Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development That Impacted Me in My Life

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Finding My Identity in My Life

As I’ve grown up and reflected on my childhood I realize how great of a childhood I had and how it’s affected me to this day. I had a loving and supportive family who was always there for me and a group of friends I could always fall back on. I did well in school and participated in sports while I was growing up. Even though I had all these great things in my life that I’ll always be thankful for, I always felt like something was missing. I didn’t start to feel like this until I entered 7th grade, so I was around thirteen years old. It was a whole new world to me. The school I went to was different than the one that all my friends from elementary school went to. There were kids there that were older than me and kids from other schools who already went into that school knowing their friends from the previous school. I am now twenty years old but as a young kid going from adolescent to teenager and going to a new school felt like a big step. In Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development, I feel like I have two stages that do heavily impact me. Those stages are Identity vs. Role Confusion and Intimacy vs. Isolation. The first stage, I stated, Identity vs. Role Confusion, takes place from the age of twelve to eighteen, and in this stage where people develop a sense of self and really find out what they want to be (Cherry 2019). The other stage, Intimacy vs. Isolation, ages nineteen to forty, centers around forming loving relationships with other people whether it’s family or friends. Both of these stages are stages that I’ve already experienced or that I’m still going through.

To start off with, let’s talk about the Identity vs. Role Confusion stage. A brief summary of it is,” …adolescents search for a sense of self and personal identity, through an intense exploration of personal values, beliefs, and goals.” (McLeod 2018). In Erik Erickson’s theory, the stage of going from childhood to adulthood is very important. I also feel like it was very important in my life. Going back to what I said about entering middle school, it was a hard time for me. Even though I had great relationships with friends and family I still felt alone. I felt like I need to start looking for a purpose even at such a young age. In middle school, I had to see where I would fit in and it wasn’t easy. This is where that search for a sense of self and personal identity started for me because I could ask a family member or friend what my identity should be, that’s something I had to find on my own. So throughout middle school, I did start to make friends and be more social trying to find that sense of self and it was going well. Then high school came. I felt like I was starting over again after those two years because it was another school where I knew no one and what my role was yet. These next four years I would be trying to find out who I am and what I want to do with my life. I was able to do this with support from my family and friends and emerge from high school with a sense of self.

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The next stage that I’m currently going through is Intimacy vs. Isolation. This takes place from the ages of twenty to forty. This stage is where most young adults either find love or stay isolated for some time. A lot of people in this age group still want to fit in with their friends and sometimes they end up being isolated because of intimacy (Gautam 2018). This relates to my life because after high school I did feel a sense of loneliness. All my friends were finding significant others and not having time to hang out like we all used to. So I would try and find someone but I would be rejected sometimes which led me back to isolation. This stage relates a lot to the last stage, once you find your identity it becomes a lot easier to find intimacy. The reason is that once I found my identity and my purpose, I knew what I wanted to be and the direction I was heading in. Along that way, I’m happy with myself and I am able to find a significant other who is also at the same stage in life as me and they know what they want. There is also the other side where other people feel lonely and do not know what to do next. This is how I felt at first, but when I found a connection with someone it completely changed my point of view.

It’s really crazy to look back on life and the stages that you have gone through that Erik Erickson talks about. Everyone goes through all these stages differently and all have different outcomes from each. When I look back on my life so far, I see how the Identity vs. Role Confusion stage has affected in my life. It has determined who I associate with and what I want to be in my life. I am glad I didn’t succumb to the role confusion part and did not know what I want to do or be in my life. Being able to form an identity through my teenage years has helped me with the next stage in my life which is the Intimacy vs. Isolation stage. It helped me because it’s helped me form meaningful relationships and not just drift from one relationship to the next. Even though I am doing well at this moment, this current stage that I’m in ranges from twenty to forty so there is time for things to mess up along the way but I believe that won’t happen. Once you understand how important it is to have a meaningful relationship, you don’t want to lose it.

In conclusion, there have been two stages in Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development that have impacted my life. Those two stages are Identity vs. Role Confusion and Intimacy vs. Isolation. Erik Erikson says that if a person can successfully complete each stage that the end results with be a healthy personality and a good understanding of basic virtues. I hope that throughout the next stages of my life, I will successfully complete each one of them.

References

  1. Gautam, S. (2018, March 31). Erikson’s Stages of Psychological Development | Psychology. Psychology Discussion - Discuss Anything about Psychology. https:www.psychologydiscussion.netdevelopmental-psychologyeriksons-stages-of-psychological-development-psychology13403
  2. Mcleod, S. (2018, May 3). Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development. Simply Psychology. https:www.simplypsychology.orgErik-Erikson.html
  3. Cherry, K. (2020, November 4). Intimacy vs. Isolation: Forming Intimate Relationships With Others. Verywell Mind. https:www.verywellmind.comintimacy-versus-isolation-2795739
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Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development That Impacted Me in My Life. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 15, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/erik-eriksons-stages-of-psychosocial-development-that-impacted-me-in-my-life/
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Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development That Impacted Me in My Life. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/erik-eriksons-stages-of-psychosocial-development-that-impacted-me-in-my-life/> [Accessed 15 Jul. 2024].
Erik Erikson’s Stages of Psychosocial Development That Impacted Me in My Life [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2023 Apr 21 [cited 2024 Jul 15]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/erik-eriksons-stages-of-psychosocial-development-that-impacted-me-in-my-life/
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