I have a friend – It seems like you will hear a lot about my friends on this blog. – So as I said I have a friend that I admire because no matter the kind of troubles he may be going through he will always lend an attentive ear to those in needs. This is the kind of friend we all want in our lives but we, ourselves, are we this kind of friend?
I am taking an online course of interpersonal communication. I was going through the second topic of the class and I learned more about the notion of self-concept. Basically, self-concept is defined as a relatively stable set of perceptions that, as individuals we hold about ourselves. The subject is really broad but what I want to talk about today is the influence we have on others’ self-concept. We have high expectations from people while we forget that others also wish we support them. Words are powerful but more than anything they are irretrievable. What we say to people may hurt them in the same way that theirs can hurt us.
You know these little jokes we make with our friends, brothers, sisters and other relatives? Although it seems like we tease each other in a friendly way, our remarks can actually create a lot of damages. We need to know that self-concept is shaped by the comments and judgments of those around us, especially when we are young. We pick up signals from people in terms of our self-worth. They can make you feel loved, valued, and capable. Or, they can send messages that imply that you are of little or no value, inadequate and rejected. Our self-concept is a product of messages we receive throughout our life.
So while reading this chapter, I was thinking about the times someone’s words broke me down. I may have not expressed it, showed that I was hurt but it always leaves something. Of course it was then my choice to decide whether or not these words define me or to prove them wrong. The way we will handle people’s remarks will determine what we will think about ourselves because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is what we believe.
Anyway, during my reading, I was prompt to blame others for what they told me. However, I suddenly realized that some people also probably think about what I have told them once or many times. I tried to think of what I could have say to someone that could have hurt him or her. It is difficult to evaluate the impact of other’s on our lives. But in the same way, we would like people to be supportive, they also want us to help them shaping healthy self-concept.
If you haven’t heard yet about Ms. Lopez of Mott Hall Bridges Academy, I invite you to learn more about her role in her scholars’ lives. We should all aspire to be a person that inspires. A person that shows to others that they are valuable. Ms. Lopez is that kind of person and by extension I invite you to discover the Facebook page Human of New York if you haven't yet.
Anyone can make a change in someone’s life. It ranges from the friend, the older brother, the parent to the teacher… As Confucius said, “What you do not want done to yourself, do not do to others.” I am definitely not an example but I will try to apply the “If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” I share with you my favorite song of the moment and I wish that I will be the kind of friend whispering “Don’t give up, you are smart, you are beautiful, you are worthy, you are great.”