Image-making: Lesson 1
The importance of the image and the impression we make on other people can hardly be overestimated. Sometimes it’s more important than we can imagine. The image of a person can even act independently and sometimes more successfully than the man himself. So, it is crucial to be able to construct and create the right and relevant image, using a variety of image-making techniques, such as communication techniques, face-building, voice control, personal charisma development, fashion and style.
We will start with one of the important image making techniques – the projective technique. To understand its essence, we will turn to the ideas of Alfred Adler, who was a prominent psychologist in Austria and studied the social essence of humans, stating that humans, being part of society, constantly compare themselves with other people. Everything we do is seen through the eyes of others, and we value other people’s opinions about us and often correct our behaviour to look better. What is more, we are often willing to achieve perfection and set new and new goals. So a person is constantly improving himself or herself, creating their personality, overcoming the personal weaknesses.
To start the process of image-making, it’s advisable to understand the basic style of the person. Turning to one’s childhood is often helpful – what were the earliest memories, or what is the favourite fairy-tale.
Therefore, the core of the projective techniques is to restore the person’s idea of himself, his or her weaknesses, fears and worries, and then try to correct them, to compensate for them, or to bring them into harmony with the current lifestyle and tasks. Our favourite fairy-tales can tell a lot about our character, our inner desires and the traits, which need to be emphasized and further developed. So can the following easy test: imagine being an inanimate object in a shop, what would you be, would it be an expensive item, a functional one, something useful or beautiful, who would be the customer? Analyze the answer, according to the following:
1 Is the item intended for men, women, or both? This can show the type of identity: feminine, masculine or mixed.
2 What are the characteristic features of the item? Aesthetic, psychological, functional and other features, such as, for example, “beautiful”, “useful”, etc. can show your character – what you would like to be like.
3 What is the colour of the item? The colour will characterize your psycho-physiological state.
4 What is the environment for the item? Where is the item used? This will show the status, people’s opinion and help interpret the sphere to realize the person’s potential.
Therefore, this simple task can help a person to better understand themselves — if they see themselves as very unique, prestigious or valuable items, or something very useful and functional, if they see themselves as deserving adoration or serving the decorative purpose. The value of this imaginative item can correlate with the person’s self-esteem. Who is the buyer of the item? The answer to this question can help interpret the person’s desirable partner. Thus, the projective technique can assist in understanding the personal traits and character, finding the weaknesses and issues which influence the person’s general psycho-physiological state and his or her appearance, and need to be corrected. Because even the best and perfectly constructed image will not fit the person, if he or she doesn’t discover their inner character and desires, as well as those issues which can come into conflict with the new image.