Id, Ego, and Superego

Understanding the Id, Ego, and Superego

  • Ayushi Singh
    Ayushi Singh

Human personality is complex and consists of various layers. According to Sigmund Freud, the human personality consists of three parts: id, ego, and superego. Together, these three components create complex human behaviors. Moreover, these components add to oneโ€™s personality in different ways. According to Freud's theory, certain aspects of personality are more dominant than others and might make you act upon your most basic urges. On the other hand, some parts of your personality work to counteract those urges.

Let us look at the three significant components of personality and how they work together to balance your attitude and overall personality.

The Components of Personality

  • The Id

The id is the primary component of personality and is believed to be the source of all psychic energy. It is present since birth and determines how you will react when expressing your desires. It majorly contains aggressive drives and hidden memories. If the desires expressed by the id are not satisfied on time, it may lead to anxiety or tension. For example, if you are hungry, not filling your tummy with nutritious food may make you furious. Also, the id determines the behavior of a baby and helps in fulfilling their needs. If a baby is hungry or experiences discomfort, they will cry until their demands are satisfied. Eventually, people learn to control their id, but this part of personality remains the primal force throughout life.

  • The Ego

The ego is an extended part of the id and helps you express your desire more acceptably. It deals with reality and majorly functions in the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind. The ego functions based on the reality principle and takes the cost and benefits of action into consideration before performing a particular action. According to Freud, the id is like a horse, and the ego is like the horse rider. A horse rider trains the horse and guides them. Likewise, the horse provides power and motion to the rider.

  • The Superego

The superego tends to develop after the age of five years. These consist of the morals and values that you inherit from your parents and society. It helps you make better judgments and keep you aligned with your values.

The superego majorly consists of two parts:

  1. Conscience: It includes information on things that are not considered good or acceptable by society and your family. Getting indulged in such behavior may make you feel guilty.
  2. Ego ideal: It includes the rules and standards for behaviors.

Superego is crucial as it helps you exhibit proper behavior according to societal standards. It tries to work between the impulsive behavior of the id and the realistic principles of the ego.

The interaction of id, ego, and superego

The id, ego, and superego are not separate entities; instead, they work together to shape your personality. These aspects are dynamic and lay the foundation of your personality and attitude. There might be conflicts among the id, ego, and superego. However, these components function properly even when the dueling forces act among them.

What happens when there is an imbalance among the id, ego, and superego?

A charismatic personality requires a balance between the id, ego, and superego. If the ego can manage the demands of the id and superego, you will get a well-balanced personality. Likewise, a disturbance or imbalance among the three may lead to a maladaptive personality. For example, a dominant id may make a person impulsive and uncontrollable. Likewise, if the superego dominates all other components of your personality, you are more likely to become moralistic and judgmental.

Your personality and attitude make you different from others. It is the total of how you behave, react, and make decisions under a given circumstance. Freudโ€™s theory tells how different components of your personality interact and behave in a situation. It also gives an idea of how the personality is structured. According to him, there should be a balance in the interaction among the id, ego, and superego. If all the components are balanced, you will get a healthy personality. However, there are training and special sessions to develop your persona. Personality development is crucial because it helps you build confidence and boosts your morale. Moreover, it improves your skills and helps you lead a better life.

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