Thursday, August 7, 2014

Super-Ego:- Good or Bad?

As per Freud's psychoanalytical theory we all have the id, ego and super-ego. In lay man's terms we would have coined the word "ego" with a negative connotation and would have said "She is a very egoistic person" which perhaps would mean that she is arrogant or snobbish. The id is the one that demands to meet the basic needs immediately like hunger, thirst, love, social acceptance, etc. The super-ego is the conscience that sets moral standards or principles within us derived from our environment, culture, family upbringing, etc. The ego is the one that directs the id and the super-ego based on realistic principle determining what kind of communications, behaviors and actions are appropriate or what are inappropriate.

However, the definition of super-ego has undergone several changes because it cannot be considered on abstract terms and be seen merely as conscience. What about people who commit crimes? Do they lack super-ego? Certainly not...Their super-ego is harsh where their conscience is compromised. People with harsh super-ego's have compromised values like an "eye for eye or tooth for tooth". OR something like "life is not working for me as expected so why should life be good for others". OR "Its okay if I lose one eye, but he/she should lose both the eyes'.

According to Chris L. Minnick (2014) the super-ego is actually how a person relates to self and internal version of descriptions of relationships that exists in the unconscious realm which is applicable for each individual. For people with harsh super-ego, the definition of self and relationships are concrete in nature which means it cannot be easily changed as it has been persistent since their childhood years and has been reinforced by later life experiences.

We can find that people who are snobbish, arrogant and proud who easily demean or hurt others self-respect or degrade others self-image as they have a harsh super-ego. However, such people seldom understand that they are projecting a negative self-image about themselves before others rather than an enhanced self-image. Whether we function with a super-ego that comprises of moral values or have harsh super-ego that is compromised is something we ought to determine...

Minnick, C.L. (2014). Super-Ego and Conscience. Minnick's Klein Academy. Retrieved from: