Who am I - comparison: self-image external image

Who am I - comparison: self-image external image

By Published On: 2. December 2023


Hey guys, you know when you think you know exactly who you are, but then someone comes along and holds a mirror up to you - and bang, you see yourself with completely different eyes? That's exactly what this is about: the self-image - the image we have of ourselves in our heads - and the external image - how others see us. We often think we know our personality, our strengths and weaknesses exactly, but the feedback from others can really surprise us. And it is precisely this comparison between how we see ourselves and how others see us that is so exciting, because sometimes there is a huge gap between how we see ourselves and how others see us. This can lead to funny misunderstandings or sometimes even tricky situations. So let's explore together how we see ourselves, how others perceive us and why this is so important for our interactions and our personal journey!

Introduction to the concept of self-image and external image

Sometimes it feels like we live in two different worlds: the one we see ourselves in and the one others see us in. Understanding these two perspectives and knowing how they develop and influence each other can be a key to personal growth and improved social interactions.

Definition of self-image

The Self-image is basically what you see when you look in the mirror of self-reflection. It encompasses our thoughts and feelings about our abilities, our appearance, our character and how we believe we are seen by others. It is an internal perspective based on our experiences, values and beliefs. You might think that our self-image is static, but in reality it is a dynamic structure that is constantly evolving - through successes and failures, praise and criticism.

Definition of external image

The external image, on the other hand, is the reflection of ourselves that other people perceive and put together in their heads. This external view can differ greatly from our own, as each person sees us through their own individually colored glasses - based on their own experiences, prejudices and the situation in which they interact. The media and culture in which we operate can also influence this image. It is therefore often a challenge to recognize the external image of ourselves and even more difficult to control or change it.

The importance of comparing self-image and external image

Why is it even relevant to deal with self-images and images of others? Quite simply, because our Self-image and external image strongly influence our interactions and our self-perception. If these images do not match, this can lead to insecurities and misunderstandings. In professional life, a discrepancy between self-image and external image can even limit development opportunities. On the other hand, a balanced relationship between self-image and external image can lead to stronger personal development and help to improve social relationships and career opportunities. Balancing allows us to get a more realistic picture of ourselves that we can work on. It helps us to understand and recognize our strengths, but also not to ignore our weaknesses.

In modern society, in which we are increasingly reliant on virtual interactions, the comparison of self-image and external image gains additional complexity. In social networks, we often present an idealized version of ourselves, which can strengthen our self-image, but also holds the potential for a greater discrepancy with the external image. Self-reflection is therefore an important process, not only for our well-being, but also for our authenticity when interacting with others.

By understanding how we see ourselves and how others perceive us, we can begin to work on the gap that often opens up between these two images. This means questioning our own perceptions, being open to feedback from others and learning how our behaviors and communication can be interpreted by others. In this way, we can create a more coherent image of ourselves that not only corresponds to our inner understanding, but also to the perception that others have of us.

The development of the self-image

Our self-image is not simply a snapshot; it is a complex, living construct that develops over the years. Like a jigsaw puzzle, new pieces are added day by day - through experiences, encounters and reflection on ourselves. The image we have of ourselves is therefore constantly changing.

Factors influencing the self-image

The development of our self-image is influenced by a variety of different factors. These include our life experiences, interactions with family, friends and strangers as well as the reactions to our actions and decisions. Even genetic aspects play a role, as they contribute to the characteristics of our personality, which in turn shape our self-image. Biological predispositions partly determine how motivated, empathetic or risk-taking we are.

Our environment is also an important factor. Our parents' parenting styles, the socio-cultural milieu in which we grow up and even the media to which we are exposed shape our view of ourselves. The recognition or rejection we experience at school or at work also plays a role, as do those profound life events that can shake us to the core. Even the language we use and the labels ascribed to us can have an impact on our self-image. If you would like to learn more about how these aspects shape self-image, I would recommend reading the article "The development of a positive self-image" to read.

The role of self-perception

A catalyst for self-image is the way we perceive ourselves - in other words, our self-perception. It influences how we interpret the world and ourselves. This self-perception is subjective and can distort how we evaluate our skills, experiences and character traits.

Self-perception is a process in which the self-image is further explored and shaped. Through self-reflection, which is achieved through Self-reflection exercises can be encouraged, false self-perceptions can be recognized and adjustments can be made. However, it is important not to lose yourself in self-criticism or chase after unrealistic ideals.

Changes in self-image over the course of life

Our self-image develops continuously, from childhood through adulthood and into old age. While family and friends primarily shape the image we have of ourselves in childhood and adolescence, additional influencing factors come to the fore later in life. Successes and failures at work, partnerships, starting a family and social changes are just some of the factors that shape and reshape our self-image.

Each stage of life brings new challenges and opportunities that influence our self-image. We develop new facets of our identity, learn new skills, experience changes in our appearance and our health. All these aspects influence how we see ourselves. What used to be important can become irrelevant in old age, values and beliefs can change.

Ultimately, it is the ability to accept ourselves and grow with the changes that enables us to develop a coherent and positive self-image. In this continuous process of becoming, it is essential to remain mindful and open to our own development and not to allow ourselves to be trapped by an outdated self-image. This is the only way to ensure that the view in the mirror remains a true reflection of the soul that both respects the past and makes room for the future.

The development of the external image

Each of us is in our own skin, but how we are seen by others is how we are seen by others. It is fascinating and sometimes a little frightening to realize that the way we see ourselves is often different from how others perceive us. The external image is like a mosaic that is put together from the many small observations, interactions and interpretations of the people around us.

Perception by others

Our external image is created by the way others see us. This can happen through direct interactions when we talk to friends, present projects at work or simply through the non-verbal signals we send out without saying a word. Sometimes we leave a lasting impression, but often only a fleeting one, which is already painted over by the next encounter. These impressions are not always fair or correct, because they are colored by the experiences and expectations that others have of us.

The role of stereotypes and prejudices

Stereotypes and prejudices are another crucial component of the image of others. They simplify the complex task of social assessment by helping us to draw quick, albeit often inaccurate, conclusions about others. Our cultural background, our gender, our profession - all of these can lead to us being pigeonholed in a matter of seconds without us having to do anything. These drawers are often difficult to open again. Reading the study "Social perception in relation to first impressions" can provide a comprehensive understanding of the topic and shows why it is so important to actively deal with stereotypes and prejudices.

Feedback and its influence on the external image

A final important aspect that influences our external image is the feedback we receive from others. Praise can polish up our image of others, while criticism can shake it up. How we accept this feedback and react to it in turn provides others with fodder for forming an external image of us. Seeking open and honest feedback can help to build a bridge between self-image and external image. A well-established feedback culture is therefore a key element, not only in private life, but especially in the world of work. If you want to learn more about the culture and practice of feedback, I recommend this Articles on the topic of feedback culture.

By understanding that our external image is created and influenced by many different facets, we can begin to deal with it more actively. We can learn to be more accurate in our self-presentation in order to prevent misunderstandings and create an image of others that is closer to how we perceive ourselves. By acting and reacting more consciously, we can contribute to shaping an image of others that corresponds to our personality and values.

It is essential to have the courage to question yourself and to be open to adapting your own behavior - always in an effort to create a more holistic image that satisfies both yourself and the other person. This is the only way to ensure that the image of the other becomes a true reflection of the self and not a caricature distorted by misunderstandings.

Methods for researching self-image and external image

Do you ever wonder how you can actually find out what's going on in other people's heads? Or how you could scientifically investigate your own self-image? There are various methods and approaches in psychology that are used to research the concepts of self-image and external image. The challenge here is to make subjective perceptions objectively measurable and thus gain a deeper understanding of our personality constructs.

Qualitative and quantitative approaches

Both qualitative and quantitative methods are used in research on self-perceptions and perceptions of others. Qualitative approaches, such as open interviews and observations, provide detailed insights into individual experiences and the multifaceted nature of self-perceptions and perceptions of others. They make it possible to understand complex internal processes and subjective meanings. Quantitative approaches, on the other hand, use instruments such as surveys and scales to collect measurable data that can be analyzed statistically. For example, it is possible to record how frequently certain characteristics occur in self-perceptions and perceptions of others, or correlations between different variables can be uncovered.

Psychological tests and questionnaires

Special psychological tests and questionnaires are used to measure self-image and the perception of others. These standardized instruments are developed in such a way that they provide reliable and valid results. Some of them contain very personal questions designed to encourage people to think about themselves and evaluate their own perception. They range from self-assessment scales and 360-degree feedback to projective tests, in which test subjects can indirectly provide information about their hidden personality traits and perceptions. All of these tools have one thing in common: they encourage people to Self-reflection and can provide valuable insights when it comes to understanding and developing one's own self-image.

The importance of self-reflection and feedback

Self-reflection and receiving feedback are two central elements in the exploration and further development of self-image and the image of others. As already mentioned, self-reflection requires a certain openness to one's own personal development. You have to be willing to look in the mirror and accept unpleasant truths about yourself. Feedback from others is also a powerful tool that helps you to compare your own self-perception with how others perceive you and adjust it if necessary. It is important to cultivate a healthy feedback culture in which criticism is expressed constructively and accepted.

Ideally, this process creates a dialog in which self-image and external image can be continuously discussed and aligned. This exchange can take place in person, in coaching sessions or in professional development centers. An in-depth understanding of these concepts and their exploration offers Approaches for qualitative research methodswhich provide a practice-oriented insight into the analysis of self-images and images of others.

At the end of the day, methods for researching self-image and the image others have of you can only provide real insights if they are accompanied by an inner willingness for self-development and an open approach to feedback. Because only those who are prepared to question themselves and reflect on the image that others have of them can develop a coherent and realistic self-image. So let's explore the colorful puzzle pieces of our self-images and images of others together and pave the way to a more authentic self.

The discrepancy between self-image and external image

Do you want to know why you sometimes behave as if you have two different personalities? Why it seems that what you think about yourself is not always what others see in you? This gap between how you see yourself and how others see you is more than just a small discrepancy - it can have a significant impact on our lives, our relationships and our self-perception.

Causes for different perceptions

There are various reasons why our images of ourselves and others can diverge. One critical factor, for example, is the tendency for us to judge ourselves through the lens of our intentions, while others perceive us through our actions. Your good intentions may not always be apparent to those around you, but your actions speak a clear language.

Another reason for different perceptions could be that we all tend to practice selective perception. We pay attention to information that confirms our own beliefs and tend to ignore contrary impressions. This effect works for both self-perception and the perception of others, which can lead to significant differences.

And, of course, personal experience also plays a role. Someone who has had negative experiences with certain behaviors in the past may instinctively view similar patterns in others negatively. This can lead to a distorted image of others, even if the other person's intentions are sincere and positive.

Effects of a discrepancy on the individual

A discrepancy between how we see ourselves and how others see us can lead to self-doubt and undermine our self-confidence. Imagine you think you are a team player, but your colleagues tell you that you are acting alone. Such a conflict can be confusing and force you to question your own self-perception.

On the other hand, an overly embellished self-image can be just as problematic. Those who see themselves in an unrealistically positive light and are then confronted with less flattering feedback can put up resistance or develop defense mechanisms. In both cases, an honest examination of oneself and the feedback from others is crucial.

Strategies for dealing with differences in perception

So, what can be done to bridge the gap between self-image and external image? One effective approach is to actively seek feedback and learn to use it constructively. It is important to find a balance and not to take feedback personally, but to see it as an opportunity for further development.

Self-reflection is another powerful tool. Taking time to reflect on your own thoughts and actions can help to bring your image of yourself and others more in line. For example, you could keep a diary or talk to people you trust about your self-perception. It can also be very useful to discuss the topics of self-reflection and personal development, as you can read in the article "Why is self-reflection important?".

It is also not about frantically trying to preserve your own self-image or completely control the image of others. Rather, you should learn to deal with the uncertainty and ambiguity that comes with human nature. Developing an understanding and acceptance that other people may see you differently than you see yourself is a critical step towards personal growth and improved interpersonal relationships.

Learning empathy can also play a significant role in understanding the image of others. Sometimes it is helpful to put yourself in the other person's shoes and adopt their perspective. This not only promotes understanding of the other person's image, but can also strengthen your own emotional intelligence. You can find out more about this topic under "What is empathy?".

In conclusion, the discrepancy between self-image and external image is something that we cannot completely eliminate - and that is not the goal at all. Rather, it's about finding a way to manage these differences and learn from them. By keeping an open mind, seeking honest feedback and continually self-reflecting, we can both sharpen our self-image and improve our understanding of the image others have of us. Take a brave look in the mirror and be open to what you really see there - and what others might see in you.

The role of social media in self-image and public image

In our fast-paced world, characterized by constant connectivity, social media has a considerable influence on the image we have of ourselves and how others see us. Our virtual presence on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter provides a stage for us to present ourselves - but are we also presenting an authentic picture of our true selves? And how does the online response influence the image others have of us?

Online identity vs. offline identity

When we talk about social media, we quickly come across the concept of shared identities: online vs. offline identity. The virtual world allows us to highlight facets that we particularly like, while hiding those that we don't want to show off. However, this manipulated self-image can quickly lead to a discrepancy with the image of others, especially if the online identity has hardly any points of contact with reality. This raises the question of how real our self-image still is. An exciting insight into this is provided by reading "How social media influences young people's self-image".

Influence of likes and comments on self-image

Nothing illustrates the influence of social media on our self-image as much as the hunt for recognition in the form of likes and comments. This digital currency can boost our self-esteem enormously, but it can also hit us hard if we don't receive confirmation. A supposedly unsuccessful post that doesn't get the expected response can lead to self-doubt for some of us. It is therefore important to keep a healthy distance and realize that it is not the number of likes that defines your personality. The article "Survey: How social media influences self-esteem" provides revealing insights into this.

The representation of the self in social networks

Our portrayal on social networks is often a well-composed portrait that shows exactly the side we want to represent. But isn't that also a form of reality? After all, the need to present ourselves at our best is part of human nature. In social media, however, this need is intensified and can quickly lead to a distorted self-perception if you slip too much into the role of the online avatar. It takes a certain amount of mindfulness and reflection to realize that the image you create online is only a part of your overall personality. Maintaining your true self-image also means developing an awareness of which aspects you share online and how they can influence your image to others.

The way we present ourselves on social networks therefore has a lasting effect on the image others have of us and therefore also on the relationships we have in real life. A critical look at the authenticity of self-presentation in social media is essential in order not to tear down the bridge between self-perception and the perception of others. The virtual space offers unimagined opportunities for self-presentation, but we should always bear in mind that our online identity interacts directly with our real-life self-image. The challenge lies in finding a balance between digital self-presentation and our authenticity - in order to present a coherent image both online and offline.

Ultimately, social media plays a significant and complex role in the context of how we see ourselves and how others see us. They offer new ways of expressing and staging ourselves, but also raise questions about authenticity and the psychological effects of digital self-perception. Dealing sensitively with one's own online persona and being aware of its influence on personal identity are key to understanding and reconciling one's own self-image and that of others.

The influence of culture on self-image and the image of others

Have you ever wondered how much the culture in which we grow up and live shapes our self-image and the image others have of us? Cultural influences are omnipresent and have a subtle but lasting effect on us. They permeate the way we see ourselves, how we behave towards others and ultimately how we are perceived by those around us. Let's get to the bottom of these cultural factors and understand how they influence how we see ourselves and how others see us.

Cultural differences in self-perception

Cultural influences often shape our self-image unconsciously. Whether we see ourselves as independent individuals striving for personal goals and success, or as part of a community where social harmony and togetherness are paramount, depends heavily on the cultural norms and values of the society in which we grow up. Even the way we express or suppress our emotions can be influenced by cultural influences. In a Articles on the topic of cultural imprinting emphasizes how such cultural influences are deeply rooted but not immutable.

Intercultural communication and external image

How others see us is also strongly influenced by cultural aspects. In international exchanges, there is a complex field of perception between data protection and pleasant profile settings that goes far beyond linguistic differences. What is considered polite and respectful in one culture may be interpreted as distant and cool in another. Misunderstandings are often the result of subtle cultural nuances that significantly shape the image of others. More insight into this topic can be found in the article on intercultural communicationwhich deepens the understanding of different cultural codes.

Globalization and its effects on concepts of identity

Advancing globalization is blurring cultural boundaries, leading to a reshaping of self-images and images of others. People are increasingly exposed to multicultural influences, which can lead to a merging of identity concepts. This can be both liberating and confusing. On the one hand, globalization offers the opportunity to learn from a variety of cultural perspectives and develop a more multifaceted view of oneself and the world. On the other hand, traditional concepts of identity can be challenged, which can affect a sense of belonging. How cultures intermingle and identities evolve can be seen in various Discourses on cultural diversity and imprinting.

In conclusion, culture has a formative influence on how we see ourselves and how others see us - it continuously shapes, changes and enriches our self-image and the image others have of us. In a globalized world, it is therefore more important than ever to be aware of cultural influences and to develop an awareness of how these can shape our perception of ourselves and others. Only in this way can we develop an understanding of the complexity of our identities and cultivate a respectful approach to the cultural differences of others.

The importance of self-image and external image in professional life

In professional life, how we see ourselves and how others perceive us is crucial. Our self-image influences the confidence with which we tackle projects and overcome challenges, while how others see us has a decisive influence on how colleagues, superiors and customers interact with us. A clear understanding of our own professionalism and a positive external image can pave the way for professional success.

Professional appearance and self-presentation

A professional appearance starts with a clear self-image. If you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, you can present yourself authentically and convincingly in your professional life. This includes how you behave in a team as well as how you present yourself in meetings or presentations. A strong self-presentation is essential - it is the calling card of your own skills and personality. To gain more confidence in this area, you can take a look at tips on the best way to present yourself. Self-presentation in a job interview can work wonders.

Feedback culture and external perception in the work context

Feedback plays a central role in the modern working world. It can help us to continuously sharpen our self-image and adapt our behavior. However, it is just as important to take into account the feedback from those around us in order to understand how we are perceived by others. Are we known in the team as the problem solver or rather as the one who always causes delays? Only by reflecting on ourselves and others can we be authentic at work. A balanced understanding of the Importance of self-reflection and feedback is therefore a decisive factor for professional development.

Personal branding and career development

Personal branding is another aspect that is becoming increasingly important in the digitalized world of work. It is about creating a brand image of yourself that leaves a positive and memorable impression. Thinking of yourself as a brand is an art - it means strategically presenting your skills, achievements and character traits in a way that has the desired effect. Your 'brand' can help you to be perceived as an expert in your field and can open doors to new career opportunities. You can find out how to highlight your own skills through effective personal branding in this helpful guide to Personal branding.

Overall, it is clear that understanding and developing one's own self-image and the image of others in professional life should not be underestimated. This is a dynamic process in which you can set the course for professional success with the help of self-reflection, feedback and conscious self-presentation. The challenge lies in authentically marketing your own personality and skills without appearing arrogant or raising false expectations. Ultimately, it is the interplay of self-image and external image that lays the foundation for a successful career and personal satisfaction in professional life.

Psychological theories on self-image and external image

When we look at how we see ourselves and others, it is incredibly helpful to look at the psychological theories that explain how these images are created and what influences them. Psychologists have developed various models and concepts over the years that help us understand the depth and complexity of our inner mirror and the echo we see in the eyes of others. So let's dive into some of these exciting theories.

The theory of social comparison

The theory of social comparison, developed by Leon Festinger, assumes that we constantly compare ourselves with other people in order to determine our own self-image. We either look for people who are better than us (upward comparison) to motivate us, or for those who are worse (downward comparison) to boost our self-esteem. This comparison with others not only helps us to assess our own abilities and opinions, but also influences how we think others view us. You can find a more in-depth look at the theory and its implications in the article on the topic "Social comparisons and psychology".

The self-categorization theory

Self-categorization theory, proposed by John Turner and colleagues, describes how people locate themselves within different social categories. This not only helps us to build our self-image, but also to develop a sense of belonging to groups. We identify with group characteristics that shape our self-image and at the same time influence how others see and categorize us. This theory also emphasizes that our self-image is always seen in the context of the social groups to which we belong or would like to belong, and how important it is that this self-image is consistent with our role and the image of others. To learn more about the importance of group dynamics and self-categorization, it is worth taking a look at the research on the Dynamics of a good team.

The mirror-self theory

The mirror-self theory or looking-glass self theory, formulated by Charles Horton Cooley, suggests that our self-image is shaped by the reactions of other people who stand opposite us like a "social mirror". We imagine how we appear to others, how others judge our behavior and develop feelings about ourselves as a result. Cooley postulates that the self-image is therefore not created in isolation, but is interactive and constantly evolving through social interaction. It's a fascinating idea that parts of our self-image are actually reactions to what we think others see in us. If you want to delve deeper into the topic, check out the article on Cooley's Looking-Glass Self to.

These psychological theories give us an insight into why we sometimes experience a discrepancy between our self-image and the image others have of us. They shed light on various mechanisms that shape and influence both our understanding of ourselves and our perception of how others see us. Armed with these insights, we can better understand how our self-image is formed and what we can do to develop a more positive and realistic image of ourselves. They also show us that as we shape ourselves, we also play a role in how others see and judge us. An enlightened approach to these theories enables us to shape our behavior in such a way that both our self-image and our image of others can be steered in a positive direction.

Through a deeper understanding of the psychological background of self-perception and the perception of others, we are able to work more consciously and purposefully on our self-perception and the perception of others. This can be a key element in promoting personal growth and improving interpersonal relationships. So let's see the theories not just as scientific models, but as tools that can help us to create and present a more harmonious and authentic image of ourselves to others.

Practical exercises to improve self-image and the image of others

You probably know the feeling: sometimes we feel like superheroes, full of energy and self-confidence. Then there are days when we wonder how people really see us. Is our self-image too pompous or do we perhaps even underestimate ourselves? Who am I really - and how am I seen? The good news is that we can actively work on our self-image and how others see us. With a few simple but effective exercises, you can increase your self-esteem and develop a more genuine image of yourself. Let's go, let's get to the better you!

Techniques to increase self-acceptance

First of all, it is important that we accept ourselves as we are - with all our strengths and weaknesses. Self-acceptance is the basis for being able to accept feedback from others. Mindfulness exercises, for example, are an effective tool for this. Take a few minutes every day to consciously be in the here and now. Focus on your breath, observe your thoughts without judgment and learn to understand and accept yourself better.

Another technique is the self-compassion exercise. Every time you are critical of yourself, imagine how you would speak to a good friend who is in the same situation. Would you be as harsh with them? Probably not. So show yourself the same level of kindness and understanding.

For those of you who prefer something more tangible, there is the option of creating a strengths and weaknesses profile. Write down what you value about yourself and what you would like to work on. This helps you to get a balanced picture of yourself and to focus on specific points. It is important to set realistic goals and celebrate small successes along the way. Self-acceptance can also be promoted by obtaining and constructively using feedback. Further development of the feedback system and detailed information on this can be found in the paper "Empathic communication in care", which outlines helpful approaches.

Communication training and empathy development

Effective communication and empathy are key skills for shaping not only how others see us, but also how we see ourselves. Exercises in active communication help us to express ourselves clearly and concisely, but also to listen actively and respond appropriately to feedback from others.

Developing empathy is another essential aspect, not only to better understand the behavior and perspectives of others, but also to sharpen our own self-image. Try to take on other perspectives and reflect on how your behavior might affect others. Role-playing or knowledge-based learning of empathy, as described in the books by Ute Binder, can help to promote the development of empathy and an understanding of the image of others.

Obtain feedback and use it constructively

One of the most direct ways to work on our image of ourselves and others is to obtain and implement feedback. For example, start a feedback round with colleagues or friends in which everyone gives open and honest (but friendly) feedback. The feedback should always be specific, measurable and achievable so that you can actually do something with it.

Also, don't forget that feedback is always two-way - so be prepared to give constructive feedback to others. A balance between give and take establishes a healthy feedback climate in which everyone can express themselves freely. If you still feel unsure about this, the article on the Importance of self-reflection give valuable tips.

By integrating these exercises into your everyday life, you will notice how not only your self-image, but also the image others have of you, changes for the better. You will be more self-confident and more satisfied with yourself - and the people around you will notice this too. Take the time to work on yourself and present the best image of yourself - both internally and externally. You have it in your own hands!

The role of empathy and changing perspectives

Imagine if you could see into the minds of the people around you and understand their thoughts and feelings. That would take communication to a whole new level, wouldn't it? This is exactly what empathy and a change of perspective make possible - key components that can enormously enrich the way we deal with images of ourselves and others. When we learn to put ourselves in others' shoes and see the world from their point of view, we gain valuable insights into the way we are perceived by others. So, get ready to deepen your emotional understanding and revolutionize your interpersonal relationships.

Develop an understanding for the views of others

Empathy is like a bridge between people's hearts and minds. By being empathic, we learn to understand on a deeper level what moves others and why they act the way they do. This not only promotes harmony and closeness in our relationships, but also gives us insight into the image others have of us. Empathy is a training ground: the more we practise, the more intuitive our ability to put ourselves in the shoes of others becomes. It can be particularly helpful to consciously address the importance of empathy, as described in the article "Why is empathy important?" is described.

Empathy as the key to bridging the gap between self-image and external image

However, empathy is not only important in personal relationships, it also plays a crucial role in harmonizing our image of ourselves and others. When we adopt the perspective of others, we better understand how our behavior might affect them and why our image of others may differ from our own. We must not forget that we all have different life stories that influence our perception. Through empathy, we can appreciate these different stories and bring more understanding to our interpersonal interactions. For a deeper dive into the world of empathy, read the external article "Empathy and perspective-taking: how social skills are developed".

Practical application of changing perspectives in everyday life

One effective method of promoting empathy is to change perspective. This is the ability to literally put yourself in another person's shoes and look at the world from their point of view. You can experiment with this in everyday situations - for example, try to understand the motivations behind a colleague's actions or consider how a good friend might see things. This active practice can also be beneficial in the workplace, helping to avoid misunderstandings and build a stronger, more effective team. A practical guide to this is the article on "Change of perspective: seeing things differently", which shows various approaches.

The ability to put yourself in the shoes of others is a powerful tool. It not only helps you to understand others better and defuse conflict situations, but also to learn more about yourself. By looking through someone else's eyes, you can make discoveries about your own personality and better understand the image others have of you.

Practicing a change of perspective and developing empathy are important steps on the way to a more mature approach to how we see ourselves and others. They help us to question and perhaps even correct our own assumptions. If we learn to be more empathetic and take other people's perspectives seriously, we can piece together the mosaic of our self-image and the image of others into a more coherent whole. So let's remain open and curious and look at the world through different eyes - a little change of perspective can work wonders.

The importance of authenticity in the field of tension between self-image and external image

In the digital age, where each of us can be a brand, authenticity is increasingly becoming a buzzword. But what does it really mean to be authentic? And how does our authenticity influence the image we have of ourselves and the image others have of us? Authenticity plays a crucial role in this exciting field of tension between self-image and the image others have of us.

Authenticity as the basis for a congruent self-image

Authenticity means staying true to yourself and acting in accordance with your values and beliefs. When we are authentic, our inner life matches what we present on the outside. This leads to a congruent self-image, i.e. a match between how we see ourselves and what we radiate. A congruent self-image not only strengthens our self-confidence, but also makes it easier for others to get a clear picture of us. This genuine selfhood is not always easy, as it requires constant Dealing with yourself and the courage to accept uncomfortable truths about yourself.

The challenge of remaining authentic

In the modern, fast-paced world, staying authentic is a challenge. We often feel pressured to develop in a direction that does not correspond to our inner nature - be it due to pressure from social media, the expectations of others or professional role models. Being authentic also means standing up to these influences and listening to your own needs and feelings. This can mean making unpopular decisions or accepting conflicts. Interesting insights into the balance between self-perception and what appears authentic can be found in an article on true authenticity.

Authenticity and its effect on the external image

Our authenticity has a direct impact on how others see us. If we are authentic, others can read us more easily and have confidence in us. But there is also a challenge lurking here: how we see ourselves and how authentic we feel is not necessarily how we are perceived by others. Other people's perceptions are often based on first impressions and can be distorted by stereotypes and prejudices. We should therefore actively work on communicating our authenticity and use the channels of interpersonal communication to promote a clear and authentic image of others.

Authenticity plays an important role in the complex game of self-image and external image. By showing our true facets and daring to swim against the tide from time to time, we give others a clearer picture of our personality. This is not only important in personal relationships, but also at work. An authentic person is often a likeable person, because honesty and authenticity attract people. Let us therefore have the courage to be authentic - even if it sometimes means making ourselves vulnerable. Because ultimately, it is authenticity that makes us who we really are.

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About the Author: Sven Emmrich

Sven Emmrich avatar
Sven is a business graduate, DEKRA-certified coach and passionate entrepreneur. As CEO of Karrierehelden, he has been writing for many years on all career topics such as job applications and job changes, money and salary negotiations, leadership skills and management issues, psychology and personality development, communication and conflict management, self-confidence and entrepreneurship, and the line between work and private life with work-life balance... or much more work-life integration. Sven has coached over 1,000 academics, professionals and executives with his team and is happy to help you too.
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