Welcome to your unemotional side!
I urge you to use the underlined link word method of exploring the emotional feelings network of sites by clicking
on any of the underlined link words that will further explain a connection to the subject you are here studying. For a complete
description of the underlined link word system: click here.
If you don't see what you were looking for - please access the homepage for a menu of the other sites within the network that might lead you to where you want to be!
pulled away from my body and
I observed it from a short distance as it sobbed.
I was completely
unemotional as I observed my body.
As I watched, I saw some shiny, clear object
lift away from my body.
It was obvious
to me it was my ego.
The moment my ego started lifting, my consciousness
went back into my body and I felt distress, thinking,
my ego, it's my ego!', not wanting it to leave me.
I felt like
I had to have it or I wouldn't be alive.
It pulled away from me anyway,
and in it I saw all the things I had done
wrong in my life.
I was stunned
because I thought all that was part of me
and simply couldn't be separated from me."
NDEr Peggy Holladay
Click Here if you would like to visit the source site for the following information. www.coping.org is a fantastic opportunity to learn tons of great information. I absolutely recommend visiting the site even if this information
seems to be all you were looking for. There's a wealth of various self help topics located there to learn from! Thanks to
them of course, for allowing non profits to share their information!
Appearance to the world of the non-feeling personality
Nothing seems to bother them and they deny problems
Very quiet, not verbally expressive
Easy to get along with
Easygoing on the surface
Determined personality, they get the job done
Intense thinkers, reasonable attitudes
Organized planners and doers
Comfortable with tasks requiring conscientious
Perfectionistic and exact in their work
Friendly and sociable
Mind their own business, not inquisitive
Not bothersome or uncomfortable to be with
Reliable, can be counted on
Loyal workers who rarely complain
Rarely get upset or show anger
Low-key, rarely draw attention to self
Easily liked and fit in easily
Adaptable to a variety of social situations
Dependable workers who rarely cause any concern
Steady, even-tempered personalities
Non-emotional, nonfeeling, non-responsive
Calm, placid personality
Rarely complain and tend to get along with others
Don't feel strongly enough about things to take a stand
Laid-back behavior and attitude toward others
Feelings inside persons with the non-feeling personality traits
Not sure what all the fuss is about
Annoyed at people who become overemotional
or explosive with their feelings
Offended and hurt when challenged about
their lack of response to others' feelings
Feel as if they are being
taken advantage of because of their easygoing nature
Unsure if they have the right to stand
up for themselves; unsure of what steps to take to ensure protection of their rights
Feel they are being victimized
by others who are overly verbal and overly emotional
Resist being pushed into decisions involving
Feel confident in decisions
involving logic and reason; feel insecure in decisions involving feelings and emotions
Feel ill at ease when
spotlight of attention is put on them
Get confused when they are asked by
others to tell how they "feel''
and resentful at those who pressure them to reveal how they "feel''
Hide behind a mask of "no feelings''
Fearful of getting into
intense discussions on emotional issues
Resentful for being misunderstood or
put down because they do not react emotionally to things, events, or relationships
Feel proud about their
ability to maintain their cool and laid-back stance in the midst of a crisis
at the implication that they have problems because they do not respond emotionally to others
that their rights are being abused, but unsure of what to do about it
Insecure in the presence of a sharp
witted, verbally emotive individual
Threatened by fear of rejection or loss
of approval when confronted with demands of others to "show their true colors''
Fearful of letting others
know how they really feel about things because they are unsure themselves how they feel
Feelings of inferiority
over inability to identify and label feelings in themselves and others
Feelings of incompetence and discomfort in emotional discussions or
Negative consequences of non-feeling behaviors
The more unemotional they remain with verbal or emotional people, the
more they experience rejection, being ignored, or taken advantage of
They run the risk of developing ulcers, gastrointestinal complaints, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer due to unresolved and unidentified feelings
By denial they can allow situations to get so out of hand that they erupt
into major crises or disasters
They absorb so much pain, hurt, and suffering silently that they run the
risk of suffering depression, anxiety, and neurotic phobias
They run the risk of medicating their sense of being misunderstood, ignored,
and forgotten through abuse of alcohol, drugs, work, food, sex, etc.
Their behavior can drive others in their life to a point of panic, hysteria,
overreaction, or emotional exhaustion
Their mode of interacting can result in a breakdown in interpersonal relationships
until they suffer abandonment by the very ones who love them and reach out to them
Their behavior can lead to stubbornness and inflexibility; they can become
overcontrolling, demanding things be their way or else
They have problems getting help from counselors because they feel under pressure to reveal feelings
they are unable to identify
They resent the overemphasis on emotions and feelings in a "helping''
environment and can become resistant, terminating such helping efforts prematurely
They can desire a "status quo,'' forcing those in the environment to repress all feelings and emotions,
creating a high stress environment where all members are driven to sick behavior
Rigid adherence to their behavior can lead them to a perfectionistic,
idealistic view of the world where any feelings shown are considered bad; only calm, peaceful coexistence is considered good
Non-emotional environments can result in fear of conflict and disagreement,
ultimately resulting in avoidance of problem solving
Non-emotional environments can result in a lack of physical intimacy and
Open signs of affection and caring are absent, leading to physical distancing
between the members
A person with rigid adherence to this behavior role
can lead others to feel unwanted, uncared for, not respected, insecure and unaccepted; therefore, lowering their self esteem
beliefs of people with the non-feeling personality traits
Being overemotional and/or showing feelings is a sign of sickness, instability,
weakness, or hysteria.
The healthy person is calm, cool, and collected.
Too much fuss is made about feelings and emotions.
People who are always expressing how they feel lack the logic and sense
to solve problems.
It is not how you feel that solves a problem; it is what the logical,
researched facts are that solve the problem
It is the content of a problem or an issue, not the feelings that are
All this touchy feely stuff is crap!
What are they talking about, "I don't have feelings.'' I have feelings.
I just can't put words on them.
It is not how I feel, but what I think that is important.
There is no need to get emotional over everything.
Keep a stiff upper lip.
Be strong and keep it in.
You don't help anybody by hanging your dirty laundry out to dry.
You must keep your cool in any crisis, disaster, or loss because if you
don't you are bound to overreact, thereby appearing weak.
You will never catch me crying in public.
There is nothing wrong with keeping things calm, peaceful, and placid.
Even-tempered and laid-back, is the only way to be.
There is no reason to get outside help for our problems.
We should be able to solve our problems easily and in an organized, systematic
way with little fuss or turmoil.
All counselors, support groups and emotional discussions are crap!
Turning negative non-feeling traits into positive potential
Negative Nonfeeling Behavior
Nothing bothers them
Being able to maintain their cool in the midst of adversity is admirable, as long as they first have been able
to identify how they feel about the issues and recognize a healthy emotional course of action to take to rectify the problem.
Can't identify how or what they feel
Being educated in feelings and the vocabulary of emotions can help them to sensitize themselves to their own
and others' feelings. Learning to listen and respond to feelings can help them to improve. It takes practice, practice, practice.
Easygoing people are comfortable to be with. They should be encouraged to retain this posture as long as it
is authentic, and as long as the others in their lives know how they feel about things and respect their rights in the process.
Quiet, not verbally expressive
Once they are educated in the emotional vocabulary and have had practice in identifying feelings in others and
themselves, they will be able to state their feelings openly and to respond to others' feelings.
Once they are able to identify their own negative feelings and are able to identify when their rights are being
abused or taken advantage of, they will no longer be hesitant to complain when things aren't going right. They will ensure
that their feelings and rights are considered and respected.
Their silence frustrates others
If they are given the chance to identify feelings in themselves and in other people, they will be less likely
to frustrate the more verbal and emotional people in their lives. They will be able to communicate on a more equal, adult,
and mature level.
Resist making decisions on an emotional basis
An overdependence on the need for logic, facts, and figures before making a decision can be dissipated once
they are shown the benefits of tuning into feelings and the process of communication. They will recognize that some decisions
need the input of emotions and feelings in order to be healthy and satisfying to all involved.
Need to be calm
If they are given a chance to see the emotional and physical benefits of the open expression of feelings and
emotions, they will no longer have to hold on desperately to their need to remain calm. They will be able to be more animated
in their reactions and responses to issues that have an emotional value to them.
Resentment over being pressured to reveal feelings
Once they identify the benefits of expressing feelings, they will feel less pressure to do so; therefore, they
will have less resentment toward others.
Confusion about their feelings
Once they are trained to listen and to respond to their feelings and those of others, they will no longer be
confused as to what is going on in the emotional arena. They will be able to identify and clarify feelings for themselves.
Men and Women Grieve Differently
are a number of reasons for this. Variations in your personalities and the way you've been raised, as well as how bonded you
were with the baby, are primary factors.
Generally, women are more expressive about
their loss, more emotional about it, and more likely to look for support from others. Since society expects men to be strong
and unemotional, they most often grieve in more solitary and cognitive ways. Men also tend
to be more oriented to fact-gathering and problem-solving and may, therefore, not choose to participate in support networks
which are oriented toward talking and feeling. While women may cry and dwell on their memories of the baby, men may express
their grief by burying themselves in their work. Keep in mind, though, that because grieving is such an individual experience,
the opposite may also be true.
These differences in style may be misinterpreted.
If you're a woman and your partner doesn't appear to be as upset as you are, you may believe that he doesn't care about the
loss of the baby, and you may feel abandoned by him. If you're a man, on the other hand, you may feel that your wife will
never get over her mourning. It's important to remember that how a person acts is not always a true indicator of his or her
There are differences, also, because parents experience different
levels of bonding with a baby. The bond between a pregnant woman and the baby growing insider her is unique. Generally, it
grows more intense as the pregnancy progresses. For the father, the baby may seem less "real." Although he may begin bonding
during pregnancy as he experiences physical signs of the baby, like seeing an ultrasound picture or feeling the baby kicking,
a father's real bonding may not develop until after the baby is born. For this reason, men may seem less affected when the
loss of the baby occurs early in pregnancy.
These differences may cause conflict
in a relationship as you struggle together and separately to come to terms with the loss of your baby. But there are things
you can do to help your relationship survive:
- Be caring about each other and your feelings and needs.
- Keep an open line of communication and share your thoughts
- Accept your differences and acknowledge each other's pain.
- Assure one another of your commitment to your relationship.
- Talk about your baby and find ways to remember him or her.
source site: click here
What Makes Someone Promiscuous?
August 21, 2008 5:26 PM by
I've been thinking about
promiscuity and how it is most likely linked to someone's life situation. Unfortunately, we are in a society that does not
vilify men as much for sleeping around. The nickname "player" for a man does not carry the same stigma as the word "slut"
which we use for a promiscuous woman.
So, this has to be linked to some deep psychological
experience or collection of experiences.
My theory is that the combination
of any of the following can contribute to promiscuous behavior:
- Being raised in a household
where sex was taken lightly or not included in education
- Too much exposure, or too
little exposure to sex during one's early years
- Traumatic experiences early
on with the opposite sex
- Intense loneliness in life
and desire to be accepted
- Being too trusting-or falling
for guys too easily
- Trying to make up for other
problems in life-financial, loss of job, etc.
My promiscuous moments
have all occurred at times when I was feeling like I could throw consequences out the window. But I've never had sex when
feeling depressed-usually because I knew that meaningless sex would depress me more (or,
once again, maybe because I can't get any).
I can tell you that
guys rarely stick with a girl who has sex on the first night-which is kind of hypocritical considering guys seem to always
be after sex. But, no guy I ever knew ended up in a serious relationship with a girl who he had sex with too fast. This leads
me to believe that promiscuity may be a short term solution for someone who is feeling empty, but it just seems to create
more problems-much like a drug.
One day in college, my friends and I were discussing
another friend. The friend we were talking about had become quite promiscuous even though she hadn't had a history or promiscuity.
This was happening during a big change in her life: her parents were getting divorced. I'll never forget our conversation:
Me: "Maybe she's just looking for male companionship in her life because her dad is moving out
and kind of let her down."
My Friend: "Maybe she's just a slut."
So was it more complex like I thought? Or was it as simple as my friend put it?
are the roots of promiscuity? My gut tells me that it has to start with the parents. But, does a person prone to promiscuity
usually have a string of negative experiences with guys? Can you tell me what you think causes promiscuity through you or
your friend's experiences? And, has casual sex or promiscuous behavior ever led to a long-term relationship for you or any
source site: click here
A look at feelings and how
we can control them.
To look at an area such as
feelings we need to look at the language we use.
- "the baby's smile made me feel all soft inside"
- "when she said that it made me feel so angry"
- " He bought me flowers, and when I'd got over the shock I felt
all loving then my other side crept in and I started to feel all suspicious..."
We all use language such as
- " it made me feel..."
- " he made me angry.."
- " She made me feel... "
Now here's the shock, and
I mean shock, because some of you will not be able to accept this at first:
NOBODY CAN MAKE YOU FEEL ANYTHING
Once you take away the obvious,
such as pain. Pain is a sensation not a feeling.
Think about that--no-one can
make you feel anything!
That means that the only person
that can make you feel anything is YOU.
are words often heard when this theory is propounded. Because everyone can rustle up a situation where another person made
them so angry,sad,loved,hated etc etc.
But think, did they give you
a packet with a feeling in it?
Where did the feeling come
Well that's obvious ,it came
from inside me.
Yes, that means its yours,
Which leads you to -- so who
triggers that feeling?
Who controls it?
Lets look at control first.
If the feeling is yours, then
you must have control over it, if you want to, unless you have been brought up not to be in control!
So many of us have been brought
up not to show emotions. The messages from childhood stay with us a very long time.
Were you brought up hearing
expressions such as "big boys don't cry" "don't be soft".
You need to think about your
childhood and the expressions used in your home to realize that lots of us were brought up not to express feelings but to
Its second nature to believe
that we don't have control of our own feelings. The news is WE DO , in fact we are the only ones that can control them,
and if we know the suppressing points we can take even finer control of them.
The trick is getting them
right for you. You don't want to be an unemotional robot any more than a neurotic weeping
in the street, so you need to achieve a balance that is right for you.
If our feelings are our own,
then how do we allow them to happen? what triggers them?
Thoughts==> Memories ===>
Feeling ===> Behaviour
The flow is Thoughts, through
Memories to Feeling, leading to Behavior and round again to Thoughts.
Can't feel without thinking.
Imagine this scenario.
You win a large amount on
On one hand you might think,
"never done this before, I could do lots of good with winnings", this would generate good feelings and you behave accordingly.
On the other you might think,"
I'll lose all my friends, the kids will be kidnapped, I'll end up living behind a fence of security", leading to thoughts
of being trapped, unhappy.
Both start from the same point
but end up with completely different endings, triggered by your memories, your feelings which in turn lead to differing types
Realizing that you and only
you control your feelings allows you to take better control of your life, but like all these skills treat it with respect.
source site: click here
What is denial?
to face problems on either a conscious or subconscious level.
as if there are no problems to face.
A defensive response;
protection from hurt, or suffering
to hide feelings or emotions behind.
to avoid conflict, disagreements, or disapproval from others.
to avoid facing the negative consequences of reality.
of retaining our sanity when experiencing unbearable pain.
to repress the truth of our loss, a way to continue to function in a ``normally.''
of life for individuals who are compulsively driven to ``look good.''
A way to avoid the risk
of change as a result of problems or loss.
How does denial look to others?
Persons in denial:
Appear to be irrational
to those who know the problems and losses they have suffered.
to be calm and relaxed to those who do not know the problems and losses they have suffered.
a cause of frustration to those who want them to confront the truth of the problem or loss honestly.
to be unemotional, apathetic, or indifferent in the face of loss.
considered pathetic and pitiable by those who have tried to confront them with the denial and have failed.
to be caught up in magical thinking about the loss involved.
to be excessively involved in fantasy thinking about the loss or problem.
be childlike, very dependent on others to nurture them and reassure them that everything will be all right.
to be running away from the truth concerning their problems or loss.
be avoiding or rejecting those who are intent on confronting them with their problems.
What are the negative consequences of unresolved denial?
Unresolved denial can result in:
Delusional thinking, leading
to a feeling that everything is OK, even when it is not.
Greater conflict between
the deniers and the non-deniers.
Fantasy or magical thinking,
allowing distorted thinking to become a habit.
problem-solving and decision-making abilities for the denier.
denier totally avoiding or withdrawing from everyone who knows of the loss or problem.
denier becoming a social recluse.
Others avoiding the denier
to avoid upsetting him with their concern, questions, or reassurance.
for those who want to help the denier.
A maladaptive pattern of
coping with the loss or problem for the denier.
involved in the life of the denier joining the denial; the problem is not confronted honestly by those who can do something
Resentment by the denier
of those who are confronting him about the problems or loss.
Prolonging the time before
the denier must confront the pain, hurt, and suffering involved in the loss or problem.
denier projecting the problem or the results of the loss onto others.
The denier's use of rationalization
to explain away the problem or loss.
Exacerbation of the very
problems being denied.
How do you cope with denial in others?
In coping with denial in others we need to:
Have a great deal of patience
in order to allow them the time it takes to finally confront their loss or problems.
Be accepting of the denial
as a psychological defense that is a vehicle for them to retain their sanity.
careful in confronting them, so that they don't run away or withdraw from reality even more.
ready for their resistance in dealing with the truth about their loss and problems.
Freely offer them our support
Accept them as they are,
waiting to deal with the loss or problem until they are ready.
ready with a rational perspective to help them refute their current irrational beliefs.
solving their problems for them; resist the desire to continue sheltering or protecting them from their loss or problems.
Continue to let them know
that there is support for them in dealing with the loss or problems. Let them face the existence of the loss or problem gently
Provide them with subtle
means to face the problem by giving them magazine or newspaper articles, pamphlets, or books on the subject; suggesting TV,
and radio programs on the subject, or proposing professional help.
Recognize that if they
are locked into a chronic state of denial, which is debilitating to their mental health, that a denial intervention may be
A denial intervention model
If a person close to you is using a chronic behavior pattern of denial injurious to his mental
health, then the following intervention model may be useful
in helping him break through this debilitating denial.
Step 1. Prepare a written script of incidents characteristic of the target person's denial pattern of behavior. For each
incident list the following:
The incidents where denial was used.
When it occurred.
What loss or problem was involved.
What the negative consequences of the denial were.
What could have happened if denial had not been
used to resolve the problem or loss.
Why and how this incident of denial has affected
Step 2. Seek out other people who are closely related to the target person.
Ask these people to prepare a written script, as in Step 1, for incidents of denial with which they know the target person
has been involved.
Step 3. Seek out the assistance of a counselor or mental health professional,
if you believe the aftermath of a denial intervention with the target person may result in that person needing to get ongoing
help. Invite this professional person to the intervention rehearsal (Step 4).
Step 4. Meet with everyone who has written a script of denial incidents. Rehearse
how they will be presented to the target person. Choose a moderator for the intervention.
Step 5. Set up a date, time, and place for the denial intervention session.
Make sure that all of the variables of location, timing, and schedule are conducive to helping the target person relax and
listen to what is being shared. (Have the session at a neutral site; not at a psychiatric hospital or chemical dependency treatment center).
Step 6. Invite the target person to meet at the scheduled date, time, and
place of the planned intervention. Do not reveal the agenda of the meeting or the participants. This is important as he may
resist coming to such a meeting if he suspects he will be confronted with his denial.
Step 7. Bring the target person to the meeting, and introduce the intent
of the meeting to him. It is to share the love and concern of his family and friends who are in attendance. The family and
friends are there because they are concerned about the target person's health and happiness and about how the denial pattern
is affecting their relationship.
Step 8. A moderator (selected by the group in Step 4) then introduces each intervenor,
one at a time. The intervenors use the written scripts to explain all of the denial incidents. Each speaker continuously reassures
the target person that he is loved. They share their concern about his welfare if he continues to use the denial pattern.
Step 9. Once all of the intervenors have presented their scripts, the target
person is faced with verbal and written evidence of the denial pattern. The moderator then shares with the target person an
outline of steps to be taken to assist the person in overcoming the denial pattern. (These steps are decided by all of the
intervenors at the meeting in Step 4.)
Step 10. The target person may then be introduced to the counselor or mental health
professional, if present, who shares a clinical perspective on the denial pattern and can explain what treatment is available.
Step 11. The intervenors then let the target person react to all that has been
presented. The group ``problem solves'' with the target person about the next steps in breaking the denial pattern.
The eleven steps in the denial intervention are repeated as often as needed to keep the target person from reverting
to the old pattern of denial.
No One Deserves to be Sexually Assaulted: Help and
Support are Available
Sexual Assault or Rape:
Any unwanted sexual
contact. The perpetrator could be anyone of either sex; a relative, friend, neighbor, acquaintance, stranger, or intimate
There is no standard
response to sexual assault. You may experience a few or all of the following:
Fear of situations
linked to the assault
Desire to retaliate
every one will "know" that you have been raped somehow
or that no one else can relate to your experience.
are commonand natural.
If You Were Assaulted Recently
change clothes, bathe, douche, or alter anything in the immediate area.
Go to any hospital
emergency room for: treatment of injury, treatment of sexually transmitted disease, pregnancy testing, and collection of physical
evidence for criminal prosecution (A Rape Kit).
Call the police
to make a report.
Contact the local
Rape Crisis Center whose number appears on the back of this card for confidential support and information.
If you Were Assaulted in the Past
Making a Police Report
about the law and support for their feelings, many victims choose to report the crime and participate in prosecution.
If you decide to
speak to the police, you may have a friend or sexual assault advocate present to support you. You may want to write down everything
you can remember about the assault and the attacker. This will help you when you meet with the police.
After the police
report is made the decision to prosecute belongs to the prosecuting or city attorney. This decision is based on the evidence
that is available to the prosecutor. Sometimes cases are not prosecuted. This is usually because of lack of evidence, not
because the prosecutor doesn't believe you. A counselor at your local Rape Crisis Center can help you with this process
Your Rights as a Victim of Crime
outlines the following as the rights of all crime victims in Michigan:
The right to
be treated with fairness and respect for your dignity and privacy throughout the criminal justice process.
The right to
be reasonably protected from the accused throughout the criminal justice process.
The right to
notification of the court proceedings.
The right to
attend trial and all other court proceedings the accused has the right to attend.
The right to
confer with the prosecution.
The right to
make a statement to the court at sentencing.
The right to
to information about the conviction, sentencing, imprisonment, and release of the accused.
Created by the Michigan Coalition
Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Support for this publication made available through the Michigan FIA Rape-Prevention
and Services Program.
source site: click here
The Developmental Stages of Erik Erikson
It is human to have a long
childhood; it is civilized to have an even longer childhood. Long childhood makes a technical and mental virtuoso out of man,
but it also leaves a life-long residue of emotional immaturity in him.
Homburger Erikson (1902-1994)
Our personality traits come in opposites. We think of ourselves as optimistic or pessimistic,
independent or dependent, emotional or unemotional, adventurous or cautious, leader or follower,
aggressive or passive. Many of these are inborn temperament traits, but other characteristics, such as feeling either competent
or inferior, appear to be learned, based on the challenges and support we receive in growing up.
The man who
did a great deal to explore this concept is Erik Erikson. Although he was influenced by Freud, he believed that the ego exists
from birth and that behavior is not totally defensive. Based in part on his study of Sioux Indians on a reservation, Erikson
became aware of the massive influence of culture on behavior and placed more emphasis on the external world, such as depression
and wars. He felt the course of development is determined by the interaction of the body (genetic biological programming),
mind (psychological), and cultural (ethos) influences. His developmental stages were based on his
philosophy that: (1) the world gets bigger as we go along and (2) failure is cumulative. [See sidebar]
life into eight stages that extend from birth to death (many developmental theories only
cover childhood). Then, since adulthood covers a span of many years, Erikson divided the stages of adulthood
into the experiences of young adults, middle aged adults and older adults. While the actual ages may vary considerably from
one stage to another, the ages seem to be appropriate for the majority of people.
As you read
through the following eight stages of Erik Erikson's categories with their sets of opposites, notice which strengths you identify
with most and those you need to work on some more.
Infancy: Birth to 18 Months
Development Outcome: Trust vs. Mistrust
strength: Drive and Hope
referred to infancy as the Oral Sensory Stage (as anyone might who watches a baby put everything in her mouth) where the major
emphasis is on the mother's positive and loving care for the child, with a big emphasis on visual contact and touch. If we
pass successfully through this period of life, we will learn to trust that life is basically okay
and have basic confidence in the future. If we fail to experience trust and are constantly frustrated because our needs are
not met, we may end up with a deep-seated feeling of worthlessness and a mistrust of the world in
many studies of suicides and suicide attempts point to the importance of the early years in developing the basic belief that
the world is trustworthy and that every individual has a right to be here.
the most significant relationship is with the maternal parent, or whoever is our most significant and constant caregiver.
2. Early Childhood: 18 Months to 3 Years
Development Outcome: Autonomy vs. Shame
Strengths: Self-control, Courage, and Will
stage we learn to master skills for ourselves. Not only do we learn to walk, talk and feed ourselves, we are learning finer
motor development as well as the much appreciated toilet training. Here we have the opportunity to build self-esteem and autonomy as we gain more control over our bodies and acquire new skills, learning right from wrong.
And one of our skills during the "Terrible Two's" is our ability to use the powerful word "NO!" It may be pain for parents,
but it develops important skills of the will.
It is also
during this stage, however, that we can be very vulnerable. If we're shamed in the process of toilet training or in learning
other important skills, we may feel great shame and doubt of our capabilities and suffer low self-esteem
as a result.
The most significant
relationships are with parents.
3. Play Age: 3 to 5 Years
Development Outcome: Initiative vs. Guilt
period we experience a desire to copy the adults around us and take initiative in creating play
situations. We make up stories with Barbie's and Ken's, toy phones and miniature cars, playing out roles in a trial universe,
experimenting with the blueprint for what we believe it means to be an adult. We also begin to use that wonderful word for
exploring the world - "WHY?"
was influenced by Freud, he downplays biological sexuality in favor of the psychosocial features of conflict between child
and parents. Nevertheless, he said that at this stage we usually become involved in the classic "Oedipal struggle" and resolve
this struggle through "social role identification." If we're frustrated over natural desires and goals, we may easily experience
The most significant
relationship is with the basic family.
4. School Age: 6 to 12 Years
Development Outcome: Industry vs. Inferiority
Strengths: Method and Competence
stage, often called the Latency, we are capable of learning, creating and accomplishing numerous new skills and knowledge,
thus developing a sense of industry. This is also a very social stage of development and if we experience
unresolved feelings of inadequacy and inferiority among our peers, we can have serious problems
in terms of competence and self-esteem.
As the world
expands a bit, our most significant relationship is with the school and neighborhood. Parents are no longer the complete authorities
they once were, although they are still important.
5. Adolescence: 12 to 18 Years
Development Outcome: Identity vs. Role Confusion
Strengths: Devotion and Fidelity
Up to this
stage, according to Erikson, development mostly depends upon what is done to us. From here on out,
development depends primarily upon what we do. And while adolescence is a stage at which we are
neither a child nor an adult, life is definitely getting more complex as we attempt to find our own identity,
struggle with social interactions, and grapple with moral issues.
Our task is to discover who we are as individuals separate from our family of origin and as members of
a wider society. Unfortunately for those around us, in this process many of us go into a period of withdrawing from responsibilities,
which Erikson called a "moratorium." And if we are unsuccessful in navigating this stage, we will experience role
confusion and upheaval.
task for us is to establish a philosophy of life and in this process we tend to think in terms of ideals, which are conflict
free, rather than reality, which is not. The problem is that we don't have much experience and find it easy to substitute
ideals for experience. However, we can also develop strong devotion to friends and causes.
It is no surprise
that our most significant relationships are with peer groups.
6. Young adulthood: 18 to 35
Development Outcome: Intimacy and Solidarity vs. Isolation
Strengths: Affiliation and Love
In the initial
stage of being an adult we seek one or more companions and love. As we try to find mutually satisfying relationships, primarily
through marriage and friends, we generally also begin to start a family, though this age has been pushed back for many couples
who today don't start their families until their late thirties. If negotiating this stage is successful, we can experience
intimacy on a deep level.
If we're not
successful, isolation and distance from others may occur. And when we don't find it easy to create satisfying relationships, our world can begin
to shrink as, in defense, we can feel superior to others.
Our significant relationships are with marital partners and friends.
7. Middle Adulthood: 35 to 55 or 65
Development Outcome: Generativity vs. Self absorption or Stagnation
Strengths: Production and Care
Now work is
most crucial. Erikson observed that middle-age is when we tend to be occupied with creative and meaningful work and with issues
surrounding our family. Also, middle adulthood is when we can expect to "be in charge," the role we've longer envied.
task is to perpetuate culture and transmit values of the culture through the family (taming
the kids) and working to establish a stable environment. Strength comes through care of others and production
of something that contributes to the betterment of society, which Erikson calls generativity, so
when we're in this stage we often fear inactivity and meaninglessness.
As our children
leave home, or our relationships or goals change, we may be faced with major life changes - the mid-life crisis - and struggle
with finding new meanings and purposes. If we don't get through this stage successfully, we can become self-absorbed
relationships are within the workplace, the community and the family.
8. Late Adulthood: 55 or 65 to Death
Development Outcome: Integrity vs. Despair
that much of life is preparing for the middle adulthood stage and the last stage is recovering from it. Perhaps that is because
as older adults we can often look back on our lives with happiness and are content, feeling fulfilled with a deep sense that
life has meaning and we've made a contribution to life, a feeling Erikson calls integrity. Our strength comes from a wisdom that the world is very large and we now have a detached concern for the whole of life,
accepting death as the completion of life.
On the other hand, some adults may reach this stage and despair at their experiences and perceived failures. They may fear death as they struggle to find a purpose to their lives, wondering
"Was the trip worth it?" Alternatively, they may feel they have all the answers (not unlike
going back to adolescence) and end with a strong dogmatism that only their view has been correct.
relationship is with all of mankind — "my-kind."
© 2002, Arlene Harder, MA, MFT
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The Four Ego Functions
by M. Alan Kazlev
Jung's Psychological theory of Types
The Four Ego Faculties: According to Jung, the Ego - the "I" or self-conscious faculty - has four inseperable
functions, four different fundamental ways of perceiving and interpreting reality, and two ways of responding to it.
Jung divided people into Thinking, Feeling, Sensation,
and Intuition types, arranging these four in a compass.
The four ways of interpreting reality are the four ego-functions
- Sensation, Thinking, Feeling, and Intuition. These consist of two diametrically-opposed pairs. Thinking
is the opposite of Feeling, and Sensation the opposite of Intuition. So, suggests Jung, if a person has the Thinking
function (an analytical, "head"-type way of looking at the world) highly developed, the Feeling function
(the empathetic, value-based "heart"-type way of looking at things) will be correspondingly underveloped, and in fact
suppressed. The same goes for Sensation and Intuition. Sensation is orientation "outward" to physical reality,
and Intuition "inward" to psychic reality.
Jung perceived of these four Ego-functions as making up
a kind of fixed dial. The upper part of the dial is shown light, meaning that it is the developed conscious faculty,
and the other part dark, meaning that it is the undeveloped or suppressed unconscious faculty. (Indeed,
much of Jung's work involved recognition of the dichotomy of Light and Dark, Conscious and Unconscious).
The faculty which is most Conscious (in this case "Thinking") is the dominant one, or Principal function, and the other
one ("Intuition") is the secondary faculty, or Auxiliary function. So we have one function in full consciousness and
fully developed, another function as secondary to this, a third function, the opposite of the second, as slightly
suppressed and unconscious, and the fourth, the opposite of the first, as totally unconscious.
Let us consider each of the Ego faculties in a little
more detail. [Note: the following account of the four functions is based mainly on Calvin S. Hall and Vernon J.
Nordby, A Primer of Jungian Psychology, (1973, New American Library), pp.98ff].
Basically, THINKING refers to the faculty of rational
analysis; of understanding and responding to things through the intellect, the "head" so to speak. Thinking means
connecting ideas in order to arrive at a general understanding. The Thinking-type often appears detached and unemotional.
The Scientist and the Philosopher are examples of the "thinking type", which is found more commonly in men.
FEELING is the interpretation of things at a value- level,
a "heart"-level rather than a "head"-level. Feeling evaluates, it accepts or rejects an idea on the basis of whether
it is pleasant or unpleasant. According to Jung this is the emotional personality type, and occurs more frequently
Thinking and Feeling are both rational, in that
they both require an act of Judgment. Sensation and Intuition are both irrational, in that they involve no reason,
but simply result from stimullii (whether external or internal) acting upon the individual.
SENSATION means conscious perception through the
sense-organs. The Sensation personality-type relates to physical stimulii. But there is a difference according
to whether the person is an introvert or an extrovert.
So we could have an Introverted-Sensation type,
such as an artist, who experiences the physical world (sensation) from the perspective of the psychic or inner consciousness
(introversion). As opposed to this, the Extroverted-Sensation type would be the person who is a simple materialist
or hedonist, interested only in physical or pragmatic things. This type tends to be realistic and practical.
At worst, one may be crudely sensual. This personality-type occurs more often in men.
Finally, INTUITION is like sensation in that it is
an experience which is immediately given to con-sciousness rather than arising through mental activity (e.g. thinking or feeling).
But it differs in that it has no physical cause. It constitutes an intuition or hunch, a "gut"-level feeling,
or an "ESP" experience. It is the source of inspiration, creativity, novel ideas, etc. According to
Jung, the Intuitive type jumps from image, is interested in a while, but soon loses interest.
With the four Ego-faculties of Thinking, Feeling, Sensation,
and Intuition we have a basic classification of modes of consciousness; one that has been postulated under various forms (of
which Jung's is only the most recent) for centuries.
For example, these are the four elements of the Greeks,
with which the ego-functions can to some extent be indentified with. Indeed, Western occultists have given these elements
psychological characteristics for some time. The four elements themselves are more representative of subjective or human
psychological and physiological (the four "humors") than objective "scientific" physical factors.
Extraversion and Introversion
Jung also speaks of Extraversion and Introversion as the
two ways of responding to the world. Extraversion and Intoversion, which again could be seen as diametric opposites,
the Extravert again being orientated out to the physical, the Introvert orientated in to the psychic. In this
case what is being described is the direction of the consciousness. So we could have an Introverted-Sensation
type, such as an artist, who experiences the physical world (sensation) from the perspective of the psychic or inner
consciousness (introversion). As opposed to this, the Extroverted-Sensation type would be the person who is a
simple materialist or hedonist, interested only in physical or pragmatic things.
Again, there would be the Extroverted-Intuition type, who has
psychic experiences or revelations, and is able to easily convey them out to others at the social or interpersonal level.
Most professional clairvoyants and psychics, and the founders and Gurus of various religious sects, would seem to fall into this
category. One could call this the "prophetic personality". As opposed to this would be the Introverted-Intuition
type, who is caught in the psychic experiences, and not able to share them very well with others. Many creatively
original schizophrenics would belong to this group. Schizophrenic experiences, it should be pointed out, are real
experiences of the psychic worlds. The term "hallucination" is meaningless to the occultist or esotericist.
Because all experiences are real, there is no such thing as a "hallucination". What the materialist and the sceptic
calls a hallucination is simply an experience of a reality of one of the psychic worlds, which of course being a non-
physical reality, is inexplainable and threatening to the materialist, and hence dismissed as "hallucination".
My interepretation is that introversion and extraversion have
nothing to do with the ego-faculty. They are actually expressions of the energy state and energy flow of the etheric
bodies. When tehse principels direct the psychic consciousness out into the inter-personal material world the result
is an extravertic or outward flowing personality. When they directs the experience it receives strongly back into the
Psychic principles, the result is the introvertive or inward flowing personality.
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