SYMBOLS OF SELF
We have already looked at how personality pattern develops and how hereditary and environment contributes to it. An individual then interacts with his environment according to his unique personality pattern. On this article we are going to discuss some of the self as described by Hurlock 1974 through which an individual manifests his personality.
Symbols of self are visible signs of something invisible. They suggest something to the observer. It is through symbols of self that a person tries to reveal to others qualities which he wants them to associate with him but which he cannot or does not want to reveal directly. For instance, if one went around telling people that he is rich, he would be considered boastful. But he can use indirect less obvious techniques to reveal his wealth by wearing expensive clothes, driving a high powered car and joining an exclusive club. People maybe be able to infer information from areas that are only implied or suggested but the surest way to guarantee that will one make the right inference is to make sure that the symbol is the less likely it is to be misinterpreted. Every cultural group has its own symbols which it uses to judge other people.
ROLES OF SYMBOLS OF SELF
Symbols of self not only influence ones judgment of other people but also influence one’s concept of self. If a person is a newcomer to a certain group or community, symbols of self will carry a lot of weight with regard to how he will be judged. If on the other hand a person is known to the group for a time, symbols of self will have less influence. For instance, the better known the individual the less important are his clothes in determining his popularity. Symbols of self contribute to the person’s individuality and play a major role in personality development than what many people may wish to accept.
SYMBOLS OF SELF