Impression management is something that we all employ from time to time to achieve certain goals in our life. Sometimes we want to appear likable, other times we want to appear competent, and yet other times we desire to gain control or power over a situation, all of which can yield positive outcomes. Yet at other times we self-handicap in order to appear like we have not been incompetent or failed, which we often perceive as a positive outcome because we have protected the way others see us (or at least we feel we have).
- In what situation are you most likely to use impression management? What situation are you most likely not going to work to use impression management? What is the typical difference between these two situations?
- Provide an example of when you used impression management successfully. What was the outcome and why?
- Now provide an example in which you attempted to use impression management and it failed. Why did it fail, and what was that outcome?
- In this last situation would the outcome have felt better if you had used a self-handicapping strategy? What type of self-handicapping strategy could you have used? Finally, what are the dangers of turning to this kind of strategy on a regular basis?