43: Defining yourself

A Thousand Things to Talk About
A Thousand Things to Talk About
43: Defining yourself

Today, we’re talking about defining yourself.

Is it more important to decide who / what you are, or who / what you aren’t?

Show notes and links:
Simply Psychology – Self Concept – Self Concept

Full episode text

Humanist psychologist Carl Rogers suggested that self-concept was comprised of three unique parts: self-image, self-esteem, and the ideal self. Self-image, the way we see ourselves, may or may not be based in logic or reality, but it does have an impact on the way we interact with the world. Self-esteem, is how much you value yourself in both words and action. And the ideal self is the self that we wish we were.

Psychologist Michael Argyle, in 2008, suggested that the ideal self was defined by four things: the ways in which others react to us, how we think we compare to others, our social roles, and the extent to which we identify with other people.

Of course, that extent to which our ideal self and our self-concept intersect has a big impact on our lives, and self-definition – both of what we are and of what we aren’t – have a big impact on that. For every individual, that choice of how, exactly, to define themselves is a big part of determining how completely self-concept and ideal self intersect, and how highly we value ourselves.