“Erikson whole heartedly held to the idea that development was not simply psychosexual but also psychosocial. The idea of this paper is to recognize my personal and present psychosocial stage of development. I will attempt to review the behaviors and influences on my relationships along with the negative and positive outcomes of my stage of psychosocial development. I will also discuss other developmental influences that have shaped my personality. Erikson had developed a chart of eight stages of psychosocial development. Each of these stages shows positive and negative outcomes for personality development.
These eight stages are the following: Trust vs. Mistrust at 1 year old, autonomy vs. doubt/shame at 2-3 years old, Initiative vs. guilt at 4-5 years old, industry vs. inferiority at latency, identity vs. diffusion at adolescence, intimacy vs. isolation early- adulthood, and lastly, integrity vs. despair at later years. Current Psychosocial Stage of Development: In looking over Erikson’s psychosocial stage chart I have come to the conclusion that my current stage of development is Intimacy versus Isolation. Erikson states that this stage of development usually occurs in early adulthood.
According to Erikson the positives of this stage of development are sharing with family, friends, coworkers and partners about all work, thoughts and feelings. The negatives include avoidance of intimacy and superficial relationships. (Cervone & Pervin, p 102 ) Influences on Behaviors: The influences on my behavior of this developmental stage are mixed at best. I am capable of sharing my thoughts, feelings and work with others, but I often choose to keep to myself. Often I am anti-social. I am a mixture of overly cautious and overly empathetic. I choose, at times, to share all or nothing of myself with others.
I am careful with who I confide in but at the same time who I do confide in I share too much of myself. I am very controlling and don’t like to share my true feelings and emotions most of the time. I often feel fear that people will not understand or like me if they knew how I really felt and thought. Influences on Relationships: The fear of not being understood and feeling anti-social for the most part has kept me from having many friends. When I was younger I did not date a lot maybe because of this same thing. I don’t feel comfortable with expressing my most personal self with people in general.
This relates to my childhood and the abuse I suffered through at the hands of my step brother. Also because of the sexual abuse that I was put through by my babysitter’s daughter caused a general mistrust of people. I often feel violated and threatened around men and women if I am not in total control and on my guard at all times. Negative and Positive Outcomes: A positive outcome of this stage is how it has given me much empathy; and that I am able to have intimate relationships with women, though not sexual in nature, I am more comfortable around them.
I am able to share my thoughts and feelings with women and children, I am able to connect with them and listen to them. Negative outcomes are in that I am not able to maintain close relationship with other guys. I have isolated myself from all people except family and a few select friends that I have known for years. Erikson, in the case of Isolation versus Intimacy, should negative outcomes persist, states, “If these issues are not resolved during this time, the individual is, in later life, filled with a sense of despair: Life is too short, and it is too late to start all over again” (Cervone & Pervin, p 103).
I disagree with this assumption. I believe that these issues can be resolved and addressed later in life. It truly depends on the individual. I am 30 years of age and have been dealing with these issues for most of my life, and will most likely continue to work on them. Other Developmental Influences: The most consistent and prevailing influences on my personality development is the abuse I suffered as a child. Though the sixth stage is the most prevalent stage of my current development, I also fall into the second stage of Erikson’s theory which is the Autonomy versus shame and doubt stages.
This brings about mostly negative outcomes such as shame and self-doubt. I also feel guilt over what I experienced as a child and guilt in not being able to protect my sister and brother. Though logically I know that there was nothing I could do to protect them as I was a child too, it does not negate the fact that my behaviors, relationships with my brother and sister and feelings are influenced by the guilt and shame. In conclusion just because we are of certain age it does not mean that we are in the Erkisonians stage of development. Mentally we might be behind and in some instances we might be ahead due to life experiences.
Due to many past experiences the stages of my development have been altered and are not where I should be. Can we ever catch up to our appropriate stage of development? Maybe we can with the help of professionals and a lot of dedication. I have learned how to cope with everything and little by little I am where I want to be. My life is happy as of now, even though I carry all of these past experiences with me I only allow for these to only make me a stronger person and refuse to ever put anybody or allow for anybody to experience what I did.
Lastly the intent of this paper was to show how Erikson’s stages of psychosocial personality development applied to me. A description of my current personal psychosocial stage of development was discussed. I also discussed the influences on behaviors, relationships as well as negative and positive outcomes of my stage of psychosocial development. Finally I discussed how Erikson’s second stage of psychosocial development influenced my personality.
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