Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Week #11: Presenting Self. VS. Perceived Self

Week 11 Blog

Most of the time, I think we need to present a certain part of ourselves or pretend to be an entirely different person, so we can “belong” with the person we’re meeting or people we are surrounded by. The person I present is largely based on context. If I’m hanging out with my friends in a casual atmosphere where drinking is involved, I may be more obnoxious than I usually am. However, if I’m doing a persuasive presentation for an audience composed of business people, I would speak formally and wear a business suit. The person I am sometimes can be very different from the person I am presenting, but most often than not my “presenting self” is very true to my “perceived self”.

We alter ourselves most when we meet someone for the first time or we‘re in a new atmosphere (the first day of school effect I call it). First impressions are often unforgettable and we want to make a good first impression by looking and acting similar to that person. Chapter talks about “impression management”, the creation of a positive image of oneself in order to influence the perceptions of other (Seiler, 67). It is because of this phenomenon that people may be quite different than their true selves.

My presenting self and my true self are usually the same. I am pretty comfortable with my personality and who I am for the most part. That can be attributed to my age, my optimism in life or perhaps the fact that I’m usually surrounded by others people who are similar to me. For example, I spend the greater part of my day at school or with my family, therefore I’m usually with people who are focused on the same things or have similar personality traits. The biggest difference between who I am to the world and who I am inside happens when I’m afraid or I’m having a terrible day. I’m the kind of person that bottles the majority of my anger and sadness up and I present a happy go lucky attitude to the world. I hate it when people are “Debbie downers”, so I try my best to be positive. Sometimes if you fake it enough, you may end up being happy or being positive. Attitude or thought is the first step to positive actions.

I put on a happy self or a positive self especially when I meet new people or I’m doing something major like a class presentation. If I don’t come in with a good attitude, my nerves and personal feelings may negatively impact my performance or actions.

Do you often find that putting a “brave face” can make your presenting self and perceived self more similar? Perhaps if we try hard enough we may even spread the positivity and others would benefit from the infectious positivity too.

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