Our Understanding of Self

Our Understanding of Self

Perspective
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As a journalism major, I will take many communication classes and therefore have to study various theories regarding people and their thought processes. Many of these theories could be filed under psychology and how the brain functions, but you can also look at it through a communicable aspect in order to understand the reasoning behind why people choose to say certain words in certain manners.

Our entire understanding of the world has been, and will continue to be, influenced by our own perception of what is around us. As people we have come up with pre-defined meanings and interpretations for things based on prior experiences and events. Therefore, we cannot entirely see something through someone else’s perspective, or even imagine ourselves in their shoes. Because by imagining to be someone looking at yourself, you are using your own opinion on how people see you, rather than how the person views you. Interactionists call the phenomena of imagining how we look to others as “the looking glass self.” The A First Look at Communication Theory –Ninth Edition textbook defines “the looking glass self” as “the mental self-image that results from taking the role of the other; the objective self; me” (pg. 58). If the theory of communication is anything, it is a process of vocabulary words one must understand. Therefore, to put it in other words, a looking glass self can be described as pretending to be someone else in order to view yourself. Easy enough? Sort of.

The term “I” is the subjective self, “the spontaneous driving force” (pg. 58). What do I look like to them? Who am I? What am I going to do? While the term “me” is the objective -- “The image of self - seen when one takes the role of the other” (pg. 58). The text gives examples from social constructionist Herbert Mead in order to better understand this concept. “If the ‘I’ speaks, the ‘me’ hears. And the ‘I’ of this moment is the present in the ‘me’ of the next moment” (pg. 59).

If that wasn’t complicated enough, the concept of “generalized other” also can come into play. This concept essentially is explaining that the mental image you have of yourself is due to societal expectations and its reflection upon yourself.

The majority of us have probably created our sense of self through other people and their expectations -- who we believe they want us to be based on conversations and responses. Perhaps that is why most people have varying personalities depending on who they are with. One acts one way with their professor in order to meet the expectation. They act another with their family, to fit a portrayal. They then continue to become another character when they are with their friends. It’s a continuous and inevitable cycle.

But I believe it is important for people to understand as one self, you cannot fully know what another thinks of you or know what their expectation for you is, without clearly communicating it to one another. You can imagine being them and seeing you, but that still reflects your impression of yourself with regards to how you see their expectation of yourself. This can affect everything between how you behave in total and how you choose to interact with people. A small example can be found in how you greet people. Using examples from before, greeting a professor most likely would go along the lines of, ‘Hello, how are you?’ Greeting family may sound a little more relaxed, ‘Hey what’s up, how are you?’ While greeting friends will be comfortable, and the set of vocabulary you choose to use may be completely different, such as, ‘What’s good?’ Your choice of words and expressions is a direct reflection of your assumed expectation. This is an example of the communication aspect of influence in personal self, rather than psychological reasoning.

We do not know what others think of us. Only what we think others think of us. Even if you try to detach the self when you look at something or someone through someone else’s eyes, you can still be blinded by your own perception. I think it’s okay to be blinded sometimes, but don’t allow it to become your light.

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6 Things You Should Know About The Woman Who Can't Stand Modern Feminism

Yes, she wants to be heard too.

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2018 is sort of a trap for this woman. She believes in women with all of the fire inside of her, but it is hard for her to offer support when people are making fools of themselves and disguising it as feminism.

The fact of the matter is that women possess qualities that men don't and men possess qualities that women don't. That is natural. Plus, no one sees men parading the streets in penis costumes complaining that they don't get to carry their own fetus for nine months.

1. She really loves and values women.

She is incredibly proud to be a woman.

She knows the amount of power than a woman's presence alone can hold. She sees when a woman walks into a room and makes the whole place light up. She begs that you won't make her feel like a "lady hater" because she doesn't want to follow a trend that she doesn't agree with.

2. She wants equality, too

She has seen the fundamental issues in the corporate world, where women and men are not receiving equal pay.

She doesn't cheer on the businesses that don't see women and men as equivalents. But she does recognize that if she works her butt off, she can be as successful as she wants to.

3. She wears a bra.

While she knows the "I don't have to wear a bra for society" trend isn't a new one, but she doesn't quite get it. Like maybe she wants to wear a bra because it makes her feel better. Maybe she wears a bra because it is the normal things to do... And that's OK.

Maybe she wants to put wear a lacy bra and pretty makeup to feel girly on .a date night. She is confused by the women who claim to be "fighting for women," because sometimes they make her feel bad for expressing her ladyhood in a different way than them.

4. She hates creeps just as much as you do. .

Just because she isn't a feminist does not mean that she is cool with the gruesome reality that 1 in 5 women are sexually abused.

In fact, this makes her stomach turn inside out to think about. She knows and loves people who have been through such a tragedy and wants to put the terrible, creepy, sexually charged criminals behind bars just as bad as the next woman.

Remember that just because she isn't a feminist doesn't mean she thinks awful men can do whatever they want.

5. There is a reason she is ashamed of 2018's version of feminism.

She looks at women in history who have made a difference and is miserably blown away by modern feminism's performance.

Not only have women in the past won themselves the right to vote, but also the right to buy birth control and have credit cards in their names and EVEN saw marital rape become a criminal offense.

None of them dressed in vagina costumes to win anyone over though... Crazy, right?

6. She isn't going to dress in a lady parts costume to prove a point.

This leaves her speechless. It is like the women around her have absolutely lost their minds and their agendas, only lessening their own credibility.

"Mom, what are those ladies on TV dressed up as?"

"Ummm... it looks to me like they are pink taco's honey."

She loves who she is and she cherished what makes her different from the men around her. She doesn't want to compromise who she is as a woman just so she can be "equal with men."

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Understanding And Embracing The Prostitute Within

Are you someone who is unapologetically her best, authentic self, and who has the strength to both follow her own heart and to support others around her doing the same?

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Ever responded to a stressful situation and wondered afterward why you reacted in the way you did? Maybe it's because of nurture: your age, faith, education background, or culture. Or maybe, it's because of an archetype deep within you—a universal way of being that stretches across all divides and affects every human.


BLINDSPOTS

Understanding what archetypes are and which ones are actively affecting you can open your eyes to what's unconsciously driving you. By knowing what you didn't know you didn't know, you can then become conscious about your choices and actions and—if you wish—choose a new way to be. So here's how to understand your inner Prostitute—and how to make her* work for you.

*I am female so I choose a feminine pronoun for the Prostitute. Replace with whatever you wish.


ARCHETYPES

According to Carl Jung, an archetype (a universal mental pattern) is a part of all humans' collective unconsciousness. The child archetype was first suggested by Carl Jung as a role (along with the other archetypes) that we all unconsciously play out in our lives. Caroline Myss, a New York Times bestselling author, has elaborated on Jung's theory, suggesting that the child is one of four survival archetypes that develop early on in all humans' lives: the child, the prostitute, the victim, and the saboteur. Each one of these is present to some extent in you and your decision-making.


OVERVIEW OF ARCHETYPES

Some of these words have fairly negative connotations, right? If someone called you a prostitute or a saboteur, you might take offense. Despite the connotative meanings of the word associated with each archetype, each archetype is neutral: they have both positive and negative sides. To best understand the Prostitute archetype, it will be helpful to have a brief understanding of the struggles associated with the other survival archetypes.

The Child includes the wounded child, orphan child, and eternal child, and causes you to stay stuck in childhood traumas, responding to events today based on defense mechanisms you created as a child. You may feel abandoned, engage in self-pity, or become very cynical.

The Victim tells you that you're never good enough or that it's never your fault—it blames you, controls you, and causes you to wait to be rescued.

The Saboteur tries to self-sabotage you and encourages you to undermine your own choices.


THE SHADOW SIDE OF THE PROSTITUTE

The Prostitute came into being as a way to help you survive and protect your inner self, strength, and integrity. This is her being: it's neutral. But like all archetypes, the Prostitute has a light side and a shadow side, and her shadow side is often destructive, selfish, and fearful.

Have you ever asked yourself how you can make that cute boy think you're more interesting or engaging than you actually are? Whether you should bother helping your classmate with the upcoming exam if there's nothing in it for you? How you can get your boss to respect you?

That was your inner Prostitute. She negotiates your power away to other people and compromises as a form of self-protection.

The Prostitute's shadow side engages in selling out yourself—your integrity, creativity, standards—either because of fear, or because of gain (particularly financial). It's not just about you compromising yourself though—the Prostitute will also encourage you to seduce or control others.

Have you ever seen a friend stay in an abusive or neglectful relationship? Have you compromised your ideals at work in order to just keep your job? Have you put on a false front in order to impress your date? That's all the Prostitute at work. Negotiating away yourself in this way hurts your core and victimizes you.


COME BACK TO THE LIGHT

The flip side of the shadow self is seeing how the Prostitute can radically transform your life if you embrace this archetype and use it consciously and wisely.

In this way, the Prostitute creates and strengthens self-confidence and integrity. Have you ever met a man or woman who had the strength to leave behind toxic relationships? Who was able to freely express her wants and principles in a self-empowered way and know her own boundaries—but who also does not try to persuade other people to compromise their own selves? Who refused to manipulate others to gain their favor, admiration, or support, no matter how it might have helped him get what he wanted?

That's the Prostitute as she's meant to be manifested in a person: someone who knows how to protect and best use her energy and resources, who is unapologetically her best, authentic self, and who has the strength to both follow her own heart and to support others around her doing the same.


NOW WHAT?

How do we move away from the Prostitute's shadow side and live in her light side?


BECOMING AWARE

The first step to any sort of growth is awareness. If you're not aware of a problem, you won't know how to fix it—you won't even know there's a thing to be fixed. Begin noting when in your life you are trying to mitigate other people's impressions of you, or when you're trying to control someone else's actions or decisions. What are your standards? What standards are you willing to compromise on (with your time, your morals, or your body) in order to protect yourself or to get your own way? What are you willing to give up (in relationships, personal standards, job security) in order to be safe or not make waves? Note when you're breaking your integrity to achieve some end, the people in your life who use you and drain you, and when you're ignoring your gut.


WHAT'S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN?

The next time you're on a date or with friends and start self-censoring to make yourself seem more appealing, reset. Take a deep breath, and just be yourself.

A coping mechanism that I find helpful is asking: what's the worst that can happen? Last week I was out on a date with this crazy cool person I really like and I started to talk about a subject I get really excited about and then hesitated, unsure if we were "there" yet in our relationship. Maybe this is too much, too soon?

Cue coping mechanism above: "What's the worst that can happen?" The worst that can happen, I thought, is that this person decides he doesn't like me and doesn't want to see me again. The Prostitute's response to that: well, if you being you makes him not want to see you again, then it's a good thing you figured that out sooner rather than later. And if he does want to see you again—then he wants to see someone who's genuinely, authentically you.


CHECK IN WITH YOUR GUT

The Prostitute is a gut-based archetype rather than a mind-based archetype. Writing ways to encourage someone to follow their intuition is a little like writing ways for someone to learn how to dance: you can give them tips about timing and write out the basic steps, but at some point, they just have to get in the ring and experience it.

So when you're making decisions, check in with your gut. If it's not hellyeah, then maybe it's a no. If I find myself making a pros and cons list about whether or not I want to hang out with someone or kiss someone, I know it's not a hellyeah for me. And that doesn't always mean it's bad, or that I shouldn't give it a shot—but it does mean to stay attuned to your body and heart, and don't override them or scorn them for being silly or irrational.


YOU CAN'T HEAL WITH THE SAME PEOPLE WHO HURT YOU

Toxic relationships with someone you love are probably the hardest to walk away from. Understand it doesn't need to be a judgment upon them; maybe they're not a bad person. Maybe it is just you. And that's okay. It's okay to make decisions that are just for you. This is your life. Ask yourself: if your best friend was in an identical situation, what advice would you give him?

You cannot heal in the same place, by the same people, who hurt you. If you're spending your finite and precious energy on people and tasks that just drain you, you're not using your energy as you best could: to fully empower your own self so you can go out and change your own corner of the world.


COURAGE

Your inner Prostitute can seduce you to lead a life out of fear—selling out to protect yourself, selfishly get what you want, and manipulate others. Or your inner Prostitute can be an empowering force in your life—filling you with courage and determination, respect and appreciation for both your own boundaries and the boundaries of others, and protecting you from being manipulated or controlled.

Standing up for yourself to others, and standing up to yourself when you are trying to manipulate someone else, will surely be difficult at times. By embracing the Prostitute archetype that resides in each of us, you will be able to become aware of her encouragements within you and implement her empowerment, strength, and willpower in your life.


GO FORTH

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