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Who Am I: a Glimpse of My Personality Development

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A mask is used to cover a person’s face; their expressions and traits. The Latin word for personality, persona, refers to a mask worn by actors in a play. This makes me lean towards the question, is our personality a mask for who we truly are or the perspective we give for how we want others to view us? Personality is used to describe a person with many unique traits that trace back to genetics, influences, and experiences combined for the internal and external aspects of our character. Who am I? Describing who a person is not answered with one sentence, it is an accumulation of theories. My personality derives traits fro the psychodynamic and humanistic theory.

Sigmund Freud’s approach to psychodynamic theory discusses that our interactions among the three parts of the mind (id, ego, and superego) result in a person’s behavior. The personality develops in the childhood stages and carries with the person throughout the years. The first part of the mind that develops is the Id, this lives in our unconscious mind that craves immediate gratification, it demands we drink water and eat food when were are thirsty or hungry. The second part of the mind that develops, superego, is the one that acts as the angel and devil on our shoulders, it sends messages of guilt or pride. Lastly, according to Freud the Ego is the mediator between the two, the most rational part and finds the better path between the Id and superego living in the conscious mind.

The way a person is raised has much to do with their character today. Someone can develop their traits but how people treat another, what one sees and how they choose to handle certain situations have to do with the person’s history, their past. With that, I am positive I had an extraordinary experience in my earlier years but it was not all perfect. The psychodynamic theory is strongly determined by unconscious factors that we have no control over, Id, Ego, and superego. Defense mechanisms, like sublimation, denial, displacement can occur when the stress starts to develop and anxiety forms.

Freud believed that children go through five stages during development; oral, anal, phalic, latency, and genital. These developmental stages have an immense amount of impact on our personality. Much like the example of the pacifier and an infant, once the pacifier is removed the infant will use their thumb instead for satisfaction, if they don’t move on from this to adapt to reality it can create anxious habits like nail-biting. As a child, my parents were very strict and I always contemplated doing anything and overanalyzed situations because I would think of the consequences. I bit my nails until the age of 14 when I started to care more about how I looked and knew that short stubby nails were not very feminine. Freud discussed the anal stage, from ages one to three. My mom always goes on about how I was potty trained and started walking by my first birthday, she wanted me to learn quickly. Knowing how my mother is very pushy in a lovable manner and demanding I can only imagine me at 1-year-old practicing every day to walk and not urinate my self. It happens to be that I also a type A personality and have over compulsive disorder. I tend to be very organized however if something is out of place or something does not go my way I get anxious and flustered, even today.

The Electra complex is a result of the phallic stage as one starts to get older they tend to feel jealousy towards their parent. At the age of six, my father got remarried and because I was his only daughter for a while, this led to the attachment. Noticing that the attention wasn’t on me anymore I would do things to catch his attention. For example, I would pretend I had a stomach ache so he can stay at home with me, play games and make me soup. At some point, I reached the latency stage where id focuses my attention on other things like dance classes and spending more time with my mom and my close friends to distract me from the idea that my father’s attention was not primarily me. Later on, transitioning into the genital stage where I began to find the opposite sex attractive and focus my attention on that. I began to ask if I can invite boys to my birthday parties and my friends and I would talk about the cute boy in school. Even today I can relate to these stages they’ve made a large impact on my life. When you first meet someone you cannot tell that their personality I impacted by all of these experiences, however, being able to understand the stages and concepts of them lead you to a better understanding of why a person acts a certain way or what some of their decisions are based off. Person childhood experiences shape their personality (Corr and Matthews, 2009)

The influence between parent and infant represents the child’s development. Vulnerability and the defenses such as blaming, impulsive actions, and shaming regulate emotional distance among family members protecting oneself from intolerable experiences (Strolorow, 1992). Research evidence by Strolorow (1992) has proved that a child’s experience and development organization is based on the caregivers and child relationship. My father got remarried and I had the privilege of having a half-sister, we are seven years apart. I adored my sister regardless of how much my family claimed she was an intolerable child. My half-sister and I were different from the rest of my 22 cousins, I had divorced parents and the rest of my aunts and uncles were high school sweethearts. This can make one feel excluded and different from the rest of the family. My father and stepmom were not getting along, I remember in the midst of arguments, yelling and abusive words id bring my sister into the bedroom and put cartoons with the volume up, to prevent her from listening to what was happening. It became a weekly habbit, almost daily even and in the mind of a child this can be traumatic. The relationship started to get worse, leading to divorce. The situation at my dad’s house was saddening. I always wanted to be at home with my mom to avoid the conflicts but little did I know my dad became depressed. At this point when things started to get blurry for our family, I started to seek satisfaction else were and keep myself busy but also oblivious of the fact that my dad was depressed and mentally ill. Four months later I was given the worst news during my freshman year of high school, my father died by suicide. This impacted my life in so many ways but mostly in the realm of my personality, I feel I became a slightly different person, still carrying the traits of psychodynamic because those experiences from childhood follow you throughout life.

Although the humanistic theory lies on the opposite side of the table from the Psychodynamic theory they can be similar in the way it plays a role in psychological personal development. Neither is more dominant than the other and they all form from different branches and studies. Freud’s theory determined that behaviors are the result of unconscious desires from the infant stages to later years. Abraham Maslow states that humanism forms from psychological needs, safety, love, self-esteem and eventually one can reach self-actualization. In a study, whether children develop a health self-actualizing tendency in the direction of a genuine ideal self has to do with their upbringing and interactions with parents (DeRobertis, 2006). My parents raised me in strict ways yet, with unconditional love and support. They always mentioned that being humble, kind and honest will take you further. A humanistic person carries a purpose with them and their goal is to reach self-actualization by focusing on a task. I have a broad mind that’s always wondering how I can make a situation better, or what I can do for myself to eventually become the best version of myself. I strive to overcome issues and grow mentally to be the person I’ve longed to be and to what would make my parents proud. This probably sounds dreamy, because less than one percent of people reach self-actualization that is, to fulfill your potential for inner growth.

As I mentioned, my dad dying by suicide, shifted my world. I became more interested in mental health and psychology. This part of my life caused me to change my perspective in life. Humanistic studies focus on positivity, openness, and empathy in which eventually they can reach self-actualization. Viewing life in positive ways regardless of the negative experiences will take you up to the ladder of self-actualization. I agree with Maslow’s research in terms of the humanistic approach, he studied his work from creative, independent, self-sufficient, fulfilled adults; not case histories of clinical patients. We are all born with the instincts to grow, develop and fulfill our potentials (Schults and Schults, 2009) I reached a point in my life at fourteen years old where I was full of guilt, angry, depressed and I would have never bloomed from this if I didn’t understand that I can choose to mold my personality and develop my personal growth, even if the bad experiences were my motivation. I did become more of an introvert because I didn’t want to tie my happiness with people, but towards a goal. I wanted to focus on moving past my grief, and eventually made the best of friends who understood me. My ambition for school evolved and my longing to be with my family grew. I began to develop positive traits, my thought process and decisions become much more analyzed and based on what would be better for others and myself. It wasn’t all great but I picked and chose my battles.

Now, I still ask myself “Who am I?” All in all, I am an individual with a type-A personality with the traits of a psychodynamic person whos has chosen to gather her battles and grow with a humanitarian approach. At first, this sounded like an interesting mix. I’m proud of the way my parents raised me, my unconscious mind does make up much of my behaviors today. And my real-life experiences have molded some of that and I’ve chosen to take control of who I can become, a better version of me. Throughout my years I have had many positive influences and decisions I’ve made have been to satisfy other people, genuinely helping others. But, I still am a woman with OCD who gets flustered if things do not go my way. I still have anxious habits and lean my attention on something else when I don’t want to deal with consequences or an unfolding situation. The difference in my personality development has been that my childhood development, the way I was raised, self needs, love, etc., all play a role in my steps up the ladder of self-actualization to become a better version of me. 

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Who am I: A Glimpse of My Personality Development. (2022, April 08). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 27, 2022, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/who-am-i-a-glimpse-of-my-personality-development/
“Who am I: A Glimpse of My Personality Development.” GradesFixer, 08 Apr. 2022, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/who-am-i-a-glimpse-of-my-personality-development/
Who am I: A Glimpse of My Personality Development. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/who-am-i-a-glimpse-of-my-personality-development/> [Accessed 27 Jun. 2022].
Who am I: A Glimpse of My Personality Development [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Apr 08 [cited 2022 Jun 27]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/who-am-i-a-glimpse-of-my-personality-development/
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