Ch 2 outline - Beebe

After studying this chapter, students should be able to:
1. Define, compare, and contrast self-concept and self-esteem.
2. Identify factors that shape the development of your self-concept.
3. List and describe strategies for improving your self-esteem.
4. Describe how your self-concept affects your relationships with others.
5. Describe the process of appropriate self-disclosure, including two models of selfdisclosure.
Self-Concept: Who Are You? Coming to terms with who we are requires
understanding the term self-concept. Who you are is reflected in your attitudes, beliefs, and
values, and can change over time and circumstances. Researchers have described three ways of
being self-aware – conscious of who you are and what your are doing: subjective selfawareness,
objective self-awareness, and symbolic self-awareness. Aspects of who you are
include your “spiritual,” “social,” and “material” selves.
Our self-concept develops from at least three sources: interaction with others, association
with groups, the roles we assume, our own labels, and our personality.
Self-Esteem: Your Self-Worth: Closely related to self-concept is self-esteem; whereas
self-concept is who you are, self-esteem is your evaluation of who you are.
Awareness of self-concept and self-esteem benefits interpersonal relationships by
increasing “other-orientation.” Each of us also has varying levels of interpersonal needs for
affection, inclusion, and control. Self-concept, self-esteem, and interpersonal needs allow for
self-fulfilling prophecies, subjective interpretations of messages, selective exposure, and unique
message formation. People tend to have a predominant communication style and a backup style
that are based on their sense of self and others.
Self-esteem can be improved by positive intrapersonal communication, visualization,
avoiding comparing yourself to others, appropriately reframing events and experiences,
developing honest relationships letting go of the past, and seeking professional help and support.
How Self-Concept and Self-Esteem Affect Interpersonal Communication and
Relationships: Your-self concept and self-esteem filter every interaction with others, affecting
your ability to be sensitive to others, your self-fulfilling prophesies, your interpretation of
messages, and your typical communication style.
Self-Disclosure: Connecting Self to Others Through Talk: The social penetration model
describes the breadth and depth of self disclosure in particular relationships. We become aware
of whom we are through this self disclosure with others. This self-disclosure has general
characteristics that can be identified.
Chapter 2 – Interpersonal Communication and Self
(All key terms appear in bold)
I. Self-Concept: Who are you?
• Self is defined as the sum total of who a person is; a person’s central inner force.
• Your self concept is your subjective self description of who you think you are – it is
filtered though your own perceptions.
o We can view self-concept as the labels we consistently use to describe ourselves
to others.
o Who you are is reflected in your attitudes, beliefs, and values.
• An attitude is a learned predisposition to respond to a person, object, or idea in a
favorable or unfavorable way.
• Beliefs are conceptions of what is true and what is false.
• Values are enduring concepts of good and bad, right and wrong.
A. Are you conscious of who you are?
1. Subjective self-awareness is the ability that people have to differentiate
themselves from their environment.
2. Objective self-awareness is the ability to be the object of our own thoughts
and attention.
3. Symbolic self-awareness, unique to humans, is our ability not only to think
about ourselves, but to use language (symbols) to represent ourselves to others.
a) Stage 1: Unconscious incompetence
b) Stage 2: Conscious incompetence
c) Stage 3: Conscious competence
d) Stage 4: Unconscious competence
B. One or many selves?
1. Your material self is a total of all the tangible things you own: your
possessions, your home, and your body.
2. Your social self is the part of you that interacts with others.
3. Your spiritual self consists of internal thoughts and introspection about your
values, moral standards, and beliefs.
C. How your self-concept develops
1. Interaction with individuals
a) We form our self-concept by seeing ourselves in a figurative looking
glass when we interact with others.
b) The looking glass self is the concept that suggests you learn who you
are based on your interaction with others who reflect your self back to
c) We are more likely to believe another’s statements if they repeat
something we have heard several times.
d) We are more likely to value another’s statements if we perceive them
to be credible.
e) We are more likely to incorporate another’s comments into our own
concept of self if the comments are consistent with other comments and
our own experience.
2. Association with groups
a) We form our self-concept based on attitudes, beliefs, and values of
groups with whom we associate.
b) Peer pressure can exert considerable influence on shaping our attitudes
and behavior.
c) Groups provide important support for people who are not part of the
dominant culture.
3. Roles you assume
a) Symbolic interaction theory (Mead) explains that people make sense
of the world on the basis of their interactions with others.
b) We form our self-concept based on roles we assume.
c) Gender groups exert a powerful influence on role selection.
d) Androgynous roles encompass a greater repertoire of actions and
behaviors because they are both masculine and feminine.
4. Self-labels
a) We form our self-concept based our own attitudes, beliefs, and actions.
b) Our self-reflectiveness is the human ability that allows us to think
about what we are doing while we are doing it.
5. Your Personality
a) Your personality is the set of enduring internal predispositions and
behavioral characteristics that describe how people react to their
b) Understanding the forces that shape your personality is central to
increasing your awareness of your self-concept and how you relate to
c) One personality characteristic concerns how comfortable you are
interacting with other people.
d) Communication apprehension is the fear or anxiety associated with
either real or anticipated communication with other people.
e) Shyness is the behavioral tendency not to talk or interact with other
f) Willingness to communicate describes an individual’s tendencies to
be shy or apprehensive about communicating with others.
II. Self-Esteem: Your Self-Worth
A. Your self-worth is your evaluation of your worth or value based on your perception
of such things as your skills, abilities, talents, and appearance.
B. People derive their sense of self worth through social comparison: the process of
comparing yourself to others who are similar to you to measure your worth and value.
C. Berne (1964) developed the concept of life position that describes your feelings of
regard for yourself and others as reflected in your sense of self-worth and self-esteem.
1. “I’m OK, you’re OK” indicates positive regard for self and others.
2. “I’m OK, you’re not OK” indicates positive regard for self and low regard for
3. “I’m not OK, you’re OK” indicates low regard for self and positive regard for
4. “I’m not OK, you’re not OK” indicates low regard for both self and others.
D. Talk about being “OK” refers to face: a person’s positive perception of himself or
herself in interactions with others.
Chapter 2 – Interpersonal Communication and Self
E. Facework is the use of communication to maintain your own positive perception
from your own point of view (self face) or to support, reinforce, or challenge someone
else’s face (other face).
III. Improving Your Self-Esteem
A. Engage in Self-talk
1. Realistic, positive self-talk can have a reassuring effect on your level of selfworth
and your interaction with others.
2. Intrapersonal communication describes this communication with yourself:
self talk.
B. Visualize a positive image of yourself
1. Visualization is the technique of imagining that you are performing a
particular task in a certain way.
2. Positive visualization can enhance your self esteem
C. Avoid comparing yourself to others
1. Rather than finding others who seemingly are better off, focus on the unique
attributes that make you who you are.
D. Avoid judging your own value by comparing yourself with others.
E. Appropriately reframe
1. Reframing is the process of redefining events and experiences from a
different point of view.
2. Learn and profit from your mistakes.
F. Develop honest relationships
1. Having at least one other person who can help you objectively and honestly
reflect on your virtues and vices can be extremely beneficial in fostering a
healthy, positive self-image.
2. The more credible the source of information, the more likely you are to
believe it.
G. Let go of the past
1. Individuals with low self-esteem may be locking on to events and experiences
that happened years ago and tenaciously refusing to let go of them.
2. Becoming aware of the changes that have or may occur in your life can help
you develop a more realistic assessment of your value.
H. Seek support
1. Some of your self-image may be so ingrained that you need professional help
to make big changes.
2. Talking through problems can make a difference.
IV. How Self-Concept and Self-Esteem Affect Interpersonal Communication and Relationships
A. Self and others
1. Becoming other oriented is a requisite for developing quality interpersonal
relationships with others.
2. George Herbert Mead suggests that we develop an “I” that is based upon our
own perspective of ourselves, and a “Me” that is an image of ourselves based
upon the collective responses we receive and interpret from others.
3. Decentering is the cognitive process in which you take into account another
person’s thoughts, feelings, values, background, and perspective.
4. When beginning to use this process, you may use your own self as a frame of
reference by which you judge others.
5. When you use a specific-other perspective, you rely on information that you
have observed or that you can imagine about a particular person.
6. When you use a generalized-other perspective, you apply knowledge about
people in general or about specific subgroups to the person with whom you are
7. Your ability to predict how others will respond to you is based on your ability
to understand how your sense of the world is similar to and different from others’.
B. Self-fulfilling prophecy
1. Your predictions about your future actions are likely to come true because you
believe they will come true are self fulfilling prophesies.
2. Your attitudes, beliefs, and general expectations about your performance have
a powerful effect on your behavior, including your physical health.
C. Self and interpretation of messages
1. Perhaps you know someone whose low self-esteem colors how he or she
interprets messages and interacts with others.
D. Self and interpersonal needs
1. Our concept of who we are coupled with our need to interact with others
profoundly influences how we communicate with others.
2. Three primary social needs that affect our degree of communication with
others are: (Schutz)
a) Need for inclusion—the interpersonal need to be included and to
include others in social activities.
b) Need for control—the interpersonal need for some degree of
domination in our relationships as well as the need to be controlled.
c) Need for affection—the interpersonal need to be included and to
include others in social activities.
3. The greater a person’s interpersonal needs for inclusion, control, and
affection, the more actively interpersonal relationships will be pursued.
E. Self and communication styles
1. Each of us has a unique communication style that is identifiable by the
habitual way we communicate with others.
a) Some believe these traits stem from genetics while the social learning
approach suggests we learn styles from interactions with others.
2. Two primary dimensions underlie how we interact with others.
a) Assertiveness is the tendency to make requests, ask for information,
and generally pursue our own rights and best interests.
b) Responsiveness is the tendency to be sensitive to the needs of others,
including being sympathetic to other’s feelings and placing the feelings of
others above your own feelings.
3. There is no one best communication style for every situation.
V. Self-Disclosure: Connecting Self to Others Through Talk
A. Self-disclosure occurs when we purposefully provide information to others that they
would not learn if we did not tell them.
B. Understanding the depth and breadth of self-disclosure: The social penetration model
of self-disclosure.
Chapter 2 – Interpersonal Communication and Self
1. The social penetration model of self-disclosure and relational development
reflects both the breadth and depth of shared information in each relationship.
C. Understanding how we learn about ourselves from others: The Johari Window model
of self-disclosure.
1. Your self awareness is your conscious understanding of who you are.
2. Your awareness of who you are is influenced by your own level of selfdisclosure
as well as by how much others share information about you with you.
3. The Johari Window model reflects the movement of information about
yourself from Blind and Unknown quadrants to Hidden and Open ones.
a) The Open quadrant contains information that others know about you
and that you are also aware of.
b) The Blind quadrant contains information that others know about you
but that you do not know.
c) The Hidden quadrant contains information that you know about
yourself but that others do not know about you.
d) The Unknown quadrant contains information that is unknown to both
you and others
e) We can draw a Johari Window to represent each of our relationships.
VI. Characteristics of Self-Disclosure
A. Self-disclosure usually moves in small increments as people reveal information about
themselves a little at a time.
1. Communication privacy management theory suggest that each of us has
our own boundaries and rules for sharing personal information.
B. Self-disclosure moves from less personal to more personal information through five
predictable levels.
1. Level 5: Cliché communication occurs when we use standard phrases to let
others know we acknowledge them
2. Level 4: Facts and biographical information are exchanged.
3. Level 3: Attitudes and personal ideas are discussed.
4. Level 2: Personal feelings such as fears, secrets, and attitudes about others are
5. Level 1: Peak communication is the rare “gut level” of self-disclosure.
C. Self-disclosure is reciprocal.
1. The dyadic effect is the reciprocal nature of self-disclosure: “You disclose to
me and I’ll disclose to you.”
D. Self-disclosure involves risk.
1. Self-disclosure involves personal information.
E. Self-disclosure online is different from face-to-face disclosure.
1. There is evidence that people are more likely to disclose more personal
information about themselves when they communicate online than they would in
face to face communication.
F. Self-disclosure involves trust.
1. To know something personal about someone is to have power over that
2. A basic expectation of friendship is that friends do not reveal confidences.
G. Self disclosure over time: enhancing intimacy
1. Relationships typically include periods of high self-disclosure early in the
2. We begin relationships by sharing low risk information fairly rapidly.
3. Finally, we begin to share our most personal disclosures.
4. The amount of information disclosed decreases as the relationship becomes
more intimate.
5. Interpersonal relationships cannot achieve intimacy without self disclosure.
H. Self-disclosure reflects perceptions about the nature of your relationships.
I. Self-disclosure guidelines