Self-presentational Perspectives on Personal Relationships
Mark R. Leary
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
Rowland S. Miller
Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX, USA
Images matter. We may maintain that a person's image is superficial and bemoan the fact that people attach too much importance to how they are regarded by others. We may try to emphasize personal substance over public appearance in our own affairs, and we may even discourage our children from being concerned about what other people think of them. Yet, deep down, we know the truth: Images do matter. The perceptions that other people have of our personalities, abilities, and motives not only influence whether they begin to interact with us, but how they feel about us and whether they interact with us again. Whether we like it or not, their impressions of who we are and what we are like help to determine how they treat us and, thus, affect many of our outcomes in life. The nature and quality of our social lives are affected daily by the images that other people have of us.