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11 Examples of Self Monitoring

Self-monitoring is social pragmatism whereby an individual tries to be aware of how they are perceived. This doesn't mean that an individual bends to try to impress others, simply that they have high awareness of how others view them at a point in time. Low self-monitors reflect their own feelings and ideas onto others without any pragmatic view of how people may actually feel. The following are illustrative examples.

Appearance & Hygiene

Being aware of your appearance and hygiene and trying to see yourself in an objective light. For example, a low self-monitor may feel that everyone is thinking about their skin blemish. A high self-monitor may realize that people don't care much about this minor imperfection and can easily overlook it.

Social Status

A realistic view of how people perceive your social status. For example, a manager who realizes their formal authority impresses one person but fails to impress another person.


Understanding how you are viewed by a group and how this may influence a situation. For example, a team member who realizes that they have earned respect for their productivity and reasonableness such that any opinion they offer is likely to be taken seriously by their team.

Nonverbal Communication

Awareness of how your nonverbal communication such as eye contact and body language is perceived.

Verbal Communication

Awareness of the style and content of your speech including things like meaning, vocabulary selection, voice, rate, pitch, loudness, rhythm, intonation and speaking style.

Conveying Emotion

Seeing that others can read your emotion. For example, awareness that people can see that you are angry such that they may react to this as opposed to what you are actually saying.

Reading Emotions

Awareness of the emotions you are invoking at a moment in time. For example, being aware that you are boring someone.


Sensing if someone understands you accurately. For example, an expert who is able to use plain language and sense when something they have said has escaped their audience.


Sensing when people disagree with you and predicating their objections. For example, a husband who can see that their partner feels a vacation idea is too expensive.


Awareness of expectations that are placed upon you in a social situation. For example, sensing that someone is expecting you to introduce them when you meet someone they haven't met.

Personal Presence

Understanding the overall presence you bring to a room. For example, an individual who realizes people view them as charming and generally pleasant to be around.
Overview: Self Monitoring
Definition (1)
Social pragmatism whereby an individual tries to be aware of how they are perceived in each social situation.
Definition (2)
Objective awareness of how people perceive you.
Related Concepts


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Devils Advocate
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