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The Three Selves

The Three Selves

• a personal self – the self that is self-aware of being ‘me’ and conscious of one’s own thoughts and feelings (as well as, possibly, aware of having some unconscious ones). This is a person’s enduring self that has developed from childhood into adulthood but is still the same ‘me’. It is an individual self, that, while it has been shaped by social and interpersonal influences, has a sense of individuality in relation to having particular values, attitudes and beliefs and so on.

•  a social self – or, perhaps, a collection of social selves that are different in different social situations. These are the selves that are defined by the social context – who a person is in private and in public, in formal situations and informal ones, and so on. This includes the self as defined by your occupation.

•  a relational self – the self that comes from a person’s interconnected relationships with others – family, friends, community, the country where they were born, and so on. This is the self defined in terms of the expectations a person has of others and they have of them, the self that exists within an interconnected network of duties, obligations and responsibilities



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