Intimacy Vs. Isolation
INTIMACY VS. ISOLATION
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The sixth stage of Erikson's psychosocial development, in which early children establish solid and lasting ties through romantic partners, or friends, or face a probable sense of self-absorption and isolation. Erikson's idea that refers to the sixth of eight stages of development. In it, adults seek a person with whom to share life, creating a lasting commitment to personal sacrifice. Without this commitment, they risk deep loneliness and isolation. As said by Erikson, wild simple days should come to a finish, and the skill of everyone to find and improve relationship becomes the main duty of personality growth. The sixth stage takes place at the beginning of adulthood (Zock, 2018).
Intimacy plays an important part in my education. When I entered into the school, I was all alone. I have no friends in the school. He used to feel bad at school. At some time, I had friendship with few boys and girls. With the love of my friends, I discovered myself. I come to know about myself.
People who get more intimacy than isolation by this stage will improve the virtues of a mature love. The sixth stage of Erikson's psychosocial development is intimacy against isolation. If those who travel through it cannot establish deep individual pledges with others, Erikson said, they run the risk of isolating themselves and becoming self-centered. Though, they require some degree of isolation to imitate on their life. While resolving the contradictory demands of understanding, attractiveness and distance, people develop an ethical logic that Erikson reflected the distinctive note of the adult. If you had the opportunity to relive an era of your life, which one would you choose?
When asked this question, most people would choose a year during the time of intimacy. This is the stage that goes from 18 to 35 years old. It's the time of life when you want to share love, procreation, work and a real friendship with others. At this time, we must choose between intimacy (which allows love to express itself through physical embraces and a sharing of all things) and loneliness.
Choosing intimacy allows healing. Kissing heals heart disease. Widowers, suddenly deprived of sex, are much more susceptible to heart attacks than married men. But if they remarry, they find the blood pressure before their widowhood. How can one pass smoothly from the stage of identity to the stage of entry into adulthood? This implies replacing the question “who am I?” “By” who are we? And to be able to answer it. At the stage of identity, I discover myself. But at the stage of intimacy I take the risk of losing myself and finding myself loving someone else until our two identities become 'us'.
Here again, men and women live differently from “I” to “us”. Men can remain stuck in the “I” of identity, while women are more likely to sacrifice their “I” for the benefit of “us”. Men are often tempted to put their professional career ahead of their personal lives. Women, on the other hand, prefer their personal relationships with their family or with their friend, even when they have professional responsibilities. All this is a generalization, moreover both men and women can lose the sense of intimacy.
Let's look at this example, a true story that is that of a caregiver working in a psychiatric hospital. In this hospital, there was a psychotic woman hospitalized for 18 years. She did not talk to anyone and never looked at anyone in the eye. She sat all day in a rocking chair while swaying.
One day, the caregiver took another rocking chair that he placed next to her. He also rocked next to her, while having dinner. He swayed beside her every day for 6 months. One evening, as he was getting up to leave, the woman said, “Good evening.”
It was the first time she had said a word for 18 years. After that, she started to get better. The caregiver continued to sway every day beside her, and finally, she recovered from her psychosis, because he had managed to give this patient what she needed most: an emotional intimacy.
The therapist's feelings for his patient are the only important factor in any therapy. In order for him to give his patient the opportunity to assert himself and achieve real affective intimacy, it is necessary for the therapist to love his patient. This confirms that we cannot really become ourselves as long as no one has made us discover who we are. We only discover it when we read in the eyes of someone who loves us the goodness that is in us (Cherry, 2018).
During this stage of the psychosocial development of Erikson, adolescents become young adults. In the beginning, the confusion between identity and role ends. For young adults, it is always very important to respond to the wishes of those around them in order to “integrate”. However, it is also during this stage that one begins to draw red lines determined autonomously. These are aspects that the person will not be willing to sacrifice to satisfy someone.
It is true that this also happens during adolescence, but at this time, it is the meaning that changes. We stop defending the reactive means in order to become simply reactive. We are actually referring to the initiative. Once individuals have established their identity, they are willing to compromise in the long term with others. They become able to weave intimate and reciprocal relationships with others and voluntarily make the sacrifices and compromises required by these relationships. If they cannot create intimate relationships, a feeling of unwanted isolation may develop. The latter can then give birth to feelings of darkness and anxiety.
If during this stage we do not find a partner, we may end up feeling isolated or alone. Isolation can create insecurities and feelings of inferiority because people may end up believing that something bad is hidden in them. They may come to believe that they are not good enough for others and this can lead to self-destructive tendencies.
Cherry, K. (2018). Erik Erikson's Stages of Psychosocial Development. Retrieved Juny, 5, 2018.
Zock, H. (2018). Human Development and Pastoral Care in a Postmodern Age: Donald Capps, Erik H. Erikson, and Beyond. Journal of religion and health, 57(2), 437-450.
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