An ideal image in its most basic form consists of an internalized mental idea people have of themselves. It’s the way they think and feels about themselves. Usually, these thoughts are based on the appearances, performances, and relationships that consistently impact perspectives on life as well as the level of fulfillment. People’s image of themselves is the impression that forms a collective representation of their possessions and liabilities. In other words, their ideal image is how they see themselves based on their outlook and strengths. These qualities often are obvious through the tags they give themselves that describe their qualities and characteristics. Let’s discuss what is the image people ideally have of themselves?
Ideal Image vs. Real Image
In psychology, the real image is what you actually like, and the ideal image is the self you want to be. The real image and the ideal image are terms that typically describe the personality domains. The real image is who you actually are. It is how you feel, how you think, look, and act. The image can be observed by others, but because you have no idea of truly knowing how others see you, the real image is your self-image.
The ideal image, on the other hand, is the image you want to be. It is a dreamy image that you have developed over time, based on what you have learned and observed. The ideal image can also include parts of what your parents have taught you. It can be the form of what you admire in others, what your society encourages, and what you think is in your best interest.
When the way that you get aligns with the criteria that you want to be (the ideal image), then you may feel a sense of mental peace of mind. But if it is not aligned with how you want to be, the incongruence can result in mental distress or anxiety. The higher the level of incongruence between the ideal self and real self, the more you will be distressed.
What is the image people ideally have of themselves?
People’s ideal image includes honesty, sincerity, and tenderness. When parents ask them why they were late coming home from a night spent outside. They are honest and tell mom and dad that they didn’t want to come home early because they were having such a great time. Then, despite the consequences (like being punished), they feel a sense of mental peace and relaxation.
If people are dishonest and make excuses that their car couldn’t start, then the misalignment between their real image and ideal self can result in distress or anxiety. The fact that they told a lie could result in a negative feeling.
Let’s look at another example. Suppose your parents are medical doctors who have a great reputation in the community. Their experiences tell you that you should be smart and have a high-paying job in order to be happy. Your Ideal image might be a person who wants to excel in all the science subjects, a person who is spending a lot of time studying.
The ideal image of various people may not get queasy at the sight of blood. If their real image is far from this idealized image, then they might feel dissatisfied with their life and consider themselves a failure. Ideal may also include a strong work ethic. This is such an idealized outlook created out of what they have learned from their life happenings, the requirements of society, and what they praise their role models.
What do surveys say?
The results of the You Gov Personality Study 2021 claim that several people admire what they’ve found in themselves. For instance, majorities praise that they like themselves, think of themselves as friendly, and many people feel confident in different kinds of situations.
More than 36% of Americans claim that they always adore themselves. Close to half of Americans (47%) say they adore themselves most of the time.
Only 12% of U.S. citizens say they don’t adore themselves most of the time. And very few people (2%) say they don’t adore themselves at all. One-quarter of people living in the U.S. under 35 more probably say that they don’t adore themselves most or all of the time than older Americans.
What is the image Americans ideally have of themselves?
A survey was performed to know the ideal image Americans have of themselves. They were asked to select words from a list to outline themselves. Miraculously, their most common preference was “friendly,” at 79%. The majority of the Americans also selected the words “thoughtful,” at 67% and “careful” at 57% to describe themselves. About half (51%) of people outlined themselves as “rational/logical,” and 43% of Americans said they are private, a bit more than the percentage who described themselves as “open” (37%).
How do Americans think others view them?
43% of Americans say that it doesn’t matter to them what others think of them, 27% of people say it doesn’t really matter, and only 16% of Americans say it doesn’t matter at all.
Three in five American citizens believe that other people tend to think of them upon the first conversation. Just 9% claim that they believe people normally do not admire them when they first come in touch, and 31% people say they don’t know.
A large portion of people also says that confusions usually get better after people get to know them. 56% say people tend to think of them in a good way after becoming friends. A quarter (25%) say people tend to think of them the same as the time they first met. And very few (5%) say people tend to like them fewer after getting to know them.
Is the Image People Ideally have of themselves healthy or not?
Take a look at a four-step process to help you find out whether the image people ideally have of themselves is healthy or not. You can consider this process as closely tied to what you used to build more self-worth. You may find little variations here that will help you check a bit deeper.
Step 1: Work on yourself
Step 2: Take a personal directory
Step 3: Scrutinize your struggles
Step 4: Create a targeted view of yourself
Truths about the image people ideally have of themselves
Here are truths about the ideal image you have of yourself:
- You do not care more about what others think of you—it boosts your confidence.
- You don’t need approval from others.
- You’re not willing to sacrifice the perspectives of your true self to receive it.
- You appreciate the sense of fullness inside yourself, so you are thankful for your life.
- You don’t criticize other people so that you can feel better about your own shortcomings.
- You are gentle with the aspects and traits of others that you identify with.
- You enjoy dealing with your emotional moods.
- You feel more accepted.
- You are happy most of the time because you’re satisfied enough to enjoy your life.
- You allow yourself to be positive because it’s the only way you know to live happily.
- You genuinely smile because you know that your feelings are important to other people.
- You love the way your body looks and your peace is directly related to your fondness.
- You engage in deep conversations because you’re happy to admit that you have a solid idea of what you’re doing in life.
- You know the right way of doing things without being fearful that you’ll die.
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