Intra- and Interpersonal Competencies (259-06)

Topics: Self-esteem, Roy Baumeister, Interpersonal relationship Pages: 8 (1400 words) Published: December 14, 2012
Intra- and Interpersonal Competencies (259-06)
Essay on Case Study – Sammy’s Case

As for Sammy, we can find that she has weak self-concept, low self-esteem and problems in

communicating with her family. In studies conducted by psychologists, there are many possible

solutions as listed below to address these problems.

First of all, apparently, Sammy has very weak self-concept. She has difficulty finding her identity

and thus positioning herself in life. For instance, she does not even know ‘who she is’ and thus does

not have any ideas about what she likes and dislikes; therefore, she went to college just to fulfill her

parents’ will without considering her inner feelings before making the decision. According to Carl

Rogers (1959), it is actually a very common modern problem.

To cope with it, Sammy can use the humanistic approach suggested by Carl (1959) to understand

herself. He states that openness to experience, freedom and responsibility are essential to

developing self-concept and healthy personal growth. It means that Sammy can take part in social

communities such as teen support groups which provide environments of positive regards that make

her feel worthy. She has to find her potentials and actualize them so that she can gain positive

regards from these conditions of worth. Apart from that, Sammy should try to move away from

hiding behind pretenses and try to feel and accept her actual feelings or experiences inside her heart.

Since then, she will start to understand and position herself, build good relationship with herself and

thus to appreciate and like herself.
Another problem with Sammy is that she has low self-esteem, which means she places very low

value on herself. This can be proved by her thought that she is not as competent as her friends and

classmates. The comparison shows that she is not confident to herself because her life position is

always on ‘I am not OK. You are OK.’ (Harris, 1969). And research also finds that self-esteem is

related to people’s confidence and initiative in tackling new endeavours (Baumeister et al., 2003;

Baumeister, Campbell, Kruegar, & Vohs, 2005). It explains why Sammy lost her spirits in doing

everything. And since no goals or achievements is attained, she continues to deem herself unworthy.

As Robert K. Merton (1968) states in the self-fulfilling prophecy, thought will help bring about a

predicted event or behavior which in turn strengthens the original thought. It is a vicious cycle. As a

result, if the problem of low self-esteem is unsolved, it is difficult for Sammy to breakthrough.

Jennifer Crocker (2005) and her colleagues suggest 7 main sources of self-esteem in her research on

“Contingencies of self-worth”. They are approval of others, appearance, competition, academic

competence, family support, virtue and god’s love. Sammy can try to prove or demonstrate that she

has worth and value by striving to gain the 7 scale items listed above. That means she can set her

goals in these fields. Having personal goals is important in establishing self-esteem because

research states progressing toward and achieving personally important goals increases people’s

satisfaction with their lives and themselves. (e.g., Brunstein, 1993; Cantor & Sanderson, 1999;

Emmons, 1996; Emmons & Kaiser, 1996; McGregor & Little, 1998) It would be even more

effective if it conforms to the matching hypothesis (Harackiewicz & Sansone, 1991; Lyubomnirsky

et al., 2005). That is, finding goals that fit her needs, values, and sense of self will increase her well-being. As Waterman (1990, 1993) suggests, goals fitting with core aspects of self produce

intense feelings of involvement, meaningfulness, and satisfaction. Self-realization raises


Apart from that, we can find that Sammy has communication problems with her family and...
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