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The Self Essay

905 words - 4 pages

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 around others depends on the image we feel
they have towards us.

Charles Horton Cooley, a symbolic interactionist, concluded that our
sense of “self” develops from interactions with others. Cooley
described this process as the looking -glass self. The looking- glass
self consisted of three elements. We first imagine how we appear to
those around us. We may feel that others see us as boring or quiet.
Therefore we try to interpret the reactions of others when we are
around them to confirm if what we think is true. If others seem to
avoid to talk to you or if you really can’t keep a continuous
conversation, this may prove to you that you are indeed boring and not
so conversational, maybe making you a little uncomfortable when being
around people. On the other hand if you see yourself as an individual
who can communicate without a problem and you see that you can keep
others interested in a given conversations, your reaction is more
positive. Through this looking- glass self we develop a “self”
concept. Depending on the observations we make concerning the
reactions of others we develop feelings and ideas about ourselves. The
reflection we see in the mirror is either negative or positive
depending on the feedback we get back from those around us.
Misjudgments of the reactions of others become part of our “self”
concept also the misinterpretations of how others think of us. Self
concepts begins in childhood but it continues to develop throughout
life. As we observe how other people react to us, we modify our


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