Ego: what happens with us?

As a mediator between the individual and the external world, can you track your sense of self-identity, or do you feel overwhelmed by your thoughts and behaviors? 

The ego is attatched to several unconcious factors. It is what they usually try to project toward others. But how can this harm your relationships? 

The ego develops to mediate between the unrealistic id and the external real world. It is the decision-making component of personality. Ideally, the ego works by reason, whereas the id is chaotic and unreasonable.

The ego operates according to the reality principle, working out realistic ways of satisfying the id’s demands, often compromising or postponing satisfaction to avoid negative consequences of society.

The ego considers social realities and norms, etiquette, and rules in deciding how to behave.

The concept of ego might be thought to play a major role in how we perceive ourselves and our relationships with others. The ego shapes our self-identity and self-worth, which may influence our behavior and interactions with others. 

Ego, in general, is defined as an individual's sense of self-importance or self-esteem. While having a healthy level of ego can be positive and necessary for self-confidence, when the ego is unchecked, it can become destructive in relationships. Here are some ways ego can harm relationships.

Firstly, ego can create a power struggle in relationships. When one partner's ego is out of control, they may feel a need to be in charge and make all the decisions. This can lead to conflicts and resentment in the relationship, as the other partner may feel like their opinions and desires are not being considered. Eventually, this power struggle can lead to the breakdown of the relationship, as the partner with the inflated ego may be unwilling to compromise or work together as a team.

Secondly, ego can cause individuals to become defensive and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. When someone's ego is threatened, they may become defensive and lash out, even if they are in the wrong. This can make it difficult for their partner to communicate with them or resolve conflicts, as the partner with an inflated ego may refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing. This can lead to a breakdown in communication and trust in the relationship, making it difficult for the couple to move forward.

Thirdly, ego can make it difficult for individuals to apologize and seek forgiveness. When someone's ego is inflated, they may feel like apologizing or admitting fault is a sign of weakness. This can lead to a cycle of unresolved conflicts and hurt feelings, as the partner with the inflated ego may be unwilling to take the necessary steps to repair the relationship. Over time, this can erode the trust and intimacy in the relationship, making it difficult for the couple to feel connected and secure with each other.

In conclusion, ego can have a significant impact on relationships, and not in a positive way. It can create a power struggle, cause individuals to become defensive and refuse to take responsibility and make it difficult to apologize and seek forgiveness. To maintain a healthy relationship, it is essential to keep one's ego in check and be willing to compromise, communicate openly, and take responsibility when necessary.

Sigmund Freud's Theory Of The Ego

Sigmund Freud was a pioneer in the field of psychology, and his theory of the ego could be one of the most widely recognized. According to Freud, the ego might be the conscious part of the psyche that mediates between the demands of the id, which represents unconscious impulses, and the demands of the external world. In other words, the ego acts as a mediator between our instinctual desires and the constraints of reality.

In Freud's theory, the ego could be said to develop during childhood through a process known as ego development. During this process, the ego learns to incorporate the demands of the external world and develops the ability to exert control over the impulses of the id.

Erik Erikson's Theory Of Psychosocial Development

Erik Erikson was a developmental psychologist and psychoanalyst who might be best known for his theory of psychosocial development. Erikson stated that the ego develops through eight stages, each of which might be associated with a particular crisis or challenge.

In each stage, Erikson believed that the ego must achieve a sense of mastery or resolution in each stage to move on to the next stage and continue to grow. According to Erikson, ego development could be an ongoing process throughout our lifetime, with each stage building upon the previous one.

Erikson saw the ego as the central force of an individual's personality, playing an ideal role in mediating between the individual's and society's demands. The ego, according to Erikson, helps individuals to balance their own needs with the needs of others and to make decisions that are in line with their values and beliefs.

Carl Jung's Theory Of The Psyche

Carl Jung believed in a collective unconscious, where all human beings have universal experiences and archetypes. He believed that the ego might be just one component of the psyche, along with the unconscious, personal unconscious, and the self.

According to Jung, the ego could be the conscious mind, which might be a part of the psyche that individuals control and are aware of. He believed that the ego is essential in mediating between the conscious and unconscious aspects of the psyche and keeping them in balance. Jung also believed that the ego's main function might be to balance the needs of the individual with the needs of society. He thought that the development of the ego could be a crucial part of the individuation process, where individuals discover and integrate their unique personality traits, values, and beliefs. Through this process, individuals might develop a sense of wholeness and balance between their conscious and unconscious selves.

What Is The Superego?

The superego incorporates the values and morals of society, which are learned from one’s parents and others. It develops around the age of 3 – 5 years during the phallic stage of psychosexual development.

The superego is seen as the purveyor of rewards (feelings of pride and satisfaction) and punishments (feelings of shame and guilt), depending on which part (the ego-deal or conscious) is activated.

The superego is a part of the unconscious that is the voice of conscience (doing what is right) and the source of self-criticism.

It reflects society’s moral values to some degree, and a person is sometimes aware of their own morality and ethics, but the superego contains a vast number of codes, or prohibitions, that are issued mostly unconsciously in the form of commands or “don”t” statements.

The superego’s function is to control the id’s impulses, especially those that society forbids, such as sex and aggression. It also has the function of persuading the ego to turn to moralistic goals rather than simply realistic ones and to strive for perfection.

The superego consists of two systems: The conscience and the ideal self.

 The conscience is our “inner voice” that tells us when we have done something wrong.

The conscience can punish the ego through causing feelings of guilt. For example, if the ego gives in to the id’s demands, the superego may make the person feel bad through guilt.

The superego is also somewhat tricky, in that it will try to portray what it wants the person to do in grandiose, glowing terms, what Freud called the ego-ideal, which arises out of the person’s first great love attachment (usually a parent).

The assumption is that children raised by parents experience love conditionally (when they do something right), and the child internalizes these experiences as a series of real or imagined judgmental statements.

Behavior that falls short of the ideal self may be punished by the superego through guilt. The super-ego can also reward us through the ideal self when we behave ‘properly’ by making us feel proud.

Guilt is a very common problem because of all the urges and drives coming from the id and all the prohibitions and codes in the superego. There are a variety of ways an individual handles guilt, and these are called defense mechanisms.

If a person’s ideal self is too high a standard, then whatever the person does will represent failure. The ideal self and conscience are largely determined in childhood by parental values and how you were brought up.