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Self Presentation.docx

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University at Buffalo
COM 225
Bonnie Mc Cracken

Self Presentation Friday, February 7, 2014 8:59 AM Why is learning the self important? • Components of self and self-reflection can be used to improve communication skills and your self-esteem • How to present and maintain a positive self when interacting with others • "Know thyself"- before understanding our interactions with others, we must first understand ourselves What is the "self"? • Self- made up of 3 distinct, yet integrated components, that evolve continually over time based on life experience o Self-awareness- viewing yourself as a unique person distinct from surroundings; ability to step outside of yourself and reflect on your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors • Critical self-reflection- targeted self-awareness  What am I thinking/feeling and why?  How is it affecting my communicating?  How can I improve my thoughts/feelings/communication? o Self-concept- your overall perception of who you are based on your beliefs, attitudes, and values • Shaped by your gender, culture, family, and friends • Looking-glass self- thinking about how others see you has a powerful effect on how you think about yourself o Self-esteem- the overall value, positive or negative, that we assign to ourselves. Evaluations of self-worth • Self-fulfilling prophecies- making predictions about our behavior or future interactions, then behaving in ways that ensure the prediction is correct  "I am going to deliver a great presentation!"  "No one's going to talk to me anyway" • People with high self-esteem report:  Greater life satisfaction  Communicate more positively with others  Experience more happiness in their relationships  Exhibit greater leadership ability  Greater athleticism  Greater academic performance • Self-discrepancy theory- self-esteem is determined by how you compare your ideal self and your ought self  Ideal self- "Perfect you"  Ought self- the person others wish and expect you to be  High self-esteem- your perceptions of actual self match both ideal and ought  Low self-esteem- often stems from a discrepancy between your actual self, your ideal self, and your ought self How does the self-concept develop? • Age 6-7 months we begin recognizing the self as distinct from surroundings o Some features of our self are immediately apparent • Reflected appraisal- self-concept is a reflection of the messages you've received throughout our life o Ex. Supportive parents vs. unsupportive parents • Social comparison- evaluating ourselves in terms of how we compare with others Influences on self • Gender- lifelong gender socialization o Learning what it means to be "male" or "female" • Family o Influential in our feelings toward attachment to others • Culture o Individualistic vs. collectivistic Presenting your self • Erving Goffman- Sociologist interested in behavior in public settings o Contributions include: • Revealing the rules and norms that guide public performance • Providing a framework for studying human interaction based on the idea that life is "drama" and that we play roles as "actors" and engage in "performance"  Ex. Engagement proposals • Facework o Face- the identity that you actively create and present through communication o Positive face- the desire to be liked, approved of, included o Negative face- the desire to be respected o Mask- public self designed to strategically veil private self • Face threatening actions oThreats to own face (Ex. Athletes on steroids, inappropriate social media, tripping and falling, etc.) oThreats to other's face (Ex. Outing someone in public, challenging someone's credibility) o Vicarious face threats (Ex. Something happens to someone else that could affect your face, Tanner Hannold) o Important because: • We're emotionally invested in our own face • Losing face can damage others' impressions of you • At the core of why so many of the communication strategies we use do or do not work well (criticism, conflict, social support) • Maintaining face o Most people want you to maintain face • When a face threatening act occurs: o Promptly acknowledge
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