We have seen that self-concept affects personality dramatically. This leads on to the factor of "Role". Your personality changes according to what roles you play in your life. An example of this is a 16 year old playing the roles of friend, student, son, employee and uncle. When playing the role of uncle, the boy will act more responsible, but when he is playing the part of friend he will be less responsible and act childishly. This indicates that depending on the role you are playing, your personality will alter.
Perception also has the ability to transform the roles you play. The perception of yourself and perception of others have of you will have an influence on the roles you play. For example, if you think you are an outgoing person you are more likely to adopt a lively, happy-go-lucky, friendly 'character' than if you perceive yourself to be a quiet, shy, lonely person. This means that overall self-concept has an influence (via perception) over certain roles you play in your life.
All the factors so far, link in very closely with identifying how important self-concept is to personal communication. If there were change in any or all of the factors themselves, it would help or hinder the communication of that person.
If someone's perception somehow changed so that the person felt more confident and obtained a higher self-esteem then it would improve communication. That person would find it easier to talk to new people, easier to involve themselves in conversations, arguments and social gatherings/situations. All because of Self-concept. Hence, self-concept has an immense power upon personal communication.
This communication isn't just made up of talking to other people and responding. It affects all three areas of the subject.
Intrapersonal communication is affected by self-concept through the medium of thinking. If your self-concept is poor then your thoughts, feelings and emotion towards yourself will all lead to low self-esteem as you will not think highly of yourself.
Thinking plays possibly the most important part of self-concept and communication as a whole. This is because all communication (Intra, Inter and group) uses thought processes.
Thinking is made up of dreaming, recollecting, imagining, planning and understanding. When forming a self-concept, you use thinking while interacting and perceiving yourself and how others see you. This means that if thought was impaired or totally absent you would not be able to perceive anything. Therefore you wouldn't be able to form a self-concept which is vital to communication. Obviously there is the simpler link between thinking and communication. This being that if you could not think, you would not be able to remember vocabulary or how to use it or interact. So thinking is the most important part of self-concept which, in turn, is important to communication.
In early childhood, we learn who we are, the norms and values of society along with self-concept. We view ourselves and more unconsciously what others think we are like. This is the earliest stage of forming our self-concept and is helped along by other people telling us how to act and what we should be like. This is called socialisation. Without socialisation we would still form a self-concept but an extremely limited and small idea of how we view ourselves. An example of this is 'Feral children' that grow up in the wild. So, if socialisation does not take place then self concept is not created properly. This would lead to complications in intrapersonal, interpersonal and group communication.
Motivation is a large factor of a person's self-esteem. It is a persons readiness to start or continue a behaviour. Also satisfying needs is an aspect. If a person has poor motivation then it is very likely to affect their self-esteem. For example if a person finds it hard to start the day or cant be bothered to go anywhere all day on a regular basis their self-esteem will be impacted by the negative thoughts that there is no point to doing anything. This has a knock-on effect towards self-concept. This is because it is the view of yourself and your perception of what others think of you. Consequently your personal communication will be hindered as your poor sense of self will reflect in your personality. Therefore motivation through many different mediums, will affect how well a person communicates.
E.g. A person has no drive to do anything --> They will gain a false interpretation of what others think of them --> Their self-concept is negative --> Which will lead to poor communication with others (Interpersonal and group) and within themselves (intrapersonal).
Empathy impacts self-concept immensely. This is because it involves active listening and understanding. If this listening is perceived incorrectly self-concept can be affected. It is primarily an intrapersonal skill. Some people are better at it than others. It is also possible that someone may not know how to be empathetic. They are known as ego-centric or self orientated. Empathy requires the listener to be emotionally involved and have an intense perception in others, hence if you don't have good perception skills then being empathetic will be a major problem. It is based upon your life experiences which shapes the view of yourself e.g. Self-concept.
For example, If you are empathetic towards others, the experiences you perceive, whether good or bad will condition how you view yourself (self-concept). In turn this will help or hinder personal communication depending on how your self-concept has been shaped.
On the whole, Self-concept is made up of 8 intertwined main factors and many more than relate and link in. These are Perception, Personality, Role, Communication Skills, Empathy, Thinking, Motivation and Socialisation. When any of these factors change or disappear, self-concept is affected.
When self-concept is affected it changes the way we describe and view ourselves. If we view ourselves badly then personal communication will suffer and if we feel good about ourselves then we will be more outgoing and confident and more successful communication will take place. So Self-concept is very important to personal communication.