The two approaches I have chosen to complete this self-analysis are Carl Jungs Attitude and Functions and Eriksons Psychosocial Stages of Development theories. Carl Jungs personality theories cover an extremely wide array of ideas regarding the human psyche, or all psychological processes. As a result of this I have chosen to focus on his theories of attitudes and functions. According to Jung, psychological types are a result of various combinations of two basic attitudes and four functions. These attitudes and functions are responsible for our ways of perceiving the environment and orienting experiences.
The two basic attitudes of Jungs theory are extraversion, in which the psyche is oriented outward to the objective world, and introversion, in which the psyche is oriented inward to the subjective world. The four functions include thinking, feeling, sensing and intuition (Engler, 2009). After a considerable amount of research, I concluded that I was an introverted feeler. I tend to be shy and quiet, especially in social situations. As a result I have experienced difficulty developing friendships and relationships with others. I am also a hypersensitive, emotional person.
I have been concerned with personal values, attitudes and beliefs my entire life. When I carefully thought about how I come to make decisions, judgments or conclusions, I realized that I do so based on my emotions. My family verified that I am an introverted feeler during their interviews. To expand on my knowledge and understanding of my personality type, I completed the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. This specific test sorts individuals into groups based on the following dichotomies: Extraversion-Introversion (EI), Sensing-Intuition (SN), Thinking-Feeling (TF), and Judgment-Perception (JP) (Engler, 2009).
The result of this test was the personality profile was ISFJ, which stands for introverted sensing feeling judging. Many, if not all of my personality traits and characteristics fit perfectly with the ISFJ personality type. I have always had a strong need to be needed by others. I have often struggled with feelings that others did not appreciate my accurate, thorough work at home and in the work place. My perfectionist tendencies have often caused problems for me and cause me to be overly critical of myself.
I have often felt taken advantage of by employers and friends because of my loyal and giving tendencies. I have always been the person who worked other peoples shifts or gave friends rides, even when I had other important things to do. Typically, I function best in small groups or one-on-one situations because I am empathetic and sympathetic with others. I frequently overanalyze others behaviors and sometimes interpret them as rejection. I am also easily embarrassed. I dislike confrontation and I have extreme difficulty hiding or articulating distress (Heiss, 2007).
Another article found on the CG Jung organization website mentioned the affects of the R. A. S. , or Reticular Activating System, has on an individuals personality traits and characteristics. The R. A. S. regulates our stable level of wakefulness, is linked to anxiety and makes it possible for individuals to focus their attention. According to this article, people who are highly aroused take in more information per second than the average person and subsequently needs to diminish or limit the volume of stimulation around them. This is what makes a person an introvert.
Introverts are overloaded with information more quickly, and due to that introverts often have chronic anxiety, as well as a negative attitude towards life (Benziger, 2007). I myself have struggled with anxiety and negative attitudes, which led to depression. Due to the fact that I am easily overwhelmed, I tend to sleep excessively. Sleep gives my brain a break from the overstimulation I experience in everyday life. Eriksons psychosocial stages of development are centered on the polarity that children encounter during certain phases of their life.
This theory proposes eight epigenetic stages, each entailing its own life crisis in which an individual can turn one of two ways. Each psychosocial stage provides the individual with opportunities for certain basic virtues to develop (Engler, 2009). However, I am only going to focus on the first six stages of Eriksons development because I have not been through the other two stages. The first developmental stage is trust versus mistrust, which occurs during infancy. This is when an infant learns whether or not the world can be trusted.
If dependable care is given and the infants needs are met, the basic virtue of hope will develop (Engler, 2009). I was adopted in my infancy and given more than adequate care. I personally do not believe that my adoption caused me any issues until my later years. The second psychosocial stage is autonomy versus shame and doubt, which arises during the second and third year of life. This stage deals with a toddlers ability to control their body and bodily activities, as well as independence. The basic virtue that develops at this stage of life is will.
Eriksons third stage is initiative versus guilt, which occurs at three to five years. At this point in time, children are focused on mastering new skills and tasks. If a child prevails, the basic virtue that will arise is purpose. The fourth psychosocial stage is industry versus inferiority, which occurs during ages six to eleven. During this stage children must learn to master skills that they will need to be successful in society. If a child successfully does so, they will develop a sense of competence (Engler, 2009).
I do not recall experiencing anything incredibly difficult during these three psychosocial stages of development. I know that my parents had gotten a divorce at age three, which was somewhat confusing for me, but it did not really damage me psychologically in any way. I do remember being incredibly attached to my mother during these stages however, and was typically upset or anxious if I was separated from her. When I was around the age of five, my family moved a short distance to a house in Baldwinsville. The adjustment was easy for me.
At age seven, my mother got remarried, in my life long before he and my mother were married. He had always treated my sister and I as his own children. For that, I am extremely grateful. The hardest thing I remember experiencing was moving from Baldwinsville to Liverpool, when I was about to turn eleven years old. I was very anxious, but adapted to my new surroundings with ease. I also did well in elementary school academically and developed a close friendship with another girl during this time period suggesting consistent with Eriksons ideas of mastery in middle childhood.
Ego identity versus role confusion is the fifth stage of development, which occurs during ages twelve to eighteen, and involves establishing an identity and viewing ones self as a productive member of society. During this stage an individual will develop the basic virtue of fidelity. This was a stage in which I struggled. I was beginning to understand what adoption was and had a very difficult time understanding why my birth mother would just give me away. I plunged into an identity crisis at this stage of my life and temporarily developed a negative identity, which was in contrast with my personal values and upbringing.
I was also a victim of sexual assault at this time, which diminished my self-confidence and sense of self worth even further. I do believe that my mothers occupation during my adolescent years complicated my life to a certain extent. Having a mother who is superintendent of the school district I was attending made me feel alienated from my peers and I found it more difficult to make connections with others. The sixth and final psychosocial stage I will be discussing is intimacy versus isolation, takes place during the eighteenth to twenty-fourth years of life.
At this time young adults must be able to overcome the fear of ego loss and form a close affiliation with another individual. It is at this point that the basic virtue of love can potentially be established (Engler, 2009). I am currently in this psychosocial stage myself and am struggling. Recently, I escaped a very emotionally and physically abusive relationship, which damaged me psychologically. I also have experienced two significant losses in my life, which I have just begun recovering from.
As said previously, the other two stages I have not experienced yet and therefore will not be addressing in this paper. I chose Jung and Eriksons theories to complete a self-analysis because I felt that they best defined my own personality. I found the results of this analysis extremely accurate and insightful. However, certain aspects of my personality were left out. I believe that some of my traits and characteristics are hereditary while others were learned by watching those close to me over the years.
My twin sister and I both have attention deficit disorders, which causes us to be extremely moody and impulsive. Both of us are very opinionated and stubborn individuals. Clearly, some behaviors are a result of genetics. I found this paper very useful in my own self-exploration. It helped me readily identify some of my neurotic tendencies and their possible causes. I plan on using what I have learned from this experience to make necessary changes so that I can lead a happier, healthier life with less neurotic symptoms.