Who am I? There are many of us walking around trying to figure out who we are and what we stand for. Self-reflection can be conveyed in many different ways, using many different adjectives to describe the person we are. There are some who will give an honest description of one’s self and then there is some who become delusional with the perception they want others to see. Most people on social sites create a profile which can be so far from whom they really are, it is usually a perception of who they want to be. This paper will define the self, the concept of the self, the functions of the self, the core motives of the self, and how the core motives of the self relates to survival.
The definition of the self can have a variety of descriptions depending on who is defining it. The self is an embodied human who have different attributes, characteristics, and interest which distinguished them from other people. The self will take ownership and possession of materialistic items to create an outlook to be viewed by others. The self is the study of the effective and cognitive method to identify one’s self. There are four basic levels to identify the self, they are body self, inner self, interpersonal self, and societal self (Fiske, 2010).
The body self, also can be referred to as the material self, is the most simplistic level of identifying the unique characteristics of a person. The body self takes on ownership of one’s belongings. The distinction between the self and not-self would include an expressive response to having something loss, damaged, or derogation. These are all characteristics of the self (Fiske, 2010).
The inner self is an experience that a person will go through, which can be described as an inner body experience that will separate from body an outer experience. The inner self is the qualifications that relatives and close friends see when they are around you. The inner self displays characteristics of emotions, beliefs, and who we are and what we are made of. The inner self is a reflection of how the self relates to the society and the way one expresses concern for specific issues.
The interpersonal self is a connection one develops between two parties. The interpersonal self is a unique description of who we are and who or what we want to become. The self will choose a career path built on the personality of the self. The interpersonal self is a defined description of who people perceive to be and become.
The self-perception of how someone previews themselves is determined by self-concept, self-esteem, and self-presentation. Self –concept is a cognitive component of one’s self. It helps to define the intellectual focus and beliefs of the self. Self-concepts consists of one’s self schema, which is a combination of self-esteem, self-knowledge, and the social self which creates a formation of one’s completed wholesome self. The outlook of one’s self schema is a representation of who the person is and what they want to become. Self-schema gives a general idea the person’s past, present, and their future. The perception of one’s self schema is to become a better person than they have been in the past.
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 and deems others to be trustworthy. Self-esteem determines how a positive a person feels about themselves. A person’s self-esteem can present a positive outlook on life, which determines them to have a high self-esteem. On the other hand, there is a person with a low self-esteem, which they feel unwanted and out casted by others. A person with a low self-esteem has no regard on their full potential. They feel unworthy and think very poorly of themselves. A person with a high self-esteem has a very strong personality and takes charge of their life without the fear of rejection.
Self-presentation is a description of how people try to present themselves to others. The presentation of the self, a person would affiliate themselves with important people, figuring out ways to help others, and convey positive attributes to others. These characteristics of a person can give others the idea that the person is an overall good and helpful human being.
There are five core social motives that evolve to assist people to become part of something positive and effective. Most people yearn to become part of a group or community. The five core social motives consist of belonging, understanding, controlling, self-enhancing, and trusting. Each one of these motives build upon one another, the main motive is belonging. Belonging is a state of action of needing and wanting to be a part of something and show some type of consistency. We are creatures of nature, who yearn to find a companion to build a strong foundation with, this helps us to operate on a daily basis. People who are not involved in a group or community tend to become a loner. Most people who become very distance tend to create even more problems for themselves, meaning you haven some that indulge in some criminal activity just to belong to something. When a person feels they belong to something, it helps them to develop physically and psychologically.
The motives consist of two cores which demonstrate cognition and the other two proven to be affective. After the sense of belonging, one tends to gain an understanding, a comprehension of their surroundings and being able to decipher it according to their level of knowledge. A personal understanding of what is going on around you and having a stable interpretation is all about being a part of a community group. This helps the people to function in a group settings appropriately.
Next core social motive is controlling, which also is a cognitive social motive. Controlling is a sense of realizing that the behavioral regime affects one’s outcomes. Controlling is designed to develop a balance in life. This is very important because it allows us to perform and blend in with the community or group that a person chooses to become a part of. Having some control of one’s self, maintaining a daily schedule, and having the opportunity to control what happens during their day is a major part of daily life functioning.
Enhancing the self is a motivational core that is designed to make people feel good about their overall self and continue enhancing their self-esteem. This motive becomes important in circumstances of threats, failure, or blows to one’s self-esteem. Self enhancement contains a predilection for positive and negative reviews of the self. This core motive is how people decide to control and direct their own actions. There are many different avenues a person can incorporate to enhance their self-worth, for example a person would criticize and put others down to make themselves look even better than they actually are. People, who seem to have a high self-esteem, continue to enhance one’s self-concept directly, by processing new information. A person with a low self-esteem would try to avoid situations where their inequalities are foreseen.
Trusting is the last of the five core social motives which involves a general understanding that people tend to trust others. Trusting others eliminates any suspicion one have about another person. The failure to trust someone can be forgiven after some time has passed. Trust is a belief that is used to cope with the complexities that would require an unrealistic effort in logical reasoning. People are built to have some faith in others, and if that trust is broken, one will take a while to forgive but it will happen again naturally. For some reason, Americans have a tendency of trusting other quickly. In life we have to learn to trust others in order to build solid foundations.
These five core social behaviors help to build the individual into becoming a better person as whole. Each motive defines the self and enhances the overall quality built within each person. These core motives helps to balance the survival tactics needed to be successful and live a long fulfilling life. Building a solid and strong foundation creates a path for developing loving relationships, building and enhances one’s self-esteem and their self-worth, and having the opportunity to become part of a group or community.