Assignment: Uppers & Downers Paper

The general purpose of this assignment for you to apply the concepts and terms discussed in class to your life and your own experiences.
The specific purpose of this paper is to help you describe and analyze your impression of your own self-concept as it relates to your interactions with others.
All papers will be read only by me and will be kept confidential.

  1. Recall someone you know or once knew who was an “upper” — who helped enhance your self-esteem by acting in a way that made you feel accepted, competent, worthwhile, important, appreciated, or loved. This person needn’t have played a crucial role in your life as long as the role was positive. Often your self-concept is shaped by many tiny nudges as well as by a few giant events. Describe that person’s actions, and how she or he helped you to feel better about yourself.
  2. Now recall a “downer” from your life — someone who acted in a large or small way to reduce your self esteem. Did this person go so far as to be a “vulture?” Remember, as with uppers, downers’ effects aren’t always intentional. Describe that person’s actions and how she or he made you feel worse about yourself.
  3. Now, recall a time when you were an upper to someone else — when you deliberately or unintentionally boosted another’s self esteem. Don’t merely settle for an instance in which you were nice: Look for a time when your actions left another person feeling valued, loved, needed, and so on.
  4. Recall an instance when you were a downer for someone else. What did you do to diminish that person’s self-esteem? Were you aware of the effect of you behavior at the time?
  5. Finally, think ahead to a future interaction that would allow you to make a conscious effort to be an upper for someone else. Describe the encounter. How will your actions help to improve that person’s self esteem? Will it do anything to improve your own as well? (You may have to use your imagination here — I’m looking for a specific example that might come up in your future.)

The paper should be typed and double spaced, and will most likely be 2-3 pages in length. There is no need to write an introduction and conclusion for the paper.  Just answer each question directly.  Specifically, you should number each answer and use complete sentences and paragraphs to answer each question.
You should use the terms and concepts discussed in the book when describing and analyzing your feelings about yourself and your interactions with others. Additionally, you should give specific, real-life examples to support your conclusions.
Your paper should be typed, Times New Roman 12 pt. font, and double-spaced.

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