"If you want to study yourself--look into the hearts of other people; If you want to study other people--look into your own heart."  -Friedrich von Schiller

We learn our self-concept through communication with others.  We learn important facts about ourselves from reflected appraisals.  Reflected appraisals serve as an influence to our self-concept.  A reflected appraisal is what we think other people think about us, and in many instances, the way we believe others perceive us is how we in turn view ourselves. This concept is also known as the "looking glass self" which was developed by Charles Cooley.  We get messages about who we are from all of the people around us and these messages are most powerful when they come from significant others.  Much like a child who constantly hears that they're "bad" while growing up will start to believe more and more as they get older that they're a "bad" person.

 

Painting Credit:  Girl Before the Mirror.  Pablo Picasso.