Friday, October 12, 2012

BIRGing



Social Identity is a critical component in self-management. A person’s energy level and motivation can be highly influenced by his/her social identity or impression as it directly connects with one’s self-esteem.
Before I start talking about BIRGing, it’s important to throw some light on Social Identity Theory. Social Identity Theory explains how self-esteem and self-evaluation can be enhanced by the identification with another person’s success by basking in reflected glory not earned. Social identity is the individual’s self-concept derived from perceived membership of social groups. Having high self-esteem is typically a perception of oneself as attractive, competent, likeable and morally good person. The perception of having these attributes make the person feel as if they are more attractive or impressive to the outside social world and thus are more desirable to others to be in a social relationship.

Basking in reflected glory (BIRGing) is a self-serving cognition whereby an individual associates himself/herself with another successful individual such that another’s success becomes their own.
What fascinates me most about BIRGing is that the simple affiliation to another’s success is enough to stimulate self glory. The person engaging in BIRGing does not even need to have been personally involved in the successful action with which they are affiliating themselves. Examples of BIRGing include anything from sharing a city/town with a past or present famous person, to religious affiliations, to sports teams. For example, when a fan of a cricket/football team wears the team’s jersey and boasts after a win, this fan is engaging in BIRGing. With regards to social psychology, BIRGing is believed to enhance self-esteem and to be a component of self-management.

BIRGing has connections to social identity theory, which explains how self-esteem and self-evaluation can be enhanced by the identification with another person’s success by basking in reflected glory not earned. Social identity is the individual’s self-concept derived from perceived membership of social groups. Having high self-esteem is typically a perception of oneself as attractive, competent, likeable and morally good person. The perception of having these attributes make the person feel as if they are more attractive to the outside social world and thus are more desirable to others to be in a social relationship.

BIRGing is a widespread and important impression management technique to counter any threats to self-esteem and maintain positive relations with others. Some positive effects of BIRGing include increased individual self-esteem, feeling accomplished thus minimizing inferiority complex. It can show pride of self as well as pride for the other person’s success, thus boosting their self-esteem as well. BIRGing can be negative when done too extensively that the individual engaging in BIRGing becomes delusional or forgets the reality that they did not actually accomplish the successful event.

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