Carl Rogers had a unique development in psychology by creating his own personality theory. His theory has several parts which it is composed of. He believed that everyone can become whatever he or she believes she can be. Whatever humans do, we can to do it the best we possibly can. The SELF is the part of you which defines who you are and what you value in yourself and others. The SELF becomes more developed as we age by watching how other people treat you. People long for positive regard or approval. Another aspect of his theory is that everyone has certain conditions of worth or “things that they must accomplish in order to have positive self-regard and esteem” The people who are closest to you, such as your friends and parents, define your conditions of worth. Unless you meet certain conditions you will not be loved. Rogers states that people feel more limited and defensive the larger the gap is between the SELF and being FULLY FUNCTIONING or SELF ACTUALIZED. To prevent this from happening we have loved ones who value us with unconditional positive regard, much like how mothers tell their children they are the best kids, even if they are average in every way. SELF ACTUALIZATION is the point in life when you grant yourself unconditional positive regard. This is when the SELF and the person become one, free to develop all their talents and skills, eventually reaching full stature. This usually happens later in life. Rogers’ theory can be applied to anyone, including the Grinch. Let’s see how.
When we first look at the Grinch we think he's mean, cuddly as a cactus and we wouldn't want to touch him with a 39 and 1/2 foot pole.
But after we look a little deeper and Martha May tells Cindy Lou her story, we realize that the Grinch is the same as everyone else with feelings and emotions much like your own. He was deeply hurt and not held in positive regard because of his deviant appearance. Underneath the hard shell of nastiness we see how soft the Grinch really can be. For example, instead of letting Cindy Lou get crushed in the present sorter, he pulls her out. Funnily enough, to maintain his edge he wraps Cindy Lou in wrapping paper. This is an example of the Grinch upholding his own expectations of the persona he's created. Everyone has expected him to be nasty for so long, that he feels the need to uphold that status as a monster. We call this a condition of worth also because he will not feel any worth unless he maintains that image of nastiness. It takes Cindy Lou to convince him and the whole town of Whoville, but in the end he is able to accept himself, thereby allowing him to accept, and even love, others. When the Grinch is young he is critiqued for his different appearance and apparent strangeness. This is conditional positive regard because the Who's only love you if you're like them...much like humans. The turning point for the Grinch was when the people of Whoville began to sing and he realized that Christmas was about more than just gifts. He realized that it wasn't Christmas that he hated. This let him see that it wasn't the Who's he hates, but their meanness towards him as a child. He returned Christmas and the townspeople realized they were wrong to be so unloving to the Grinch because he was different. By the end of the movie the Grinch wasn't fully functioning I'm sure, but he was well on his way thanks to Cindy. Once he is perfectly one with his SELF then he'll be SELF-ACTUALIZED. The fact that his heart grew two sizes is evidence of such an improvement.