How does communication affect the development of our personal identities?
Communication affects the development of our personal identities in a great way. Without appropriate communication, we are not able to interrelate with attributes that manipulate our personal identity. Our personal identity is how we view ourselves and is closely associated to our self-image. It is very central to us because it affects the way we feel about ourselves and how we behave in challenging circumstances. Our personal identity includes: Who we are, what makes us unique, what our values are, our physical identity and our internal identity. It also includes how we see ourselves in relation to others, how we identify ourselves in terms of our job and our personal goals
Another important thing about our personal identity is that it can impact on how other people see us in which case we are placed at harmony with the world and other people around us. It can also be very different from how others see us and so we may feel we are misunderstood, and we feel life is a battle to make others appreciate who we are. How we view ourselves is influenced by communication we receive from others or the communication we send to others. Some People react according to the communication they receive from us. The communication shapes us to what we become according to how people view us and how we in turn actualize people’s views towards us.
How can positive and negative communication affect our personal identity?
Compliments, insults, other peoples description about us, the label a friend might have when introducing us among others affect our personal identity. The assumptions that others make of us guide them on how they relate with us.
There are different ways that words that other people use to describe us influence our self-perception and identity. Some people use allness to identify or describe a person. Allness means using a single aspect of a person’s identity to describe that person without taking into consideration his or her other qualities
Allness can also be used to insult others. The insults and name calling learnt from childhood are refined in adulthood. The most damaging names are those that are reflective on characteristics that we cannot change. Examples of characteristics that we cannot change include race and physical peculiarities. Such name calling can cause a substantial damage to self-identity of the victim.
Secondly, use of stereotypes shortens our understanding concerning other people’s identities. Stereotyping involves generalizing a person based on a character of the group to which the person belongs. People who rely on stereotypes assume that an individual is just a representation of a group and therefore an individual is like everyone else in the group.
When we treat people resulting to them doubting themselves, by labeling and identifying in a damaging way, they can fit in those perceptions into their self-identity. The incorporation of the perception can have a negative effect on their values that may limit the achievement or failure to reach their potential. Also, stereotypes are contagious.
On a positive note, compliments and encouragement help people believe in themselves. They can shape the personal identity of the recipient in a positive way. They make a difference in how people view themselves and others and encourage a good self-perception. They can increase a person’s urge to meet the set goals or towards success.
What is perception?
Perception is the process by which sensory impressions is translated into a unified and coherent view of the world around us. Perception is based on, unreliable, incomplete and information. Our perception is equated to reality for the largest part of practical purposes and acts as a guide to our human behavior in general. (Robak et. Al, 2005)
What influences on our perceptions of self, others, or society?
There are several factors that influence our perceptions. Past experiences and expectations influence our perceptions. Taking a race and gender example, if one have successfully worked in institutions or other relationships having a culture of working together, there are great chances that an individual's qualities, behavior and messages will be more inclined to the initial perception rather than on preconceptions
Our cultures and self-perceptions also are influential to our perception. If we have low self-images family or from cultural factors, we might bias our perceptions in a more or restrictive way for example, "I can't have this" way compared to when we have good self-images.
Our knowledge, education and skills affect our perception by how we take in information and sensual experiences. Knowledge and education determine how we understand information and handle it. But when there is a difference between knowledge and education, there may be a great disparity in perception.
Perceptions are also influenced by our abilities to empathize, how we show concern or rationalize and our other physiological and emotional responses to messages and events
Why and how should we change negative perceptions of self, others or society?
By changing the negative perception of self, others and society, we can change our experiences with others. By changing the perception of others, the consciousness we attract from them also changes, therefore, changing the way they are. We can create and attract everything into our experience including our interactions with other people. Our perception of others creates what they are towards us, therefore changing our perception towards them changes them.
There are various ways that we can change negative perceptions. First is by putting ourselves in other people’s shoes. When we come across an issue, event, problem or concept from perspectives of people with different life paths, personalities or emotional outlooks, we can often gain new insights. We need to think critically. Other people’s outlook may be right, not for you but them. Also, their ideas can be partially right.
Secondly, it is of the essence to discuss our feelings and thoughts with others. It is not peculiar to find that people with little or no interest our issues and life or even stranger may offer more useful and honest ideas and view than people we know well.
Thirdly, we can change our perceptions by reading books and other materials written by experts to gain reliable information and understanding concerning us. There are chances that someone has written concerning issues similar to ours.
A therapist can also be of help. Behavioral therapist and Freudian psychologist can be very useful. They can assist us to work on our emotions and thoughts to come to new conclusions. The therapists can act as a guide for us to take on the process of evaluation, reassessment, and resolution that may effect new perceptions.
Lastly, we can involve ourselves in a personal practice. Activities such as martial arts, yoga, prayer and meditation that tap into our philosophical and spiritual beliefs can offer transformative experiences that help us gain new perceptions and insights into ourselves and our worlds. These can result to change in perception when we conduct them together with understanding the beliefs and ideas behind them.
Robak, R. W., Ward, A., & Ostolaza, K Development of a General Measure of Individuals’ Recognition of Their Self-Perception Processes Psychology, 7, (2005)
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