Abstract: This article presents a theory of how different types of discrepancies between self-state representations are related to different kinds of emotional vulnerabilities. One domain of the self (actual; ideal; ought) and one standpoint on the self (own; significant other) constitute each type of self-state representation. It is proposed that different types of self-discrepancies represent different types of negative psychological situations that are associated with different kinds of discomfort. Discrepancies between the actual/own self-state (i.e., the self-concept) and ideal self-states (i.e., representations of an individual's beliefs about his or her own or a sitmifieant other's hopes, wishes, or aspirations for the individual) signify the absence of positive outcomes, which is associated with dejection-related emotions (e.g., disappointment, dissatisfaction, sadness). In contrast, discrepancies between the actual/own self-state and ought self-states (i.e., representations of an individual's beliefs about his or her own or a significant other's beliefs about the individual's duties, responsibilities, or obligations) signify the presence of negative outcomes, which is associated with agitation-related emotions (e.g., fear, threat, restlessness). Differences in both the relative magnitude and the accessibility of individuals' available types of self-discrepancies are predicted to be related to differences in the kinds of discomfort people are likely to experience. Correlational and experimental evidence supports the predictions of the model. Differences between self-discrepancy theory and (a) other theories of incompatible self-beliefs and (b) actual self negativity (e.g., low self-esteem) are discussed.