What is Self-Enhancement?

What is Self-Enhancement?

The term “self-enhancement” refers to the form of motivation that aims to keep an individual feeling positive about themselves. It works to help people in maintaining their self-esteem. Like self-verification, self-improvement, and self-assessment, self-enhancement is a motive for self-evaluation. Failure, threatening situations, and humiliating experiences may cause this motive to become especially prominent.

Different dimensions of self-enhancement

There are different types of self-enhancement, which may vary with different dimensions. This motive can occur either by advancing oneself or protecting oneself. In the former, you enhance the positivity in your self-concept, but the latter one involves minimizing the negativity in your self-concept. Simply put, self-advancement involves playing up your strengths instead of getting distracted by your weaknesses. Self-protection involves being defensive about your personal drawbacks. While self-advancement is the healthier of the two, self-protection seems to be stronger in most people.

Individuals with a strong self-esteem tend to adopt the healthier form of self-enhancement, building on their strengths instead of focusing on their weaknesses. On the other hand, low self-esteem individuals are more likely to self-protect, defending their faults and weaknesses instead of playing up their strengths. It is important that we realize which form of self-enhancement motive we are exhibiting. Since most of us tend to use self-protection, certain classes and programs may be recommended to start using self-advancement.

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