FAQs on Self-concept and Self-image

Apr 26


Hal G Warfield

Hal G Warfield

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Understanding self-concept and self-image is crucial as they profoundly influence our behavior and interactions. This article explores the nuances of self-concept, also known as self-image, and provides insights into how it shapes our personality and actions. We'll delve into the differences between self-concept and self-image, the impact of temperament, and strategies for positive change.


What is Self-Concept?

Defining Self-Concept and Self-Image

Self-concept or self-image refers to the internal view or perception we hold about ourselves. It encompasses our beliefs,FAQs on Self-concept and Self-image Articles attributes, and how we see our personality traits and capabilities. This internal picture can significantly differ from how others perceive us, which can lead to discrepancies between self-perception and external feedback.

The Role of Temperament and Personality

Temperament, often innate, plays a crucial role in shaping our self-concept. It combines with our life experiences to form our personality. For instance, introverted temperaments might lead individuals to perceive themselves as shy. While external behaviors can be modified through training programs like Dale Carnegie Courses or Toastmasters, internal temperaments tend to remain stable.

Can Self-Image Be Changed?

Influencing Self-Image

Changing one's self-image is a gradual process that involves altering internal dialogues and self-perceptions. It requires consistent and positive self-talk and feedback from significant others whom one views as credible and important. For example, repeatedly affirming positive qualities can gradually reshape one's self-image.

External vs. Internal Changes

While external behaviors can be learned and adapted, internal feelings and self-perceptions require deeper psychological work. Tools such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can be effective in addressing and modifying detrimental self-beliefs.

Factors Influencing Self-Image

Several factors contribute to the formation of self-image:

  1. Temperament: Innate predispositions that influence how we interact with our environment.
  2. Upbringing: The influence of parents' attitudes and behaviors.
  3. Social Interactions: Feedback and interactions from peers and significant others.
  4. Self-Talk: The internal dialogue that reinforces our perception of self.
  5. Cultural and Educational Influences: Messages from teachers, media, and cultural norms.

Overcoming Negative Self-Perceptions

Strategies for Positive Change

To alter negative self-perceptions, one must first identify and challenge these ingrained beliefs. Writing down negative self-statements and critically assessing their validity can be a starting point. Subsequently, creating a new set of positive beliefs and gradually implementing behaviors that reflect these new beliefs can lead to a transformed self-image.

The Role of Professional Help

In cases of severe negative self-image or trauma, professional help from a psychologist or counselor might be necessary. These professionals can provide strategies and support tailored to individual needs, facilitating more effective and lasting changes.


Understanding and improving self-concept is a journey that involves self-awareness, change in self-talk, and sometimes professional guidance. By embracing both our innate traits and our capacity for change, we can develop a healthier, more positive self-image that enhances our life and interactions with others.

For further reading on developing healthy boundaries and self-perception, consider the "Boundaries" series by Drs. Cloud and Townsend, which provides excellent insights into maintaining personal integrity and self-esteem.

Learn more about self-esteem and mental health Explore cognitive behavioral therapy

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