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What Is The Ego? Characteristics Of The Ego? Explain With Example

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Among the three components of personality ego is one f the most significant one, in the psychoanalytic theory ego is that potion of human personality, which is experienced as the self, or I and is in contact with the external world through perception. It is that part of the human nature that remembers evaluates plans and in other ways is responsive to and acts in the surrounding physical and social world of an individual. According to the theory of psychoanalytic, the ego of human nature coexists with the superego as the three agencies proposed by the Sigmund Freud in the description of the dynamics of the human mind.

According to Freud, ego comprises the executive functions of personality by serving as the integrator of the outer and inner world as well as of the individual identity and the superego. The ego gives continuity and consistency to behavior by providing a personal point of reference, which relates with the event of the past incidence with actions of the present and of the future.  The ego is not coextensive with either the personality or the body concepts from the core of early experience of self. Once the ego is developed, it is capable to change the entire life style of any individual. Ego can bring both positive and negative effect on the life of the human being. It is often found that human beings with high ego failed to maintain the success that they have earned by their hard work. It is very essential for human beings to maintain a simple and decent life style so that his ego does not hurt any one’s feeling. In different situation, different egoism occurs in the nature of the human beings. It is observed that particularly under the conditions of threat illness and significant changes in the life egoism occurs and bring negative effect on the life of an individual.

  The infantile ego develops in relation to the external world and reflects the helpless and dependent infants’ effort to alter or alleviate painfully intense stimuli. Mechanisms evolve for controlling tensions while finding means by which gratification can be obtained, and these mechanism develops ego in the mind of the infant and that will sustain in the nature of the infant when he become a matured human being. As the individual continues to develop, the ego is further differentiated and the superego develops. The superego represents the inhibitions of instinct and the control of impulse through the incorporation of parental and social standards. Thus the moral standards of the ego of an individual become apart of his or her entire life.  The ego becomes a mediate between the superego and the individual identity by building up what had been called defense mechanism.

Examples of ego

The example of ego can be explained through a practical situation, suppose one individual is in the middle of the argument between two of his friends. One-friend wants that hew should go with his friend in a party. The other friend on the other hand, the second friend wants that he should stay home and study with that friend because they have to give exams. the individual will try to find a way so that he can satisfy both of his friends so he come up with a compromise that he will study for an hour with the friend and will join the party after that.

In this example, the action of the individual is similar to ego. According to the psychoanalytic theory, there are three parts of the personality, these are, the ego, id and the superego. The ego is the social component of the personality that is represented by the conscious decision making process of the individual. The id is the instinctual biological component, and the superego is the social component of our personality and conscience. The behavior of the individual is determined by the interaction of these three components.

In this example, the individual has maintained a balance between the two situations, which proves that the individual does not hurt the ego of any of his friends, and he himself does not shoe his ego by not refusing both of the friends. If the individual shows ego then he would either refused both of the friends or will follow the instructions of only one friend.

Characteristics of the ego 

The ego is the second component of personality to develop, usually around the ages of two to three years old. The ego is responsible for sorting out what is real. It helps an individual to make sense of his thoughts and the world around him. Ego is the component of our personality we are aware of the most. This happens because ego is the part that controls our consciousness.

As a human being, we experience three levels of consciousness according to Freud. These three levels are unconsciousness, outside of our awareness at all times, precociousness, knowledge and memories we can retrieve, and consciousness our current awareness. The ego exists in all three levels but is the main component of our current awareness.

The ego is controlled by reality principle. This is the idea that the desires of the id must be satisfied in a method that is both socially appropriate and realistic. The reality principle causes the ego to consider the positive and negative effect of the desire before deciding to act on it.

According to Freud, the personality of any human being is composed of three elements the id the ego and the superego. The id is made of all the primal urges and desires and is the only part of the personality present at birth. The superego is the part of the personality that is composed of the internalized standard and rules that we acquire from our parents and society.  Finally, ego is the component of personality that mediates between the demands of reality the urges of the id and the idealistic. The characteristics of ego can be classified into two parts high ego strength and low ego strength.

High ego strength

People with high ego strength tend to share a number of essential characteristics. They tend to be confident in their ability to deal with challenges, and they are efficient in coming up with solutions to life’s problems. They also tend to have high level of emotional intelligence and are able to regulate their emotions even in hard situation.

An individual with high ego strength approaches challenges with a sense that he or she can overcome the problem and he or she even grow as a result. By having a strong ego sense the individual feels that he or she can cope with the problem and find new ways of dealing with struggles.

These people can handle whatever life throws to them without losing there sense of self. People with good ego strength tend to be very resilient in the face of life’s difficulties.

Low ego strength

On the other hand people with weak ego strength view challenges as something to avoid. In many circumstances, they face challenges to deal with reality, as they are very emotional in nature. These individuals find it difficult to manage difficult situation and they try to avoid reality through wish full thinking, substance use and fantasies.

Low ego strength is often characterized by alack of psychological resilience. In the face of life’s challenges, people with low ego strength may simply give up or breakdown they went to depression and started to think that they will never be able to do anything in life.

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