The Self in Human Communication

Looking-glass self— the image of yourself that others reveal to you through the way they communicate with you b. Comparisons between yourself & others (you gain a different perspective when you see yourself in comparison to your peers) c. Your cultural experiences (these experiences provide benchmarks against which you can measure yourself; for example, your ability to achieve what your culture defines as success contributes to a positive self-concept) d. Self-interpretations & self-evaluations; your evaluation of your own thoughts & behaviors i.

Self-interpretations- your reconstruction of the incident & your understanding of it ii. Self-evaluations- the value-good or bad- that you place on the behavior B. Self-awareness- your knowledge of who you are; of your traits, your strengths & limitations, your emotions & behaviors, & your individuality (basic to all communication) 1. Your 4 Selves (Johari Window); divided into four areas or “panes,” the Johari window shows different aspects or versions of the self (4 areas are not separate from one another, but interdependent; when one area gets larger, one or another becomes smaller).

Open self- represents all the information, behaviors, attitudes, & feelings about yourself that you know & that others also know (varies according to your personality & the people to whom you’re relating) b. Blind self- represents knowledge about you that others have but you don’t (Example: habits you don’t realize you have); a large blind self indicates low self-awareness and interferes with accurate communication c. Unknown self- represents those parts of yourself that neither you nor others know (could be revealed during hypnosis or in dreams)

Hidden self- represents all of the knowledge you have of yourself but keep secret from others (successfully kept secrets) 2. Growing in Self-Awareness (important in communication) a. Listen to others- feedback you need to increase self-awareness b. Increase your open self-increases the chances others will reveal what they know about you c. Seek information about yourself- use everyday situations to encourage people to reveal what they know about you; seek in moderation d. Dialogue with yourself; no one knows you better than you know yourself; ask yourself self-awareness questions

Self-esteem- a measure of how valuable you think you are 1. Ways to increase self-esteem; increasing self-esteem will help you to function more effectively in school, in interpersonal relationships, & in careers) a. Attack self-destructive beliefs- set unrealistically high standards & therefore almost always lead to failure ii. Examples of self-destructive beliefs: 1. The belief that you have to be perfect; this causes you to try to perform at unrealistically high levels at work, school, & home; anything short of perfection is unacceptable

The belief that you have to please others & that your worthiness depends on what others think of you 3. The belief that you have to take on more responsibilities than any one person can be expected to handle b. Seek out nourishing people (also seek to become more nourishing) i. Noxious Vs. Nourishing People 1. Noxious people criticize & find fault with just about everything 2. Nourishing people are positive & optimistic; they reward us, stroke us, and make us feel good about ourselves c. Work on projects that will result in success (if a project does fail, realize this does not mean that you’re a failure)

Remind yourself of your success (only focus on failures if your objective is to correct what you did wrong or identify the skills you need to correct those failures) e. Secure affirmation- positive statements about you, statements asserting that something good or positive is true of you (focus on your good deeds, your positive qualities, strengths, & virtues) II. Self-disclosure A. Self-disclosure.

Who you are- individuals who are more sociable, extroverted, comfortable communicating, competent, & self-confident are more willing to disclose 2. Your culture- various cultures view self-disclosure differently 3. Your gender- women generally disclose more about relational topics than men with certain exceptions; in initial encounters men will disclose more intimately than women, perhaps to control the relationship’s development; also in a study between Americans & Argentineans males indicated a significantly greater willingness to self-disclose than females.

Your listeners- self-disclosure is more likely to occur in dyads (groups of 2 people) or small groups than in larger groups; we disclose to people we like & trust, & to those that disclose to us (dyadic effect- what one person does, the other also does; not universal across all cultures- Americans are likely to follow dyadic effect while Koreans aren’t) 5.

Your topic & channel- we disclose more positive information about superficial topics (job or hobbies over sex life or financial situation); individuals are more likely to disclose online (disinhibition effect- people seem less inhibited in communicating in e-mail or in social network sites than in face-to-face situations) C. The Rewards & Dangers of Self-Disclosure 1. Rewards a. Self-knowledge- helps you gain a new perspective on yourself & a deeper understanding of your own behavior b. Improved coping abilities- helps you deal with problems, especially guilt (receiving support rather than rejection) c.

Communication enhancement- you understand the messages of others largely to the extent that you understand the individuals; when they are serious or joking, or being sarcastic out of fear or resentment) d. More meaningful relationships- tells others you trust, respect, & care enough about them and your relationship to reveal yourself 2. Dangers a. Personal risks-the more you reveal about yourself, the more areas of your life you expose to possible attack; the more they know the more they can use against you (competition or romance).