"Know thyself" was the advice of the Delphic oracle in classical Greece.
"To thine own self be true," counseled Shakespeare!
Therefore, the underlying premises of these admonitions are that:
- there is a human self
- the self is knowable
- self-knowledge is a virtue and thus better than self-ignorance and self-deception (Wendt, 2005).
The self refers to an individual's awareness or perceptions of and attitude towards one's own person.
Self-concept means what a person can know about oneself and to the feeling a person has toward herself or himself.
Introspection is one way of knowing oneself, but we must admit that it is subject to distortion and mistake! But we can use other alternative ways for us to learn about ourselves: through examining our own behavior, comparisons of ourselves with other people, and feedback from others.
But let us be careful! Making downwards social comparison leads to greater contentment that making upward ones (Oldersma, 2009). I agree with that. Some people consistently make extreme upward comparisons and suffer accordingly. They always compare themselves with others who are lot smarter, more attractive, wealthier....Well, research shows that clinically depressed people do this often.
If people do not accept themselves, to love their neighbor as oneslef is difficult, right? Indeed, how people think of themselves influences how they think of others!