Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development is an outstanding modification of Sigmund Freud’s core ideas into a more structured and organized format of assessing one’s development-related inadequacies. It is important to note that the main concepts revolve around eight critical stages of development, which are integrity vs. despair, generativity vs. stagnation, intimacy vs. isolation, identity vs. role confusion, industry vs. inferiority, initiative vs. guilt, autonomy vs. shame/doubt, and trust vs. mistrust (“Erikson’s 8 Stages of psychosocial development,” n.d.). In my personal case, the identified stages are intimacy vs. isolation, autonomy vs. shame or doubt, and trust vs. mistrust.
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The first stage is trust vs. mistrust, and I am on the mistrust side. It significantly impacted my development because, throughout my life, I have been highly mistrustful towards many people surrounding me. I would describe it as one of the major causes of inadequacy in my life since I do not believe something unless it is absolutely or undeniable true. Although it affected the relationship that I formed because my partners would be challenged by my attitude, and many of my close friends worked hard to earn my trust. However, after years of friendship, I still find that I am unable to trust many of them because my thought process always explores the outcome, where I am lied to or betrayed. However, my development was also shifted in a positive manner due to this developmental stage because I am a critical thinker to an extreme, where any source of information is not accepted unless I fully understand that the evidence is legitimate. For example, when I see a newspaper article, I always find myself checking the sources on whether the author provided and presented evidence in a factual manner or utilized them to promote his or her agenda. Therefore, my overall development was shaped both positively and negatively by the given stage.
The second stage is autonomy vs. shame or doubt, and I am on the side of autonomy. As an individual, I highly value autonomy over dependence because the latter invokes the emotions of guilt and doubt. My development was development was positively influenced by my drive for autonomy because I learned from early on that one needs to be responsible for his or her own actions and fate. It is important to note that I think I avoided many instances of unnecessary stress and self-pity due to my autonomy, where I did not rely on others, even my parents. Although by being self-reliant, I matured and learned more, I could have avoided many of my personal struggles through help. However, in general, my development was positively shaped by my autonomy.
The third stage intimacy vs. isolation, and I am on the side of isolation. Due to my trust issues, I find it fairly challenging to fully open up to somebody, which is why it negatively affected my development, where I prefer being isolated rather than close with someone. Many of my interactions with others are frivolous and shallow, and thus, I hinder the development of deeper and more meaningful connections with people.
In conclusion, the identified stages are intimacy vs. isolation, autonomy vs. shame or doubt, and trust vs. mistrust, and I find myself on the side of isolation, autonomy, and mistrust, respectively. Both isolation and mistrust negatively affected my development by making forming relationships hard, but autonomy made me a more self-reliant and responsible individual.
Erikson’s 8 Stages of psychosocial development. (n.d.). 2021, Web.