Self-Presentation is a concept used to describe the behavior of ones self to create an impression which can influence others around us. One factor that may affect our Self-Presentation is the situation one is in, also known as the context. This may influence our Persona, the ‘masks’ we wear or our Performance, how ‘sincere’ or ‘cynical’ we are. For example, if one was on a first date, we may be very cynical to give a good first impression or give an impression of our ideal-self, however, if the individual had a high self esteem, they may seem to be more sincere.
Another factor that could affect ones Self-Presentation is the props or costume we wear. This is called Staging. The ‘costume’ we may wear can influence other people’s image of ourselves. For example if one wears a flamboyant outfit it could suggest they feel very insecure and have a low self-esteem and they are trying to ‘cover up’, however to others they could come across confident and outgoing. This illustrates the sheer power our Self-Presentation has over others opinions of ourselves. Over time, this could also alter our perception of our self-image, that we are “playing an unconscious role and believe we are being ourselves” stated by Burton and Dimbleby.
It’s not just about what we wear, the props we use or our surroundings that can affect our Self-Presentation, but also who we are with. We act differently around our close friends to our colleagues and in fact, our family. Our Persona or our ‘masks’ change depending on the people we surround ourselves with. The company we keep is also known as our ‘Teams’.
In a similar way, the roles we may have will affect our Self-Presentation. Ones role as a friend will be different to ones role as a shop assistant or a teacher. We have to change our self-image to suit our role and our role changes throughout the day.
Depending on how high our self-esteem is, ones persona may not be needed or used as much, which may reflect on our self-disclosure. If one has a high self-esteem, they may not feel the need to wear ‘masks’ to hide their identity. If one is open and willing to disclose information about their private self their Self-Presentation will not be as dramatic and will seem more like their true self. This will also contribute to their personal Johari Window Model, as their ‘open’ area will be much larger.
Self-presentation could also be seen as a self-maintenance strategy, trying to change our self-image. This could be due to Cognitive Dissonance, were our perception of ourselves will differ from what society expects which causes tension.
Finally our Personal Style can affect our Self-Presentation. This is because, without personal style, ones performance will not flow and will seem fake.