What Is Self-image?

The concept of self-image consists in the set of feelings, images and thoughts we have about ourselves. Find out more in the rows below!
What is self-image?

Knowing your self-image can help you have better self-esteem and make more assertive decisions in life. When we talk about self-image, we are referring to the image we have of ourselves. In the article below, we will tell you what the self-image consists of.

Of course, this image does not form by itself, but is a product of the most important interactions in life, among other factors. Self-image also includes the perception we have of our abilities. Therefore, as time goes on, it becomes clearer and more organized.

In social psychology, this term is very important, as well as in humanistic psychology. In fact, experts in the field emphasize that self-image is a crucial concept for personality development.

Having a positive self-image allows us to have a good social, professional and personal functioning. Are you interested in finding out more about this topic? In the following paragraphs, we will give you more details.

What is self-image?

This concept represents the set of feelings, images and thoughts we have about ourselves. Thus, a distinction is made between the evaluative component (feelings) and the cognitive component (thoughts).

Thoughts refer to the beliefs we have about ourselves and include body image, values, social identity, abilities or other traits that we believe we have.

Sometimes we refer to the evaluative component as self-esteem, which is a composite of the feelings, positive or negative, that we experience about ourselves.

Woman with a destroyed self-image
Self-image can be positive or negative. It refers to the image we have of ourselves.

As with many other terms, there are many schools that have tried to address this notion. For example, for Henri Tajfel, self-image consists of personal and social identity, according to his theory of social identity.

When he mentions social identity, the specialist talks about the groups we belong to, such as religion, family, university or others. Personal identity is reserved for our personality traits, those that make us unique in relation to other people.

Some authors have reviewed the different schools that have addressed the issue of self-concept and have classified them as follows:

In general, answer the question Who am I? The answers may depend on social roles or personal traits. Self-image can be influenced by friends, colleagues or parents, as well as other groups of acquaintances. The media can also play an important role.

It is necessary to remember that the image we have of ourselves may not always coincide with reality. There are those who have a superior self-image and think they are better than others.

There is also a tendency to have a negative self-image, which makes the deficiencies or defects exaggerated.

Woman with a positive self-image
The image we have of ourselves is largely influenced by the environment, family, friends and the media.


The ideal self refers to the way we want to be. Sometimes the way we see ourselves and the way we would like to see ourselves do not coincide.

Although the self-image can be maintained over time – that is, it is stable – does not mean that it cannot change. In fact, it is possible to change it.

As we have seen, self-image and self-esteem are closely linked. Working on the first concept, we can have a high self-esteem. In any case, if we have low self-esteem, it would be best to go to a psychologist.


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