Monday, June 13, 2011

Student Life: Perceptions...

According to the psychologist Carl Rogers, every single one of us has an "Ideal Self" and a "Real Self". Now our Ideal Self is what we wish we could be like. For example, some people may see their Ideal Self as taller, thinner, smarter, prettier, having a decent job, having a dream guy/girl etc. Whereas our Real Self is what we actually are in reality and unfortunately the two selves rarely match. Due to this, many people suffer from depression as sometimes it just isn't possible for people to achieve their Ideal Self. For example, people can't change how tall they are or change their body type. It just can't be done.

Throughout life we are constantly striving to achieve this Ideal Self that we've conjured up for ourselves. For example, in order for us to have that dream job we go to college to get the required qualifications. Or we watch what we eat and exercise in order to live a healthier lifestyle. Rogers also says that the gap between our two selves is known as our "Self-Esteem". The larger the gap, the lower our Self-Esteem is and the smaller the gap, the higher our Self-Esteem is. 

As an avid fan of psychology I've always found things like this fascinating. When I learned this, it just made sense. Of course our self-esteem is going to be low if we aren't measuring up to what our minds wish we were like. It's practically common sense yet I still find it amazing. My Ideal Self consists of the usual things, being smarter, prettier, thinner but also being more independent and having friends. I'm sure independence will come with age but I'm not so sure about the friends part. I think that I've gone so long without them that I will seriously struggle opening myself up emotionally in order to make any lasting friendships. I hope that I will be proved wrong someday.

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