Essay on the self: top 8 essays | self | psychology.
After reading this essay you will learn about:- 1. Meaning of Self 2. Concept of Self 3. Need for the Concept 4. Significance 5. Development and Formation 6. Acquisition of Language 7. Self and Social Behaviour 8. Self-Related Issues.
Essay on the Self
- Essay on the Meaning of Self
- Essay on the Concept of Self
- Essay on the Need for the Concept of Self
- Essay on the Significance of the Self
- Essay on the Development and Formation of the Self
- Essay on the Acquisition of Language in the Process of Self-Development
- Essay on the Self and Social Behaviour
- Essay on the Self-Related Issues
Essay # 1. Meaning of Self:
Different psychologists and sociologists have tended to look at the self in different ways. There are some writers who look at the self as a structural part of the total system of personality and as a differentiated system indicating the characteristic of a person as perceived by him. According to this view, the self emerges and grows as a result of learning, as part of the process of socialisation and becomes a structural part of the personality.
If such a view is strictly accepted, then it may suggest that after a certain time the self stops growing. Some leading psychologists like Allport Snygg & Combs; Sheriff and Cantril. use the term self and ego synonymously. According to these writers, there is no need to make a distinction between the self and ego.
On the other hand, there are some other writers like Murphy who try to make a distinction between the self and the ego. According to him the ‘self includes individual as known to the individual and the ‘ego’ refers to a group of activities connected with the enhancement and defence of self.
In this view the ‘self is used as a structural unit consisting of many attitudes,’ perceptions and beliefs of an individual relating to himself. The ‘ego’ on the other hand is perceived as another unit primarily involving instrumental activities connected with the development of the self, its enhancement, etc.
Ausubel makes a distinction preferring to restrict the term self to a cluster of perceptual and cognitive components, whereas the ‘ego’ is considered to be more inclusive, including in addition, effectively charged variables or components like values, attitudes and sentiments. Ausubel further proceeds to indicate that the ‘self’ and the ‘ego’ together constitute the personality.
We have, in the above paragraphs, given the reader some idea of the controversy and divergence of views in studying and understanding the self. Taking into account this controversy, Allport came out with the suggestion that both the terms mentioned be discarded and instead suggested the term ‘proprium’. But it may be seen that much of this controversy is not relevant to the interests of modern social psychologists.
Social psychologists today are primarily interested in studying and understanding the concept of self in relation to the issue of how an individual develops a sense of personal and social identity and individuality which in turn results in selective, consistent, stable and continuous behaviour.
More than this, in the light of the clinical evidence available and also evidence from experiments in social psychology, the social psychologist is interested in how failure to develop a proper ‘self can result in maladjusted behaviour and dysfunctional behaviour. This is the view of leading social psychologists like Newcomb, Secord and others.
In-spite of the variations, there are some points of agreement, the most important being that the ‘self’ is not innate and that it develops and evolves as a result of social interaction with varied individuals and agencies starting from infancy.
Here, it has been found that while novel or new interactions and interactions concerned with affective process and need gratification play a more crucial role in the development of the self, repetitive interactions or passive interactions do not appear to be very crucial. In psychoanalytic terms the’ self arises and grows in the process of ‘reality distinction’.
It is agreed that the formation of the self is not a case of the development of a unitary structure. It is a result of development marked by various stages characterised by different types of qualitative differences. It develops first as a distinct sense of one’s body and its parts from its surroundings.
It becomes progressively a more complex conceptual system, consisting of evaluative categories with associated traits or attributes. New acquisitions, qualities (e.g.., adolescence, old age, acquisition of new interpersonal roles and social status) continue to be incorporated in the system during the lifespan as observed by Murphy, Snugg and Combs and others.
We may now perhaps attempt an answer to the question-what is self? A review of the various studies and views on the concept of self appears to suggest that the best way of looking at the ‘self is to view it as a system of interrelated dynamic components which we may call as attitudes.
For our purpose here attitude may be satisfactorily defined as internal predisposition in an individual, acquired through experience, which makes him selectively respond to stimuli from the environment, experience certain emotional states or feelings in their presence and further be motivated or impelled by these predispositions to respond to or react in a particular manner.
In this context, some psychologists have even talked of ‘selves’ rather than a single ‘self to highlight the multi-dimensional and complex nature of the self. Among such writers was William James. More recently, certain other theorists from the angle of personality research and clinical psychology, like Murray, have also used concepts like ‘actual self, ‘ideal self, ‘moral self and so on.
But for the purpose of the discussion of the concept of ‘self in this article and also keeping in mind the more recent trends of thinking among contemporary social psychologists, we may use the term ‘self in a generic sense rather than talk of ‘selves’. In the light of the above the description of the self by Sheriff appears to be relevant.
According to Sheriff, ‘self is a developmental formulation in the psychological make-up of the individual consisting of inter-related attitudes that the individual has acquired in relation to his body and its parts, his capacities and to objects, persons, family, groups, social values, goals and institutions which define and regulate his relatedness to them in concrete situations and activities’.
The components or attitudes involved are usually strong in affective terms or intensity and are fairly specific in direction, and relate to people and issues indicating most favourable or un-favourable relations. They often reflect an individual’s deeply cherished inclinations, commitments and a high degree of involvement.
Needless to say, when such attitudes mediate or intervene in specific interactions or activities, the latter are likely to be influenced by the characteristics of these attitudes like direction and intensity, which results in consistency, stability and predictability of behaviour.
Under such conditions we may describe the behaviour as ‘involved’ behaviour. Human, social interactions show varying degrees of involvement. Tension-reduction interactions and habitual responses do not indicate much of a degree of involvement whereas unusual reactions or situations, complex situation or situations where one’s stakes are high tend to result in high degree of involvement.
The role and influence of the ‘self is directly related to the degree of involvement. Perhaps, one may describe it the other way also. When ‘self attitudes enter the picture this results in a high degree of involvement. Thus, the self attitudes provide the individualistic component in behaviour, particularly social behaviour.
The loss of individuality, loss of direction, ritualism and other forms of behaviour, is evident in certain clinical groups where it has been found that the ‘self formation has been faulty or inadequate and provides a strong evidence for understanding the importance of the self.
Essay # 2. Concept of Self:
The concept of self was also invoked to analyse and explain social behaviour. In the early days of psychology no clear-cut distinction was made between individual behaviour and social behaviour.
Dynamically oriented psychologists like Allport, Murray and Rogers who were pioneers in dealing with the concept of self did not make a distinction between individual behaviour in a non-social situation and in a social situation. In their view, every behavioural act is a total molar and meaningful act embedded in the subjective personality system or the self-system in a person.
According to the views of these psychologists, the individual was the centre of analysis. It was only subsequently with the emergence and development of the social learning theories, particularly of the stimulus response (S-R) hue, that concepts like self, personality etc. were relegated to the background in favour of concepts like drives, reinforcement, etc.
Very soon however, it was realised that terms like self, personality, ego, etc., cannot be permanently kept out in an examination and analysis of social behaviour, excepting at the cost of losing sight of obvious truth. It was against this background that the concept of self made a re-entry into social psychology, though, perhaps, in a changed form and with a changed meaning.
According to Rotter the term self has been employed in psychology with three different connotations:
(a) A wholistic gestalt view which emphasises internal and subjective experiences including self-evaluation. Here the term self means, an agency which is internal and which influences, mediates and moderates behaviour including social behaviour.
(b) A second view tends to hold all behaviour as a consequence of the dynamic processes and interactions among the different aspects of the self or personality. The typical example of such an approach is the classical psychoanalytic view of behaviour as resulting from the dynamic interactions among the forces of the id, the ego and the superego.
This type of view is also reflected in the self theories of Rogers, Lecky and many others. (These views employ concepts like self-consistency, self-congruence, self-ideal discrepancy, as primary motivating factors in human behaviour, social behaviour).
(c) A third view holds that the self itself is a force which motivates the organism and initiates action directed towards integration, actualization or expression. Classical Jungian views and even the Maslowian concept of self-actualization belong to this category.
According to this approach, motivation and goal direction of behaviour are entirely attributed to the ‘self as an internal entity in the individual life. Such a view probably is in agreement with the concept of self found in our own traditional Upanishads.
All these different conceptualizations of the self have been used in explaining social behaviour. While many of these approaches which have employed the concept of the self in explaining social behaviour, have been traditional, descriptive, and analytical, more recent theories and approaches which are inclined towards empirical and experimental studies of social behaviour have also employed the concept of self but with different meanings.
More than the concept of self as such, they use self-derived and self-related concepts like self-esteem, self-perception and objective self-awareness and many other terms.
Thus, the self-concept continues to occupy an important place in contemporary social psychology though in a form far different from the traditional views. The ‘self’ therefore has returned to centre stage of psychology after being discarded. The return has been very grand.
Essay # 3. Need for the Concept of Self :
Terms like soul, self and spirit have occupied a prominent place in the discussions and writings of the logicians, philosophers and students of religion. Religious texts are full of discussions about the nature of ‘self and ‘soul’.
The Upanishads and the Bhagavad-Gita deal extensively with the concept of self. But, in all these discussions the concept of self was mostly employed in a metaphysical sense and in the context of understanding the essential nature of man and his relationship with the ‘cosmic self or the ‘ultimate self etc. But even here some of the discussions, particularly in the Upanishadic texts looked at the self from a functional point of view.
The self was often described in such terms as ‘seer’, ‘doer’ etc. hinting at some of the problems which have been analysed and studied in relation to the self, in contemporary psychology.
Though some of the early psychologists like William James, Baldwin and also sociologists like Coolie and Mead took a very active interest in describing and analysing the term ‘self in terms of its development and functions, scientific psychology in its initial stages out of its obsession to imitate physics, chemistry and physiology shunned the use of the term ‘self particularly because of the phobia that it may lead psychology away from the objective method and result in subjective and speculative analysis.
William James analysed the self in terms of its elements or parts including bodily features, behavioural characteristics, abilities and skills, desires and aspirations and also social affiliations and arriving at certain skills of maintaining self-esteem. He also made reference to the self being influenced by what one feels about ‘others evaluation of oneself. James interesting formula for arriving at a person’s self-esteem was
Self-esteem = Success/Pretensions
Subsequently a number of psychologists who may be identified by various terms like personal psychologists, ideographic psychologists and many others as Calkins, Stem, and Allport have tried to reintroduce the concept of self in psychology particularly in clinical psychology and social psychology and of course in studying personality.
Why do we need a concept of self? One of the characteristics of human behaviour is that it is total, meaningful, stable and consistent except in case where a person is mentally disturbed. If we analyse behaviour into various units or elements, still there remains the significant problem of explaining and understanding the integration, stability and continuity, often over years, in human behaviour.
Apart from this, it is also seen that our behaviour is very often guided by both situational conditions and basic needs. A person who is feeling hungry does not eat anything and everything because he is hungry. He may like to eat the proper food at the proper place and at the proper time.
Similarly, in most of our activities we find certain basic stabilising influences and considerations of a psychological nature emerging from within the individual and influencing our actual behaviour. Phenomena like these necessitate a concept like ‘self, otherwise human behaviour can very often be a mess.
Fortunately, it is not so in many instances. Many instances of individual differences in behaviour are also explained by a concept like self Two or three people under the same situation behave differently.
One person is ready to fall at somebody’s feet and flatter him however worthless the latter may be to attain personal ends; whereas others refuse to bow down to mediocres. The lives of Socrates, Galileo and other people who were prepared to die rather than give up their convictions are standing examples.
Many of our social restraints are sustained because of the role played by the concept of ‘self. Thus it may be seen that the ‘self concept helps us to understand many characteristics of human behaviour like ‘totality’, ‘meaningfulness’, ‘stability’, ‘continuity’ and ‘individuality’ and also the bizarre nature of behaviour of those who are severely disturbed mentally and in whom the self is disturbed.
Essay # 4. Significance of the Self:
The wide ranging and crucial role of the self in the behaviour of the individual has come to be recognised increasingly. The influence of the ‘self on behaviour operates both consciously and unconsciously and is much more noticeable where motivated and need satisfying interactions are involved, and also in situations where there is a choice.
In the words of Shoben, in any case self involved behaviour seems close to impossible to explain on the basis of a tension reduction model, and postulation of self-involvement seems necessary to account for the pursuit of long-term goals, so typical of human motivation’.
While the role of self is more prominent in goal-directed activities, its role and influence extend to many other spheres of activity like perceiving, thinking, learning and other cognitive processes and of course in many complex activities like decision-making.
Needless to say, goal setting and even task performance are known to be influenced by the self Adjustive and coping behaviour of varied kinds are also influenced by the self There is considerable evidence from the clinical side for this.
Thus, choice of behaviour, consistency, integration, continuity and a number of attributes of human actions seem to be very much influenced by the self in the words of Sheriff, “in brief, the growing interest in a self-concept reflects the search for integrating concepts, particularly motivation, where empirical work has tended to be fragmentary”.
Studying motivation in isolation from personality has lead to a very strange situation. It has fallen short in providing an adequate account of human motivation. The self enters into the operation of human motives as a regulative factor. So too the self enters into other psychological processes.
Involvement of the self in these processes is reflected in the consistency and continuity of behaviour in a person. In fact self-involvement in particular aspects of the kaleidoscopic stimulus world is the basis for the experience of continuity in personal identity.
It is evident that continuity, integration, consistency and identity are the most crucial characteristics of social behaviour. Any attempt at prediction and control of social behaviour depends on an understanding of these processes for its success. The more complex the social interaction, the greater is the relevance of the above characteristics.
It is the self which gives an individuality to a person particularly in his social behaviour. Further, the behavioural processes, like perceiving, thinking and decision making form the foundations of social behaviour. Needless to say, long-term goal-setting is the most typical hallmark of social behaviour and the role of the self here is critical.
Essay # 5. Development and Formation of the Self:
The self, is entirely a product of learning and experience. Self-formation and development go hand in hand with the general psychological development and growth, including physical growth. The development of the self is again a very integral part of the process of socialisation.
One of the pioneering attempts to deal with the process of development and formation of self was that of the distinguished sociologist G H Mead. In his classical work, ‘Mind, Self and Society’, Mead made attempts to examine the process of the development of the self. This approach may be characterised as ‘dynamic interactional’.
The self, according to Mead, arises and develops as a result of social interaction. Every individual, as he grows, enters into a greater number and variety of interactions. As a result of these interactions, two types of perceptions arise in the individual about himself.
The first set is what he calls the T perceptions and the second the ‘Me’ perceptions. The student can perhaps guess the difference between these two types of perceptions. In the course of a series of interactions with the others and also as he grows and also as the variety of interactions expand, the child learns to look at itself from two angles, one from his own angle, as he perceives himself, i.e. himself as the subject.
These perceptions are known as “I” perceptions. At the same time, he also learns to look at himself through the eyes of others and other important persons whom Sullivan would describe as ‘significant adults’ i.e., the individual learns to look at himself as he believes others are looking at him. These are called “Me” perceptions.
Over a period of time and with repeated interactions we find the emergence of a generalized and integrated ‘I’ and also a generalized and integrated ‘Me’. Further integration takes place and ultimately form the generalized ‘Me’ and the generalized ‘I’ emerges as an integrated concept of ‘self.
The effectiveness of the individual depends on whether he or she, succeeds in reaching this stage, where the discrepancies between the generalized and the ‘I’ generalized ‘Me’ are minimal. Some writers would probably refer to the former as ‘subjective self and the latter as ‘objective self.
Here it may be noticed that even the objective self evolves out of subjective perceptions and understanding. Hence our understanding of ‘others perceptions of ourselves’ is invariably influenced to some extent or other by subjective elements.
It has been shown in this context that one of the most significant factors in the development of the self is interaction with other children or peer groups, where all are equal. Peer group relations are usually based on equality and reciprocity and this helps the child to arrive at a more valid and stable picture of himself.
The studies of Piaget have produced ample evidence to this effect. Another point that may be noted here is that while the formation of the ‘self is a continuous process, at the same time, there are some critical stages in human life which are crucial. This is because during these periods the individual is subject to critical bodily changes and also consequent social expectations.
Two such periods are, the transition from childhood to adulthood, or ‘adolescence’ and old age. The former corresponds to what Freud would call the ‘latency period’ or what Sullivan would describe as the ‘juvenile era’. The interaction between the subjective self or the ‘I’ and the objective self invariably results in a continuous process of evaluation of the both.
This process of development gets facilitated by another factor. The older child by virtue of his membership in the peer group gets an opportunity to validate the ‘I’ and ‘Me’. We may here make a reference to Sullivan’s concepts of ‘reflected appraisals’ and ‘consensual validations’.
According to Sullivan these two processes are very crucial in the formation of the self. The former involves evaluation by the individual of himself in retrospect, thinking back and the latter involves evaluation against outside criteria like reactions of others.
Such processes result in greater integration, consistency and continuity of behaviour. If the environment of the child does not permit the operation of such evaluative behaviour then the result is a defective, disturbed or distorted self.
While the above account gives a general schematic idea of the process of self-development or self-formation, it should be borne in mind that the actual pace and manner of development varies from group to group and individual to individual.
The earliest awareness of self finds expression through an experienced and expressed distinction of one’s own physical body from the surroundings and what has sometimes been referred to as the ‘Me’ and ‘not Me’. This may be described as what Murphy would refer to as the ‘perceptual stage’.
Thus the initial stage in the development of the self is a sense of physical identity of one’s own body as an entity independent of and separate from the environment. Perhaps, in reaching this stage there may not be much of individual or group differences unless there are marked variations in the early socialisation processes particularly weaning behaviour.
But, once the individual crosses this stage, a number of factors like the amount of interaction with others, the variety of interactions, the reactions of others like parents in terms of acceptance, rewarding, punishing, approving, criticising of these assume importance. The impact of such social interaction and reaction is very crucial to the development of self.
Essay # 6. Acquisition of Language in the Process of Self-Development:
A real milestone in the process of self-development is the acquisition of language, particularly spoken language. This achievement is very significant from the point of view of the development of the self during the later stages. Language serves as a very powerful tool in enabling the person to arrive at primary representations and conceptualizations.
The early ‘perceptual self-identity’ based on a distinction of one’s body from external reality gradually got modified and transformed into evaluative classifications and categorisation of one’s own body and its various parts, resulting in what is known as ‘body image’.
The ‘body image’ incorporates within it a number of attitudes favourable or unfavorable towards one’s own body as a result of verbal interaction and representation. Increased ability for verbal behaviour contributes to a greater degree of consistency and also generality. Language helps in abstraction and also the ‘living’ of a particular situation in its absence both retrospectively and prospectively.
A review by Sheriff and Sheriff of a number of studies has shown that consistency in competing with others, in cooperating with others, in expressing sympathy at another’s distress, in responsibility for self and others and in setting goals for one’s own performance, appear gradually as the child participates in social and cooperative forms of play in contrast to the earlier side by side or parallel play.
The process definitely is made possible to a considerable degree by verbal interaction. Gradually, apart from consistency, one also moves towards continuity as the time perspective expands and concern with the immediate perspective gives way to an extended view involving past, present and future. Once again verbal ability and verbal interactions are very important.
As described by Kurt Lewin, the life space expands in three dimensions, space, time and reality- irreality. The points of reference cease to be confined to the immediate present or the concrete here and now. This expansion of the life space also results in gradual expansion and differentiation of the self itself.
Essay # 7. Self and Social Behaviour:
The role of the self in the context of ‘individual behaviour’, in terms of integration, consistency and continuity and that the importance of the self for social behaviour has not been made very clear as seen in the case of the manic- depressives where at one phase the individual is highly excited, feels on top of the world and resulting in ideas of grandeur.
The other phase of depression shows the opposite features of self-deprecation, blaming oneself etc. McDougall’s theory of sentiments and his explanation of manic-depressive pathology on the basis of inadequate integration of self-assertion and self-submission may not be very acceptable today.
But, certainly his concept of self-regard was the forerunner of many later concepts and research. Another leading theorist of a later date, Cattell, employing more sophisticated and complex analysis of personality also postulated a concept ‘self-sentiment’.
More recently, another term, ‘self-esteem’ has come into existence and has been studied extensively, particularly in relation to different forms of social behaviour. People who can be classified into ‘low esteem group’, ‘high esteem group’ etc., have been compared to see whether there are significant differences in their social behaviour patterns and whether one could draw the social behaviour profile of such groups differing in the level of self-esteem.
Essentially, the term self-esteem refers to the way in which an individual evaluates himself in relation to others, on a number of criteria like achievement, success, capacity, etc. In brief, self-esteem may be described as the degree to which a person likes himself and rates himself as capable, satisfactory, etc.
How does a person evaluate himself or how does self-esteem develop?
Certainly this depends on one’s experiences of success or failure. A person who has met with only failures in his various experiences perhaps will have a low degree of self-esteem. But, here again, standards of comparison are derived from cultural and social roots.
According to Festinger’s Social Comparison Theory, people in general evolve their own implicit or explicit standards of comparison based on their observation of performance and behaviour and those whom they otherwise consider their peers or equals. A number of studies have demonstrated the role of such comparisons in evaluating oneself.
The norms and values held in a particular culture or society do also influence one’s self-esteem. Certainly, in a society which lays emphasis on individualism, achievement and success, the standards of comparison are likely to be higher. Similarly, in modern societies, individuals occupying higher social positions have been found to show a higher degree of self-esteem by Himmelweit.
The earlier trends in American societies was that individuals belonging to minority groups tended to be lower in self-esteem, but such trends have been shown to be disappearing as found by Lensing & Zagorun. Some studies like those of Fey, Riese and others have shown that people who are popular and liked tend to have a higher degree of self-esteem than people who are unpopular and not liked.
In their classical investigations Sears, Maccoby and Lewin suggested that the degree of self-esteem or self-approval-disapproval, to a large extent depends on how early an individual recognises the standards employed by others for approving or disapproving one’s conduct, action, achievement, etc.
Essay # 8. Self Related Issues:
(i) self-esteem :.
Self-esteem assumes significance for understanding social behaviour in view of the fact that it has been shown to be an influential factor associated with different categories of social behaviour. A person’s willingness to interact with others, itself has been shown to be related to the degree of self-esteem.
On the other hand, sometimes individuals with low self-esteem may actually engage in compensatory arrogant and aggressive behaviour which can be obnoxious and irritating, particularly in small group situations. Apart from this, studies have also shown that the degree of ‘self-esteem’ is related to susceptibility to stress, rigidity, resistance to change, persuasion and different kinds of social behaviour.
An important characteristic of ‘self-esteem’ is that it is motivating. Very often people resort to defensive behaviour to maintain their self-esteem. This has been particularly pointed out in studies relating to behaviour where we attribute characteristics to others.
Investigations in the field of attribution behaviour, have pointed to the role of self-esteem in influencing ego defensive attribution behaviour as reported by Heider; Jones & Davis, Kelly and others. Thus we see that esteem as a characteristic process associated with self ‘formulation’ and ‘functioning’ is of significant importance in analysing and understanding social behaviour.
(ii) Reference Groups:
Our concept of self is very much related to the environment. The process of self-formation is very much influenced by the environment, events in the environment and other people. Thus an important factor here is the ‘reference group’ or groups. Reference group or groups as described by Sherif and Sherif are categories of people to whom people relate themselves psychologically.
These may be age groups, socio-economic groups, church affiliation groups, religious groups, interest groups etc. In complex differentiated societies the self concept has points of anchorage in different sub-groups.
When a person is asked to answer the question ‘who am ‘I’ the normal response starts with the name and identity in terms of social classification, identifying him and placing him in a particular category as reported by Kuhn & Mcfarland.
The psychological implications of this is that the self-image of an individual is influenced by the characteristics of the group to which he refers himself to, whether he belongs to that category or not. Thus, most people in modem society are influenced by so called middle-class values, whether they actually belong there or not.
The concept of reference groups therefore helps us to explain and account for many of the self-characteristics and identifying the people with whom an individual relates himself.
In the words of Sherif when the person locates himself within a set or group of people, the relative status of the group in the social organization and his own position within it serve as standards (anchors) for appraisals of performance by himself and others.
An effect of this anchoring on particular group standards is a resulting stabilisation of performance, self-confidence and various other behavioural characteristics. Allport, Sherif and Carter, Seigal and Seigel have reported that attitudes of a person tend to taper towards the attitudes of a group if that group also is a reference group.
Individual differences in importance or value attached to the various components of self-esteem are to a large extent traceable to reference groups. Thus in many instances attitude change or behaviour change becomes possible only if we can understand the reference groups or reference set of the individual. Reference group relations often involve high ego involvement and can result in resistance to change.
(iii) Self-Radius :
Closely related to the issue of ‘reference group’ or self-set is the ‘self- radius’. Reference groups play a central role in determining one’s behaviour and evaluation of one’s behaviour. But over and above the fact of reference, each one’s self extends a little beyond the reference group’s.
Thus, while self-esteem and also approval and disapproval of behaviour may be determined and influenced by one’s immediate reference group like family, peer groups, etc., at the same time self is also influenced by groups and issues and events a little more distant both in space and also psychologically.
Such influence, concern and involvement may be only personal and may not influence actual behaviour. Most of us are disturbed by acts of violence, discrimination and other forms of barbarity going on in different parts of the world. Thus when a large number of young people were mercilessly shot by the Chinese Communist regime, a few years ago when they were agitating for democratic rights, we were upset.
Many of us were disturbed by the famine conditions in Somalia, when we see the photographs in newspapers and magazines. Similarly, many of us feel happy and also share the sense of achievement, when somebody in a far off place achieves something great like landing on the moon or conquering the Mount Everest. This phenomenon of the extension of one’s self-involvement and concern varies from person to person in its extensity and distance.
Some people have a less extended involvement and some people a more extended involvement. Thus the psychological extent of one’s concern and sensitivity or involvement is known as ‘self-radius’. Some people are least disturbed or concerned about things and events which happen somewhere and do not have any immediate concern for them. Such people are more circumscribed in their lives.
The greater the self-radius, the more is the person’s concern and involvement with events and happenings further away. Great personalities like Buddha, Christ, and Mother Theresa were concerned about events and issues concerning entire humanity and their self-radius was very high. On the other hand people with narrow moral values and prejudices, who are dogmatic have a much shorter ‘self-radius’.
Another variation of this radius belongs to the time dimension. Some individuals are very proud of the ancient culture and heritage of the society than others whereas others are not. Some individuals are more bothered about events, things and remote happenings of both past and future, while others have more concern with things in the immediate present.
A child is more concerned and involved about events and things ‘here and now’ compared to an adult. The term self-radius then represents a person’s perspective varying from proximate to distant and also varying on the past, present, future continuum.
Thus people with global and universal outlook have a much longer self-radius than most of us. While an extended self-radius may not always influence our behaviour, it certainly has an emotional impact on us.
(iv) Self-Values :
Values are vectors or variables which influence our behaviour. Values are very close to our ‘selves’. While other variables like attitudes may not be very close to the self-concept, our values very often become part of our self-system.
Some psychologists even make a distinction between self-values and social values. Values have been shown to influence our personal behaviour, choice reactions, responses, etc. Honesty, openness, integrity, etc., are examples of personal values which become integral parts of one’s self-system.
(v) Self-Disclosure :
In recent years, psychologists who have been interested in dealing with personality problems and also concerned with bringing about changes in behaviour, values, motives and attitudes of others have found that many such changes become possible effectively only if an individual’s self-system is involved.
The concept of ‘self-disclosure’ has been brought into use in this context, by Rokeach while dealing with the problem of bringing about changes in values. Rokeach has developed a technique which uses the concept of self-disclosure.
This implies that a person who wishes to bring about value changes and attitude changes in others can achieve greater success by making himself open and disclosing himself. Such disclosure of oneself has been found to have greater impact on behaviour change, attitudes and values.
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Sample Essay On Defining Self
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Have you ever asked yourself the question “What am I?” or “Who am I?”. These two questions are very simple questions yet, range of the answers to these questions is very wide and very subjective. The answers pertain to the need to know you and the concept of yourself. Google provided a definition of self as a “person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, esp. considered as the object of introspection or reflexive action”. (Google.com, 2013) This may be as simple as this, but the word “self” is far more complicated than the things that make an individual different from other people.
Basically, when we say self or me, we are talking about how we see ourselves, or how we perceived ourselves or how we evaluate ourselves. It is our opinion of ourselves. This includes both physical and psychosocial way of seeing ourselves. We can divide that way we see ourselves in two aspects, that of our existential self and our categorical self. First, we try to develop our existential self, and this includes the awareness that we are separate individuals and different from other people around us and this will always be the case. We can never be united with other people thus we are responsible of how we react with people around us. Our existential self is already evolving as early as our infancy stage. On the other hand, we realize our categorical self when we become aware that we are just one object in a world full of other objects. You realize that you have all the physical properties that all other people have. So you can now categorize yourself. For example, you can categorized you self through your gender or your age. Our categorical description of ourselves does not only include our concrete traits but likewise begin to bend towards defining ourselves based on our psychological traits, evaluations of other and their opinion of us.
In defining ourselves, we can divide this into three aspects: our self-image, our self-esteem and the ideal-self. Self image pertains to what we see in ourselves. It is how we view ourselves. It is like looking at the mirror and describing what we see in that mirror and beyond. This is the image we portray of ourselves. It usually answers the question “Who am I?”. In coming-up with our self image, we can start by giving out the physical description of ourselves. But this is not enough. We can describe ourselves based on our social roles, our personal trait and by giving abstract existential statements that can further enhance our definition of ourselves. The second aspect of defining ourselves has something to do with how we value ourselves (self worth or self esteem). This aspect is very important as it has immense effect of how we carry ourselves and how we live our life as a whole. It affects the decisions we make in life and it shapes us. It is how we approve or disapprove ourselves. If we have high self esteem, then we see ourselves in a positive way which bring out our confidence and the strength to face the challenges in our lives, otherwise we tend to have the attitude of “come what may”. Our self worth can be influence by the reactions of people around us, comparison with others, our social roles and our identifications. The last aspect is that we can define ourselves by determining our ideal self. It is like comparing our self-image to what ideal characteristics that we have. By doing this, we tend to achieve the ideal self and therefore we come with a new definition of ourself. .
Goggle.com (2013). Definition of “self”. Web. n.d. 10 Dec 2013. <https://www.google.com.ph/search?q=What+is+%22Self%22&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&gws_rd=cr&ei=TkumUtXaHMyYkgX0nIDIBA#q=%22Self%22+definition&rls=org.mozilla:en-US%3Aofficial>
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The True Self
What does it mean to believe that there is a "true self" inside of everyone.
Posted September 21, 2017 | Reviewed by Jessica Schrader
Chances are you have lots of beliefs about yourself and other people. You use these beliefs to help predict why people do what they do. If someone yells at you, you might forgive them because you know they are under a lot of strain. Or, you might mistrust them because you think that this person is always angry at you. Or, you might even think that—deep down—they are an angry person who should be avoided.
That is, there are times when you believe that a person’s actions reflect the situation they are in or their current mental state. But, you also have times when you think that a person’s actions are a reflection of their true self .
Psychologists have been interested in capturing the qualities that people think are part of someone’s true self and also in understanding how the idea of a true self affects people’s actions and their relationships with others. This research was summarized in a fascinating review by Nina Strohminger, Joshua Knobe, and George Newman in a paper in the July 2017 issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science .
Generally speaking, when people think about their true self or the true self of other people, what characteristics do they believe that it has?
An interesting facet of the true self is that it seems to be a belief that is similar across cultures. That is, aspects of the true self have been explored in studies using many different populations around the world, and the beliefs tend to be quite similar.
Two core beliefs are that the true self tends to be moral and good. So, when people make a change in their actions, they are more likely to be judged as doing something that reflects their true self when they change from doing something bad to something good than vice versa. This is why someone who stops abusing drugs or alcohol is often judged as allowing their true self to come through, while someone who starts abusing drugs or alcohol is judged as obscuring their true self.
These beliefs also tend to lead people to assume that someone can change for the positive over time, even if many of their past actions have been bad. That is, we are reluctant to decide that someone is truly evil and prefer to believe that their true self has a moral spark that might someday lead them toward better actions in the future.
An interesting facet of the true self is that our beliefs about our true self and other people’s true selves are similar. This belief differs from the way we often treat our motives versus those of people from a different group. Often, we assume that we and people from our group have purer motives than people from some outgroup. But, we also assume that deep down (in their true self) members of other groups are good and moral people.
Why does the concept of the true self matter?
For one, the belief in a true self affects people’s judgments about what actions give life meaning. A person might work hard at their job and also spend time with family. They might believe that their job is just something they do, but that the importance they place on family relationships is part of their true self. In that case, the effort they put into their family relationships will give them a greater sense that their life has had meaning than the effort they have put into their profession.
In addition, the belief in true self can influence the treatments people will consider for mental illnesses. For example, many college students are willing to take medications for ADHD that allow them to focus on their work. Part of the reason why they take this medication so freely is that few people consider their ability or inability to concentrate as a central part of their true self. In contrast, many patients suffering from bipolar disorder are reluctant to take their medication, because they believe that their medication is changing aspects of their true self.
The authors end this paper by pointing out that while the true self seems to be an important part of people’s beliefs about themselves and others, that it is hard from a scientific standpoint to think of the true self as something that actually exists. That is, I may believe I have a true self, but is there actually a true self inside me? The authors suggest that the idea that there is some deep hidden self that may be independent of a person’s actions for much of their life is probably best thought of as a valuable fiction. That is, it can be useful to believe that we and other people are inherently good and moral, but that doesn’t mean that there is an inherently good and moral person lurking within every person just waiting to get out.
Strohminger, N., Knobe, J., & Newman, G. (2017). The true self: A psychological concept distinct from the self. Perspectives on psychological science, 12 (4), 551-560.
Art Markman, Ph.D. , is a cognitive scientist at the University of Texas whose research spans a range of topics in the way people think.
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What is Self-Love and Why Is It So Important?
What is self-love?
Theres a lot of talk these days about self-love. It sounds great, but what does it actually mean? How do we love ourselves and why does it matter?
Self-love means that you accept yourself fully, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and nurture your growth and wellbeing.
Self-love encompasses not only how you treat yourself but also your thoughts and feelings about yourself. So, when you conceptualize self-love, you can try to imagine what you would do for yourself, how youd talk to yourself, and how youd feel about yourself that reflects love and concern.
When you love yourself, you have an overall positive view of yourself. This doesnt mean you feel positive about yourself all the time. That would be unrealistic! For example, I can temporarily feel upset, angry, or disappointed with myself and still love myself. If this is confusing, think about how this works in other relationships. I can love my son even though I sometimes feel angry or disappointed with him. Even in the midst of my anger and disappointment, my love for him informs how I relate to him. It allows me to forgive him, consider his feelings, meet his needs, and make decisions that will support his wellbeing. Self-love is very much the same. Which means, if you know how to love others, you know how to love yourself!
What does self-love look like?
The following are examples of what self-love can look like in action.
- Saying positive things to yourself
- Forgiving yourself when you mess up
- Meeting your own needs
- Being assertive
- Not letting others take advantage of or abuse you
- Prioritizing your health and wellbeing
- Spending time around people who support you and build you up (and avoiding people who dont)
- Asking for help
- Letting go of grudges or anger that holds you back
- Recognizing your strengths
- Valuing your feelings
- Making healthy choices most of the time
- Living in accordance with your values
- Pursuing your interests and goals
- Challenging yourself
- Holding yourself accountable
- Giving yourself healthy treats
- Accepting your imperfections
- Setting realistic expectations
- Noticing your progress and effort
Why do we need to love ourselves?
If you grew up without any models for self-love or anyone who talked to you about the importance of being good to yourself, you might question its value.
Well, without self-love, youre likely to be highly self-critical and fall into people-pleasing and perfectionism. Youre more likely to tolerate abuse or mistreatment from others. You may neglect your own needs and feelings because you dont value yourself. And you may self-sabotage or make decisions that arent in your own best interest.
Self-love is the foundation that allows us to be assertive, set boundaries and create healthy relationships with others, practice self-care, pursue our interests and goals, and feel proud of who we are.
Self-love vs. narcissism
In addition to questioning whether self-love is really necessary, another big barrier to self-love is the belief that its narcissistic or selfish.
When psychologists and therapists encourage self-love, they arent talking about putting yourself on a pedestal above everyone else. Narcissists believe theyre better than others and wont acknowledge or take responsibility for their mistakes and flaws. They also seek extraneous amounts of external validation and recognition. Narcissists also lack empathy for others.
Self-love, on the other hand, isnt about showing off how great you are. People who love themselves in a healthy way know that they are flawed and make mistakes and they accept and care about themselves despite their imperfections. Self-love doesnt prevent you from caring about others; it simply means you can give yourself the same kindness that you give to others.
Putting self-love into practice
Often, when things are hard to do, we avoid them. You might notice that you have thoughts like these:
Ill take a break and focus on myself after Ive taken care of my family.
Noticing my feelings and journaling sounds like a lot of work.
Im afraid I wont be able to change.
I want to be less self-critical, but I dont know how.
Self-care seems self-indulgent.
I have too much to do.
I know this relationship isnt good for me, but I dont want to be alone.
Ive been surviving on five hours of sleep for years, so it cant be that bad.
Its normal to be ambivalent about self-love or making any change. However, loving yourself doesnt mean you have to change everything about your life. Just try to treat yourself a little better than you did yesterday.
To get started, I suggest that you identify one loving thing you can do for yourself today. It could be a supportive thought or action. Next, write down what youre going to do and when youll do it. Writing it down increases accountability and makes it more likely that youll follow through. As you add more and more loving thoughts and actions to your daily life, theyll begin to crowd out some of your self-defeating thoughts and behaviors. With practice, self-love will become second nature.
If you’d like more ideas for practicing self-love, try these articles: 9 Simple Ways to Love Yourself and 9 More Ways to Love Yourself .
2019 Sharon Martin, LCSW. All rights reserved. Photo by Radu Florin on Unsplash .
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What Is Self-Concept?
Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
Rachel Goldman, PhD FTOS, is a licensed psychologist, clinical assistant professor, speaker, wellness expert specializing in eating behaviors, stress management, and health behavior change.
Verywell / Cindy Chung
- Can It Be Changed?
- Self-Concept Theories
Frequently Asked Questions
Self-concept is the image we have of ourselves. It is influenced by many forces, including our interaction with important people in our lives. It is how we perceive our behaviors, abilities, and unique characteristics. For example, beliefs such as "I am a good friend" or "I am a kind person" are part of an overall self-concept.
Other examples of self-concept include:
- How you view your personality traits, such as whether you are an extrovert or introvert
- How you see your roles in life, such as whether you feel that being a parent, sibling, friend, and partner are important parts of your identity
- The hobbies or passions that are important to your sense of identity, such as being a sports enthusiast or belonging to a certain political party
- How you feel about your interactions with the world, such as whether you feel that you are contributing to society
Our self-perception is important because it affects our motivations , attitudes, and behaviors . It also affects how we feel about the person we think we are, including whether we are competent or have self-worth.
Self-concept tends to be more malleable when we're younger and still going through self-discovery and identity formation . As we age and learn who we are and what's important to us, these self-perceptions become much more detailed and organized.
At its most basic, self-concept is a collection of beliefs one holds about oneself and the responses of others. It embodies the answer to the question: " Who am I? " If you want to find your self-concept, list things that describe you as an individual. What are your traits? What do you like? How do you feel about yourself?
Rogers' Three Parts of Self-Concept
Humanist psychologist Carl Rogers believed that self-concept is made up of three different parts:
- Ideal self : The ideal self is the person you want to be. This person has the attributes or qualities you are either working toward or want to possess. It's who you envision yourself to be if you were exactly as you wanted.
- Self-image : Self-image refers to how you see yourself at this moment in time. Attributes like physical characteristics, personality traits , and social roles all play a role in your self-image.
- Self-esteem : How much you like, accept, and value yourself all contribute to your self-concept. Self-esteem can be affected by a number of factors—including how others see you, how you think you compare to others, and your role in society.
Incongruence and Congruence
Self-concept is not always aligned with reality. When it is aligned, your self-concept is said to be congruent . If there is a mismatch between how you see yourself (your self-image) and who you wish you were (your ideal self), your self-concept is incongruent . This incongruence can negatively affect self-esteem .
Rogers believed that incongruence has its earliest roots in childhood. When parents place conditions on their affection for their children (only expressing love if children "earn it" through certain behaviors and living up to the parents' expectations), children begin to distort the memories of experiences that leave them feeling unworthy of their parents' love.
Unconditional love, on the other hand, helps to foster congruence. Children who experience such love—also referred to as family love —feel no need to continually distort their memories in order to believe that other people will love and accept them as they are.
How Self-Concept Develops
Self-concept develops, in part, through our interaction with others. In addition to family members and close friends, other people in our lives can contribute to our self-identity.
For instance, one study found that the more a teacher believes in a high-performing student's abilities, the higher that student's self-concept. (Interestingly, no such association was found with lower-performing students.)
Self-concept can also be developed through the stories we hear. As an example, one study found that female readers who were "deeply transported" into a story about a leading character with a traditional gender role had a more feminist self-concept than those who weren't as moved by the story.
The media plays a role in self-concept development as well—both mass media and social media . When these media promote certain ideals, we're more likely to make those ideals our own. And the more often these ideals are presented, the more they affect our self-identity and self-perception.
Can Self-Concept Be Changed?
Self-concept is not static, meaning that it can change. Our environment plays a role in this process. Places that hold a lot of meaning to us actively contribute to our future self-concept through both the way we relate these environments to ourselves and how society relates to them.
Self-concept can also change based on the people with whom we interact. This is particularly true with regard to individuals in our lives who are in leadership roles. They can impact the collective self (the self in social groups) and the relational self (the self in relationships).
In some cases, a medical diagnosis can change self-concept by helping people understand why they feel the way they do—such as someone receiving an autism diagnosis later in life, finally providing clarity as to why they feel different.
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Other Self-Concept Theories
As with many topics within psychology , a number of other theorists have proposed different ways of thinking about self-concept.
Social psychologist Henri Tajfel developed social identity theory, which states that self-concept is composed of two key parts:
- Personal identity : The traits and other characteristics that make you unique
- Social identity : Who you are based on your membership in social groups, such as sports teams, religions, political parties, or social class
This theory states that our social identity influences our self-concept, thus affecting our emotions and behaviors. If we're playing sports, for instance, and our team loses a game, we might feel sad for the team (emotion) or act out against the winning team (behavior).
Psychologist Bruce A. Bracken had a slightly different theory and believed that self-concept was multidimensional, consisting of six independent traits:
- Academic : Success or failure in school
- Affect : Awareness of emotional states
- Competence : Ability to meet basic needs
- Family : How well you work in your family unit
- Physical : How you feel about your looks, health, physical condition, and overall appearance
- Social : Ability to interact with others
In 1992, Bracken developed the Multidimensional Self-Concept Scale, a comprehensive assessment that evaluates each of these six elements of self-concept in children and adolescents.
Self-concept development is never finished. Though one's self-identity is thought to be primarily formed in childhood, your experiences as an adult can also change how you feel about yourself. If your self-esteem increases later in life, for instance, it can improve your self-concept.
Our self-concept can affect the method by which we communicate. If you feel you are a good writer, for instance, you may prefer to communicate in writing versus speaking with others.
It can also affect the way we communicate. If your social group communicates a certain way, you would likely choose to communicate that way as well. Studies on teens have connected high self-concept clarity with more open communication with parents.
Self-concept refers to a broad description of ourselves ("I am a good writer") while self-esteem includes any judgments or opinions we have of ourselves ("I feel proud to be a good writer"). Put another way, self-concept answers the question: Who am I? Self-esteem answers the question: How do I feel about who I am?
Our self-concept impacts how we respond to life, so a well-developed self-concept helps us respond in ways that are more positive and beneficial for us. One of the ways it does this is by enabling us to recognize our worth. A well-developed self-concept also helps keep us from internalizing negative feedback from others.
Different cultures have different beliefs. They have different ideas of how dependent or independent one should be, different religious beliefs, and differing views of socioeconomic development.
All of these cultural norms influence self-concept by providing the structure of what is expected within that society and how one sees oneself in relation to others.
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By Kendra Cherry Kendra Cherry, MS, is an author and educational consultant focused on helping students learn about psychology.
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What Is a Personal Essay (Personal Statement)?
Glossary of grammatical and rhetorical terms.
- An Introduction to Punctuation
- Ph.D., Rhetoric and English, University of Georgia
- M.A., Modern English and American Literature, University of Leicester
- B.A., English, State University of New York
A personal essay is a short work of autobiographical nonfiction characterized by a sense of intimacy and a conversational manner. Also called a personal statement .
A type of creative nonfiction , the personal essay is "all over the map," according to Annie Dillard. "There's nothing you can't do with it. No subject matter is forbidden, no structure is prescribed. You get to make up your own form every time." ("To Fashion a Text," 1998) .
Examples of Personal Essays
- An Apology for Idlers , by Robert Louis Stevenson
- On Laziness , by Christopher Morley
- Coney Island at Night, by James Huneker
- New Year's Eve , by Charles Lamb
- How It Feels to Be Colored Me , by Zora Neale Hurston
- My Wood, by E.M. Forster
- Two Ways of Seeing a River , by Mark Twain
- What I Think and Feel at 25, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The personal essay is one of the most common types of writing assignment--and not only in freshman composition courses. Many employers, as well as graduate and professional schools, will ask you to submit a personal essay (sometimes called a personal statement ) before even considering you for an interview. Being able to compose a coherent version of yourself in words is clearly an important skill.
- What qualities does a personal essay reveal about you? Here are just a few:
- Communication Skills How effective are your communication skills? Do you write clearly, concisely, and correctly? Note that many employers put communication skills at the top of the list of essential qualifications.
- Critical Thinking Skills How fresh and imaginative are you in your thinking? Is your writing cluttered with cliches , or is it obvious that you have original ideas to contribute?
- Maturity What specific lessons have you learned from experience, and are you ready to apply those lessons to the job or the academic program you're considering? Keep in mind that it's not enough to be able to recount a personal experience; you should be prepared to interpret it as well.
- Self and Subject in Personal Essays "[W]here the familiar essay is characterized by its everyday subject matter, the personal essay is defined more by the personality of its writer, which takes precedence over the subject. On the other hand, the personal essayist does not place himself firmly in center stage, as does the autobiographical essayist; the autobiographical element of the personal essay is far less calculated..."
- The Essayist's Persona "Personal essayists from Montaigne on have been fascinated with the changeableness and plasticity of the materials of human personality. Starting with self-description, they have realized they can never render all at once the entire complexity of a personality. So they have elected to follow an additive strategy, offering incomplete shards, one mask or persona after another: the eager, skeptical, amiable, tender, curmudgeonly, antic, somber. If 'we must remove the mask,' it is only to substitute another mask..."
- The "Antigenre": An Alternative to Academic Prose "[T]he more personal essay offers an escape from the confines of academic prose . By using this antigenre form that in contemporary essays embodies multiple kinds of writing, many essayists in search of democracy find a freedom for expressing in their writings spontaneity, self-reflexivity, accessibility, and a rhetoric of sincerity."
- Teaching the Personal Essay "Given the opportunity to speak their own authority as writers, given a turn in the conversation, students can claim their stories as primary source material and transform their experiences into evidence ..."
- Essay Forms "Despite the anthologists' custom of presenting essays as 'models of organization ,' it is the loose structure or apparent shapelessness of the essay that is often stressed in standard definitions. . . . Samuel Johnson famously defined the essay as 'an irregular, indigested piece, not a regular and orderly performance.' And certainly, a number of essayists (Hazlitt and Emerson, for instance, after the fashion of Montaigne) are readily identifiable by the wayward or fragmentary nature of their explorations. Yet each of these writers observes certain distinctive organizing (or disorganizing) principles of his own, thus charting the ramble and shaping the form. As Jeanette Harris observes in Expressive Discourse , 'Even in the case of a personal essay , which may appear informal and loosely structured, the writer has crafted with care this very appearance of informality' (122).
Theresa Werner, "Personal Essay." Encyclopedia of the Essay , ed. by Tracy Chevalier. Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997
E.B. White , Foreword to Essays of E.B. White . Harper and Row, 1977
Cristina Kirklighter, Traversing the Democratic Borders of the Essay . SUNY Press, 2002
Nancy Sommers, "Between the Drafts." College Composition and Communication , February 1992
Richard F. Nordquist, "Voices of the Modern Essay." Dissertation University of Georgia, 1991
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Essay on Self
The Self Essay
The Self Every situation that an individual is exposed to throughout life, helps mold our “self.” As humans we have the ability to see ourselves from the outside, and all through life we try to see what others see and our “self” revolves around the generalized other. We observe how others perceive us and we make conclusions depending on our observations. How we act
Myth Of Self
• On the topic of “self” versus “no self,” I believe that there is a core self, a unique sense of identity as separate from others, and that seeks self-actualization. However, like Hoffman, Stewart, Warren, and Meek, in their 2009 article “Toward a Sustainable Myth of Self: An Existential Response to the Postmodern Condition,” I believe that the self develops within a framework provided by the society in which the individual lives in, which contains aspects of self that are fluid enough to appropriately
Kornfield No Self
In “No Self or True Self,” Jack Kornfield believes that meditation and spiritual practice allows us to figure out who we really are as human beings. In order to do this, he believes that we need to accomplish two tasks; discover selflessness and develop a healthy sense of self. A person needs to realize and learn that we all coexist and that a single identity doesn’t define someone, in order to live a fulfilling and awakening life. Kornfield’s account of the self is logical and good because a person
information of themselves, namely engage in self-enhancing (Sedikides, 1993; Swann, Pelham, & Krull, 1989). However, individuals are also motivated to seek the subjective truth of themselves, namely engage in self-verifying. (Sedikides, 1993; Swann et al., 1989). Simultaneously, individuals struggle and deject to seek objective and accurate truth of themselves, namely engage in self-assessing (Sedikides, 1993). Self-assessment can occur through the process of self-awareness, where individuals become conscious
The Divided Self
- 5 Works Cited
contexts for interpretation are endless in some sense, humans are inherently a divided self—the culmination of all given interpretations they make for themselves and interpretations from others. In addition, this totality of interpretations through the lens selves as being what is around you, it follows that poetic-rhetorical language is necessary in discussion of the divided self. In a general sense, I am a “self interpreting animal” (“Human Agency and Language”) in that it is in my nature to constantly
Social Scientist Phrase, Presentation Of Self, And Self
the main focus words are identity, and self. Identity to me is similar to social scientist phrase “presentation of self”, and what that means is how a person wants to present themselves to others. Similar to actors, and singers that are constructively criticized by their image, so they can better it to wow their fans. In contrast to self which is being true to who you are. As seen in When the Emperor was Divine the family struggle with knowing their self, and identity. The family begins as middle
The Social Scientist Phrase, Presentation Of Self, And Self
the main focus words are identity, and self. Identity to me is similar to the social scientist phrase “presentation of self”, and what that means is how a person wants to present themselves to others. Similar to actors, and singers that are constructively criticized by their image, so they can better it to wow their fans. In contrast to self, which is being true to who you are. As seen in When the Emperor was Divine the family struggle with knowing their self, and identity. The family begins as middle
Self Theory And Self Concept
Self-Concept From the moment of birth, the need to communicate is evident. When babies come out of the womb they non-verbally communicate by crying, and the crying communicates that they are afraid and need comforting. Infants communicate in many non-verbal ways, such as pointing at something that the infant wants or by smiling because the infant got something he or she likes. From infancy to adulthood, communication develops into a mix of verbal and non-verbal forms. Communication is so important
Self In Zootopia
Anyone can be Anything: How Self is Shaped by Individuals and Society. In the movie Zootopia, racial profiling and social stereotypes are allegorized into distinctive, discriminatory clade of predator-prey and species archetypes such as slow sloths, sly foxes and dumb bunnies. Most reviews praised the movie’s thematic portrayals of stereotypes (e.g. Telegraph, New York Times) and universal values of freedom and perseverance (e.g. Washington Post). But few reviews address the films exploration of
Importance Of Self Discipline
We already know that self discipline is important, but do we really need it? We know about success tools, and we familiarize ourselves with many useful resources that lead us to success, so why do we need self discipline? We all have goals for many areas of our lives. Some of us want successful relationships, some like to get more money, others want simply happiness in their lives and others seek better health with less weight. These are common goals, and we sometimes fail or succeed in achieving
The Pursuit Of Self Discovery
of my own ordinary situations to be seized momentarily whilst I let mind be free and my own imagination wander. The pursuit of self-discovery is present within many forms of literature and can be told through plots and central characters. I often discover new societal universal longings that arise from the novels pages which encourages me to reflect on my own sense of self. The unique interpretations and individual thoughts made by readers allows for a diverse range of reactions to literature. It
The Importance Of Self-Agency
and does it matter which ones we choose to write down? The long debated questions surrounding the extent of self-agency have been explored through literature and other mediums for decades, specifically with rebellious characters like Edna in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, essays by psychologists like Paul Bloom expanding on the idea of more than one self in, “First Person Plural,” and self-reflective pieces on adulthood like Sandra Loh’s, “On Being a Bad Mother.” Through the assessment of a variety
Reflection Of Self Reflection
the U-Course, had a very big impact on who I am as a person since I got to college. The class required me to reflect upon myself, making me realize how much I was changing throughout the course. I can now interpret how much I have learned about one’s self identity, sustainability, and the four general education student learning outcomes. Throughout the U-course, I was forced to ask myself “who am i?” and to reflect upon it in my writing. I was never certain on how to answer this question; it’s tough
What Is Self Sabotage?
What Is Self-Sabotage? It's any reasoning or carrying on that holds you back, it keeps you away from feeling or encountering what you genuinely desire. If you need to feel confident, yet imagine yourself falling flat at work, that is self-sabotage. If you need to feel appealing, yet put down your appearance, that is self-sabotage. It keeps people from experiencing happiness, fulfillment, and also affects your health and happiness. Tim Shurr, the author of Getting Out of Your Way and an expert who
Sense Of Self In Adolescence
in these crucial years that highly self-conscious teenagers desperately strive to find their identity rather than their sense of self. Sense of self is considered as something that every individual is born with. During Dr.Penner’s lecture I agreed with some of his statements, one of which states, parents can see their teenagers’ character and personality more as they mature, but he suggests that they have always been that way, they don’t just suddenly become a self because parents are now able to understand
The Diverse Social Self And Self Verification
Reaction Paper: The Diverse Social Self and Self-Verification and Self-Enhancement (PSY 138) Understanding the foundation of the social self, premise of self-verification and self-enhancement are crucial to the development and framework of the human psyche. This response paper will analyze the basic social self, the way humans perceive their own image and the importance of self-verification and self-enhancement (Swann et al., 1989). Once people have a good understanding of the different aspects
My Self Identity
After this class, I find that it is true that my cultural identity is the key development in my self identity. Learning about other cultural and identities in all I have come to appreciate and have a greater sense of my own identity and sense of pride in who I am have become and where I am going. I know for a fact that my identity will be altered
Speech On Self Confidence
Self Confidence… Something every girl lacks at some point in their life. When we see other girls laughing and smiling and dressed in the cutest outfit and totally rocking it, we automatically think bad about ourselves and how we don’t like the way we look or feel. But we don’t always deal with self confidence in the same way others do. Some put more makeup on, some put fancier clothes on, and some do the exact opposite of that and wear no makeup and only comfy clothes. What really is Self Confidence
Low Self Esteem
changes she currently expiring in her life. Consume is still awaiting permanent housing placement and is residing with temporary guardianship. Due to changes and uncertainty of living arrangement ,consume continues to experience anxiety, depression, low self-esteem issues, resentment towards parents, feelings of neglect and abonnement issues, lack of support , depression and withdrawn behavior. Consumes has not had any behavioral outburst recently however she is afraid to express the feeling she is having
The Evolving Self Analysis
they know what is best and we obviously do not. Mihaly Csikszentmihayli, a Hungarian psychologist who graduated from Clarement and the author of “The Evolving Self”, wrote an article which discusses the need to recreate ourselves into the best person that we can be as well as the many struggles that we face in trying to achieve the perfect self. His essay recognizes our own individual uniqueness as we try to generate some sort of harmony amongst ourselves. Csikszentmihayli mentions many ideas about
- Self Assessment Essay
- Self Concept Essay
- Self Defense Essay
- Self Evaluation Essay
- Self Image Essay
- Self-Analysis Essay
- Self-Esteem Essay
- Self-Identity Essay
- Self-Reflection Essay
- Selfishness Essay
- Types of Papers
- Reflective Essay
- What Is A Self-Reflection Essay
What Is a Self-Reflection Essay
Self-reflection, in the most simplified definition, is the process of examining an individual’s perspective on a topic or idea. What is a self-reflection essay? It is the documentation of the assessment clearly and logically for presentation to an audience. Hence, this type of essay stands out from other forms of academic writing because its content is highly subjective.
Context of a Self-Reflection Essay
The introductory section of a self-reflection essay provides background information. In particular, it is necessary for the reader to understand the circumstances surrounding the self-reflection process. Basically, the source of motivation in the case of what is a self-reflection essay may vary for each author, for instance, exposure to a theory or a recent personal experience. In turn, the essay’s introduction enables the author to communicate the conditions or incidents that triggered their need for self-reflection. Besides, the section concludes with a typical thesis statement .
During the development of the body’s content, writers must explain the noticeable differences in their line of thought. In this case, readers must comprehend the author’s state of mind before and after the trigger event. Moreover, the elaborate presentation of this information ascertains that the audience readily extracts the correct meaning. In turn, each variation noted in what is a self-reflection essay precedes the corresponding explanation regarding the association between the previous and current ideologies.
Causal Relationship in Self-Reflection Essays
The interpretation of a change requires the author to outline the rationale. Basically, this explication acts as a justification for the transition from one point of view to another. In this case, the principles of a formal argument guide the authorship of this material on what is a self-reflection essay. Besides, the link between the mentioned perception modification and the specific cause of the alteration ought to employ a straightforward demonstration technique.
Evaluation of the Change
Authors have the responsibility of pointing out the extent of disparity between their opinions and the conventional moral and ethical positions. In particular, the essay discloses the alignment of the newly acquired standpoint and the author’s primary values. Moreover, writers state whether they consider the transformation of their views as positive or negative outcomes. Based on the writers’ level of certainty on their belief, they may recommend approaches to propagate their stance on the subject of what is a self-reflection essay.
The concluding paragraph focuses on the future rather than the past and present. For instance, this section of what is a self-reflection essay may indicate behavioral adaptations. Basically, authors intend to practice in their day-to-day activities. In turn, writers may speculate on the permanency of their redefined awareness and the possibility of further evolution. Furthermore, the essay ends with a holistic summary of the implication of self-reflection at the individual, family, and society levels.
Word of Advice for What is a Self-Reflection Essay
Some fundamental guidelines on what is a self-reflection essay aid the author in developing a high-quality paper. Basically, the author’s opinion should be easily distinguishable, especially in situations where other people’s opinions play the role of the starting point of the discussion. Then, change, causal relationship, and evaluation content on a particular topic have to preserve a sequential arrangement throughout the essay to enhance readability. Moroever, the application of contrasting sentence structures is compulsory to make sure that statements starting with “I” do not dominate the text. In turn, the standard rules of academic writing and grammar are still in effect despite the nature of the essay.
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Look up a word, learn it forever.
Your self is your sense of who you are, deep down — your identity. When you let someone else know you well, you reveal your true self to them.
If the subject of your thoughts is you , you're thinking about your self — or, alternately, yourself. There are parts of your brain that make it possible for you to think about the concept of self , and schools of philosophy devoted to exploring why people have a unique sense of self. Psychologists also study the development of the self, or the beginning of self-awareness, in children. Self comes from the Old English, in which it means "one's own person."
- noun your consciousness of your own identity synonyms: ego see more see less types: anima (Jungian psychology) the inner self (not the external persona) that is in touch with the unconscious type of: consciousness an alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation
- noun a person considered as a unique individual “one's own self ” see more see less types: number one a reference to yourself or myself etc.; `take care of number one' means to put your own interests first type of: individual , mortal , person , somebody , someone , soul a human being
- adjective (used as a combining form) relating to--of or by or to or from or for--the self “ self -knowledge” “ self -proclaimed” “ self -induced”
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What is an Essay?
10 May, 2020
11 minutes read
Author: Tomas White
Well, beyond a jumble of words usually around 2,000 words or so - what is an essay, exactly? Whether you’re taking English, sociology, history, biology, art, or a speech class, it’s likely you’ll have to write an essay or two. So how is an essay different than a research paper or a review? Let’s find out!
Defining the Term – What is an Essay?
The essay is a written piece that is designed to present an idea, propose an argument, express the emotion or initiate debate. It is a tool that is used to present writer’s ideas in a non-fictional way. Multiple applications of this type of writing go way beyond, providing political manifestos and art criticism as well as personal observations and reflections of the author.
An essay can be as short as 500 words, it can also be 5000 words or more. However, most essays fall somewhere around 1000 to 3000 words ; this word range provides the writer enough space to thoroughly develop an argument and work to convince the reader of the author’s perspective regarding a particular issue. The topics of essays are boundless: they can range from the best form of government to the benefits of eating peppermint leaves daily. As a professional provider of custom writing, our service has helped thousands of customers to turn in essays in various forms and disciplines.
Origins of the Essay
Over the course of more than six centuries essays were used to question assumptions, argue trivial opinions and to initiate global discussions. Let’s have a closer look into historical progress and various applications of this literary phenomenon to find out exactly what it is.
Today’s modern word “essay” can trace its roots back to the French “essayer” which translates closely to mean “to attempt” . This is an apt name for this writing form because the essay’s ultimate purpose is to attempt to convince the audience of something. An essay’s topic can range broadly and include everything from the best of Shakespeare’s plays to the joys of April.
The essay comes in many shapes and sizes; it can focus on a personal experience or a purely academic exploration of a topic. Essays are classified as a subjective writing form because while they include expository elements, they can rely on personal narratives to support the writer’s viewpoint. The essay genre includes a diverse array of academic writings ranging from literary criticism to meditations on the natural world. Most typically, the essay exists as a shorter writing form; essays are rarely the length of a novel. However, several historic examples, such as John Locke’s seminal work “An Essay Concerning Human Understanding” just shows that a well-organized essay can be as long as a novel.
The Essay in Literature
The essay enjoys a long and renowned history in literature. They first began gaining in popularity in the early 16 th century, and their popularity has continued today both with original writers and ghost writers. Many readers prefer this short form in which the writer seems to speak directly to the reader, presenting a particular claim and working to defend it through a variety of means. Not sure if you’ve ever read a great essay? You wouldn’t believe how many pieces of literature are actually nothing less than essays, or evolved into more complex structures from the essay. Check out this list of literary favorites:
- The Book of My Lives by Aleksandar Hemon
- Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
- Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag
- High-Tide in Tucson: Essays from Now and Never by Barbara Kingsolver
- Slouching Toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion
- Naked by David Sedaris
- Walden; or, Life in the Woods by Henry David Thoreau
Pretty much as long as writers have had something to say, they’ve created essays to communicate their viewpoint on pretty much any topic you can think of!
The Essay in Academics
Not only are students required to read a variety of essays during their academic education, but they will likely be required to write several different kinds of essays throughout their scholastic career. Don’t love to write? Then consider working with a ghost essay writer ! While all essays require an introduction, body paragraphs in support of the argumentative thesis statement, and a conclusion, academic essays can take several different formats in the way they approach a topic. Common essays required in high school, college, and post-graduate classes include:
Five paragraph essay
This is the most common type of a formal essay. The type of paper that students are usually exposed to when they first hear about the concept of the essay itself. It follows easy outline structure – an opening introduction paragraph; three body paragraphs to expand the thesis; and conclusion to sum it up.
These essays are commonly assigned to explore a controversial issue. The goal is to identify the major positions on either side and work to support the side the writer agrees with while refuting the opposing side’s potential arguments.
Compare and Contrast essay
This essay compares two items, such as two poems, and works to identify similarities and differences, discussing the strength and weaknesses of each. This essay can focus on more than just two items, however. The point of this essay is to reveal new connections the reader may not have considered previously.
This essay has a sole purpose – defining a term or a concept in as much detail as possible. Sounds pretty simple, right? Well, not quite. The most important part of the process is picking up the word. Before zooming it up under the microscope, make sure to choose something roomy so you can define it under multiple angles. The definition essay outline will reflect those angles and scopes.
Perhaps the most fun to write, this essay focuses on describing its subject using all five of the senses. The writer aims to fully describe the topic; for example, a descriptive essay could aim to describe the ocean to someone who’s never seen it or the job of a teacher. Descriptive essays rely heavily on detail and the paragraphs can be organized by sense.
The purpose of this essay is to describe an idea, occasion or a concept with the help of clear and vocal examples. “Illustration” itself is handled in the body paragraphs section. Each of the statements, presented in the essay needs to be supported with several examples. Illustration essay helps the author to connect with his audience by breaking the barriers with real-life examples – clear and indisputable.
Being one the basic essay types, the informative essay is as easy as it sounds from a technical standpoint. High school is where students usually encounter with informative essay first time. The purpose of this paper is to describe an idea, concept or any other abstract subject with the help of proper research and a generous amount of storytelling.
This type of essay focuses on describing a certain event or experience, most often chronologically. It could be a historic event or an ordinary day or month in a regular person’s life. Narrative essay proclaims a free approach to writing it, therefore it does not always require conventional attributes, like the outline. The narrative itself typically unfolds through a personal lens, and is thus considered to be a subjective form of writing.
The purpose of the persuasive essay is to provide the audience with a 360-view on the concept idea or certain topic – to persuade the reader to adopt a certain viewpoint. The viewpoints can range widely from why visiting the dentist is important to why dogs make the best pets to why blue is the best color. Strong, persuasive language is a defining characteristic of this essay type.
The Essay in Art
Several other artistic mediums have adopted the essay as a means of communicating with their audience. In the visual arts, such as painting or sculpting, the rough sketches of the final product are sometimes deemed essays. Likewise, directors may opt to create a film essay which is similar to a documentary in that it offers a personal reflection on a relevant issue. Finally, photographers often create photographic essays in which they use a series of photographs to tell a story, similar to a narrative or a descriptive essay.
Drawing the line – question answered
“What is an Essay?” is quite a polarizing question. On one hand, it can easily be answered in a couple of words. On the other, it is surely the most profound and self-established type of content there ever was. Going back through the history of the last five-six centuries helps us understand where did it come from and how it is being applied ever since.
If you must write an essay, follow these five important steps to works towards earning the “A” you want:
- Understand and review the kind of essay you must write
- Brainstorm your argument
- Find research from reliable sources to support your perspective
- Cite all sources parenthetically within the paper and on the Works Cited page
- Follow all grammatical rules
Generally speaking, when you must write any type of essay, start sooner rather than later! Don’t procrastinate – give yourself time to develop your perspective and work on crafting a unique and original approach to the topic. Remember: it’s always a good idea to have another set of eyes (or three) look over your essay before handing in the final draft to your teacher or professor. Don’t trust your fellow classmates? Consider hiring an editor or a ghostwriter to help out!
If you are still unsure on whether you can cope with your task – you are in the right place to get help. HandMadeWriting is the perfect answer to the question “Who can write my essay?”
Best Essay Writing Services 2023
Student life can often be quite challenging because students have to deal with challenging college essay writing assignments. To facilitate the learning process, many services help you complete written work and get high scores. Now we will tell you about the best services that you can turn to and get high-quality papers. Essay Writing Service […]
A life lesson in Romeo and Juliet taught by death
Due to human nature, we draw conclusions only when life gives us a lesson since the experience of others is not so effective and powerful. Therefore, when analyzing and sorting out common problems we face, we may trace a parallel with well-known book characters or real historical figures. Moreover, we often compare our situations with […]
Nursing Research Paper Topics
Selecting an academic paper topic is a crucial step in the writing process. The variety of nursing research topics makes it challenging to find the appropriate paper theme. But if you choose a sound nursing research paper subject, it will contribute to a flawless thesis statement, using relevant resources, a smooth writing process, and impressive […]
Philosophy of self. The philosophy of self is the study of wisdom as self at a conceptual level. Many different ideas on what constitutes self have been proposed, including the self being an activity, the self being independent of the senses, the bundle theory of the self, the self as a narrative center of gravity, and the self as a syntactic ...
: an analytic or interpretative literary composition usually dealing with its subject from a limited or personal point of view b : something resembling such a composition a photographic essay 2 a : effort, attempt especially : an initial tentative effort b : the result or product of an attempt 3
The self is an individual as the object of that individual's own reflective consciousness. Since the self is a reference by a subject to the same subject, this reference is necessarily subjective. The sense of having a self—or selfhood —should, however, not be confused with subjectivity itself. 
The Self Every situation that an individual is exposed to throughout life, helps mold our "self." As humans we have the ability to see ourselves from the outside, and all through life we try to see what others see and our " self " revolves around the generalized other.
The self, is entirely a product of learning and experience. Self-formation and development go hand in hand with the general psychological development and growth, including physical growth. The development of the self is again a very integral part of the process of socialisation.
Basically, when we say self or me, we are talking about how we see ourselves, or how we perceived ourselves or how we evaluate ourselves. It is our opinion of ourselves. This includes both physical and psychosocial way of seeing ourselves. We can divide that way we see ourselves in two aspects, that of our existential self and our categorical self.
Self-esteem is a trait people have to determine how they value themselves and how valuable they can be to the world and others. Self-esteem plays a big part in relationships Get Access A concept is an image molded from ones on personal experience, knowledge, expectations and emotions.
Chances are you have lots of beliefs about yourself and other people. You use these beliefs to help predict why people do what they do. If someone yells at you, you might forgive them because you ...
Self-love means that you accept yourself fully, treat yourself with kindness and respect, and nurture your growth and wellbeing. Self-love encompasses not only how you treat yourself but also...
Self-awareness is having a clear view of your identity, including your positive, negatives, thoughts, beliefs, inspiration, and feelings. It also enables you to comprehend other individuals, how they see you, your attitude and your reactions to them at that moment. So the importance of self-awareness is discussed in this essay.
Self-concept is the image we have of ourselves. It is influenced by many forces, including our interaction with important people in our lives. It is how we perceive our behaviors, abilities, and unique characteristics. 1 For example, beliefs such as "I am a good friend" or "I am a kind person" are part of an overall self-concept.
A personal essay is a short work of autobiographical nonfiction characterized by a sense of intimacy and a conversational manner. Also called a personal statement . A type of creative nonfiction, the personal essay is "all over the map," according to Annie Dillard. "There's nothing you can't do with it.
Self-analysis has also allowed me to better recognize and understand other people's emotions better. Additionally, it makes me think twice about my own actions and attitudes, and how certain actions or behaviors that might be appropriate within my culture, might not necessarily be acceptable or appropriate in another culture, especially when ...
The meaning of understanding the self is having insight into one's own behavior, attitudes, strengths, and weakness. It is the individual's ability to say and know what he or she is good at or...
The Self Essay. The Self Every situation that an individual is exposed to throughout life, helps mold our "self.". As humans we have the ability to see ourselves from the outside, and all through life we try to see what others see and our "self" revolves around the generalized other. We observe how others perceive us and we make ...
Self Concept Essay: Self-concept refers to how a person thinks about, evaluates, and perceives themselves. It is a concept of being aware of oneself or having a concept of oneself. It is considered a person's belief about oneself and the person's attributes about what they think about oneself. The self-concept embodies the answer to "Who am I?
Okay, so developing this idea of self-concept a little further, we can use a theory called the Social Identity theory. So the Social Identity theory has two parts. It is, it defines it, it defines a theory in terms of two parts. And those two parts is the personal identity, which is pretty self-explanatory, so this is the things that are unique ...
What is a self-reflection essay? It is the documentation of the assessment clearly and logically for presentation to an audience. Hence, this type of essay stands out from other forms of academic writing because its content is highly subjective. Context of a Self-Reflection Essay
self: 1 n your consciousness of your own identity Synonyms: ego Types: anima (Jungian psychology) the inner self (not the external persona) that is in touch with the unconscious Type of: consciousness an alert cognitive state in which you are aware of yourself and your situation n a person considered as a unique individual "one's own self " ...
Share button social self. 1. those aspects of one's identity or self-concept that are important to or influenced by interpersonal relationships and the reactions of other people. See also public self; social identity.. 2. a person's characteristic behavior in social situations. 3. the facade that an individual may exhibit when in contact with other people, as contrasted with his or her ...
The essay is a written piece that is designed to present an idea, propose an argument, express the emotion or initiate debate. It is a tool that is used to present writer's ideas in a non-fictional way.
Task: Write a 4-5 page essay defining yourself. Be sure to explain how you came to this definition. I expect that you will need to construct this essay as a narrative. The examples that you should consider, "A Hanging," "Once More to the Lake," "Araby," and "Greasy Lake," are narratives, and they each deal with life altering ...
Self-Definition Essay. My Father. Some people go through life having never known what defines them. Others find in the middle of their lives what sets them apart. I found what would define me early in my life. Unfortunately, it took a tragedy for this to occur. I was eight years old when my father passed from a heart attack, dying in front of ...
Definition of self esteem:- Confidence in one's own worth or abilities; self-respect. (Oxford dictionaries). Another definition is:- The term self-esteem is used to describe a person's overall sense of self-worth or personal value. (Psychology) Self-esteem is how we value ourselves, how valuable we think we are to others.