psychology, as well as its dimensions and characteristics.
What is self-portrait?
Self-portrait is how we perceive our unique behavior, abilities, and characteristics; For example, beliefs such as “I am a good friend” or “I am a kind person” are part of the overall self-image. Self-image is more flexible when you are less traditional and in the process of discovering and recognizing yourself and your identity. As you grow older and know yourself better and fully understand who you are and what matters to you, this mental image will become more accurate and organized.
Carl Rogers and the theory of personality self-concept
Carl Rogers, an American psychologist and one of the most famous personality theorists, proposed a theory of how self-image works as a framework for personality. The image we have of who we are, together with our actions combined with our personality, creates a feedback loop from our perception of ourselves.
Rogers believed that our character is driven by our desire for self-actualization. These are the conditions that become apparent when we reach our highest potential. According to him, our self-concept, self-esteem and ideal self all overlap and have in common. How we cultivate our personality and self-concept is different. That’s why we are unique people.
Rogers believed that the self-portrait consisted of three different parts:
- Ideal self: The person you want to be.
- Imagine yourself: The way you see yourself, which includes traits such as physical traits, personality traits, and social maps.
- Self-esteem: To the extent that you love, accept, or value yourself. Self-esteem or self-esteem can be influenced by a variety of factors, including how others view you, how you think about others, and your role in society.
Theory of self-preservation
Self-image becomes somewhat established after a person reaches adulthood; But it can change based on one’s experience. The theory of self-preservation states that it is not just that we sit and wait for our self-concept to develop, but that we play an active role in shaping our self-concept at any age. Although there are different theories about the processes of self-preservation, they are generally related to the following:
- Our evaluation;
- Comparing our real selves with our ideal selves;
- Take steps to get closer to our ideal self.
Compatibility and incompatibility
Your self-image or self-concept does not always correspond to reality. When your self-image matches reality, you are compatible with your self-image. However, when there is a mismatch between the image you have of yourself and the person you love (the ideal self), your self-image is incompatible. This incompatibility may negatively affect your self-esteem.
Rogers believed that this incompatibility had its roots in childhood. This inconsistency arises when parents show their love for their child only in certain circumstances, such as when their child meets their expectations. In this situation, the child develops a defensive mechanism of distortion of experiences, which makes him feel unworthy of the love and affection of his parents. Unconditional love, on the other hand, helps to strengthen harmony. Children who experience such love do not need to constantly distort their memories to believe that others will love them as they are.
Self-resolution (SCC) and self-resolution (SCD)
Clarity of self-concept means how clear, certain and consistent people’s definitions of themselves are. Self-image segregation refers to the fact that a person’s self-expression is different in different contexts or social roles. Clarity of self-concept and separation of self-concept are hot topics in psychology because they affect thought patterns and behavior. The high resolution of self-concept indicates stronger and more stable self-concept; While the clarity of the self-concept is low, the person is ambiguous about who he really is. People with low self-esteem may have low self-esteem, low self-awareness, and neuroticism.
The separation of the above self-concept may be considered a bad thing; But it may be a mechanism for effective effort to succeed in the modern world where people have different roles. If the resolution of the self is very high, it may mean that the person does not have a fixed self and wears a different mask for each of their roles. A very low level of self-image dissociation may also indicate that he or she cannot effectively change from one role to another.
Some of the general features of self-portrait are:
- It changes over time;
- Affects people’s lives;
- It varies from very positive to very negative;
- It has emotional, intellectual and functional dimensions;
- Displayed individually with each person.
Different dimensions may form different types of self-portraits; For example, the dimensions of self-image that create “academic self-efficacy” are quite different from the dimensions of “social self-efficacy”. Some common dimensions in all areas are:
- Ideal self;
- personal characteristics;
- Identity or role (social).
Stages of cultivating and developing self-concept
Self-concept develops and changes throughout life; But in the early years of life, more is changing.
1. Formation of self-concept in childhood
In childhood, there are three general stages in the development of self-concept:
First stage: birth up to 2 years old
- Babies need adaptive emotional relationships to develop a positive sense of self;
- Babies develop preferences that are in line with their instincts;
- Toddlers feel safe with gentle but firm restrictions;
- At age 2, language skills develop and toddlers experience a sense of belonging.
Second stage: 3 to 4 years old
- Children 3 and 4 years old see themselves as unique;
- Their perceptions of themselves are more descriptive than judgmental;
- Preschoolers are already more independent and curious to see what they can do.
Third stage: 5 to 6 years old
- They are moving from my stage to our stage, where they are more aware of the needs and interests of the larger group;
- Kindergartens can use their own words to express their wants, needs and feelings;
- Children aged 5 and 6 can use more advanced language to define themselves in a group setting.
2. Self-concept in middle childhood (school age)
During middle childhood (around 7 to 11 years old), children find their social sense and understand how to adapt to others. They make more social comparisons and begin to think about how others see them. Other features of children’s self-concept at this stage are:
- Cultivating an ideal and real self;
- Cultivating personal feelings;
- Describe yourself based on competencies instead of specific behaviors.
3. Development of self-concept in adolescence
Adolescence is a place where the development of one’s self-concept is exploding. This is the stage at which people (around 12 to 18 years old) play with how they feel about themselves, test their identities, compare themselves to others, and form the basis of a self-concept that they may have for the rest of their lives. Stay for them.
During this period, adolescents are more prone to self-awareness and to being influenced by their peers and chemical changes in the brain. They have more freedom and independence, engage in increasingly competitive activities, compare themselves to their peers, and can (even overestimate) the views of others.
A few examples of self-portraits
Some examples of positive self-image are:
- One considers oneself an intelligent human being;
- Considers himself a compassionate human being;
- The individual considers himself an important member of his community;
- He considers himself a good wife and a great friend;
- One sees oneself as a hard-working and competent employee.
Some examples of negative self-image are:
- The person considers himself a fool;
- One considers oneself a burden on society;
- The person sees himself as a lazy and incompetent employee;
- He considers himself a cold and inaccessible human being.
And the last word…
In this article, we are introduced to the concept of self-image. The higher the clarity or clarity of our self-image, the higher our understanding of ourselves and our abilities. With a clear understanding of ourselves, we will walk in the right direction.
What self-image do you have? Is your self-image more positive or negative? Share your thoughts and experiences about self-portrait with us and your audience.