Journal Entry 1 – Chapter 3 Communication and the Self

Journal Entry 1 – Chapter 3 Communication and the Self

For all individuals, communication is key in determining who an individual really is, and therefore, it helps define oneself. The presence of social media has increased our communications with one another, not only with families but also with friends. These platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram, have helped us identify our public self, in that we opt to show a particular part of ourselves to the public while keeping that which we don’t want to be seen in private. Based on this, we choose to disclose some things which we perceive as relevant in relational development. How we communicate and perceive ourselves tends to affect our self-esteem – the evaluations of self-worth; therefore, it affects how we communicate with those around us.

Self-concept is defined as the relatively stable set of perceptions that an individual holds about themselves. This implies that self-concept is crucial in determining our personalities, including attributes of whom an individual is in their normal mood states, likes, dislikes, special talents, or roles. An individual’s personality determines their self-worth, which means how individuals feel about certain qualities may have to do with their self-esteem. I believe that the type of parenting affects both the self-concept and self-esteem of an individual as they grow, and this means that the childhood of a person is essential in shaping their self-worth. Authoritative parenting allows very little interaction of their children as they live in a controlled environment. However, there are democratic parents who allow their children freedom to do as they wish; they trust their children to make major decisions about themselves and make them responsible for their choices. Such a child grows to have strong self-worth and self-esteem compared to a child who had no freedom to choose.

Children brought in authoritative parenting will always look for approval from others as they don’t know how it is like to be independent. However, an individual with a strong self-concept and self-esteem tends to have positive thoughts, which they use to develop desirable behaviors. If a person feels good about themselves, they pose positive expectations about how they will communicate with those around them. There is a high likelihood that their communications will be successful. Having successful communication can help an individual develop positive evaluations of self, which increases their level of self-esteem. Therefore, positive evaluations can be a key determinant as well as a beginning for developing positive communications with others. Communications cannot be successful if the wrong strategy is applied; therefore, if an individual wants to improve how other people perceive them, they have to devise a strategy that will impress others. Based on this, impression management is another key element in developing conversations as it helps increase thoughtfulness, self-awareness, honesty, and understanding of personal emotions. However, impressions need to be guided by authenticity. Therefore, it is important for an individual to be self-aware of themselves before engaging in a conversation so that they don’t play the role that is not theirs.

Thoughtfulness and being an efficient listener help understand the other person’s perspective. Therefore, it is essential that before conversing back, an individual should evaluate the consequences of their feedback to avoid negative implications that could ruin relationships with others. Being conscious and thoughtful can improve personal relationships with others. Self-disclosure is also an important part of effective communication as it helps reveal information about the self to another person. It can be used to bring a sense of psychological belief, making an individual feel better when they get a burden out of their chest. However, if an individual is not careful in self-disclosure, they might spill too much information that could be toxic and thus lead to rejection. Therefore, it is essential to understand the limits and disclose only information whose damage can be controlled to ensure effective communication. A close observation of these rules can help an individual better understand the self.

References

Chapter 3 in Adler, R. B., Rosenfeld, L. B., & Proctor II, R. F. (2018). Interplay: The process of interpersonal communication (p. 504) Oxford University Press, New York.

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