Egoic behavior & how ego is involved in our life?

 Ego is one of the most perplexing terms in psychology. In addition to the word itself being used to refer to a variety of unique psychological processes and constructions, “ego” is a term that appears in many other psychological concepts, such as egotism, ego-defense, egocentrism, superego, ego-involved, and so forth. What does ego mean, though, in reality? When we discuss the ego, what do we mean? And what distinguishes each word in which the term “ego” is imbedded from the others?

Simply said, “ego” is the Latin word meaning “I” in English. Ego is literally translated as “I.” (If you were writing ego amo te instead of “I love you” in Latin.)

Freud’s theory of personality

The human psyche, or personality, was possibly Freud’s most significant and enduring concept. According to Freud’s personality theory (1923), the psyche is divided into three sections, or tripartite, which are the id, ego, and superego, each of which develops at a separate time of life.

These are conceptualizations of significant mental functions rather than actual physical brain regions. They are systems.

what is Id

The innate and primal aspect of personality is known as the id. The impulsive (and unconscious) aspect of our brain that reacts instantly and directly to fundamental needs, wants, and urges is known as the id. An infant’s personality is all id; an ego and super-ego only start to form later.

Primary process thinking, which is basic, illogical, irrational, and fantasy-oriented, is what the id does. This kind of process thinking is egocentric and wishful, and it lacks an understanding of objective reality.

According to Freud (1920), the id functions on the pleasure principle, which states that all unconscious want urges should be instantly satiated regardless of the repercussions. We feel “pleasure” or tension when the id’s demands are met, and “unpleasure” or tension results when it is not.

The two basic instincts (or drives) that make up the id are the aggressive (death) impulse, known as Thanatos, and the sex (life) instinct, known as Eros (which contains the libido).

Eros, often known as the life instinct, aids in survival by guiding functions including breathing, feeding, and sexual behavior (Freud, 1925). Libido is the energy produced by the life instinct.

On the other hand, it is believed that everyone possesses a set of destructive energies known as the death instinct, or thanatos (Freud, 1920).

Aggression and violence are the external manifestations of this energy directed toward other people. According to Freud, people can survive rather than commit suicide because Eros is stronger than Thanatos.

What is ego?

The rational aspect of the psyche that functions mostly at the conscious level, Freud’s ego serves as a mediator between the irrational impulses of the id and the moral restraints of the superego.

The only aspect of the conscious personality is the ego. It’s what the individual is conscious of when reflecting on who they are and what they typically attempt to project onto other people.

As a mediator between the irrational id and the actual outside world, the ego grows. It is the part of personality that makes decisions. The id is chaotic and irrational, while the ego functions best when it is driven by reason.

Throughout infancy, the id gives rise to the ego. The ego’s mission is to safely and socially acceptable fulfill the needs of the id. The ego, which functions in both the conscious and unconscious mind, operates according to the reality principle, in opposition to the id.

The ego follows the reality principle, figuring out practical means of appeasing the id’s demands, frequently sacrificing or delaying fulfillment in order to prevent socially unacceptable outcomes. When determining how to act, the ego takes into account rules, etiquette, and social realities and standards.

What is super ego?

The morals and values of society, which are absorbed from one’s parents and other role models, are incorporated into the superego. It emerges during the phallic stage of psychosexual development, which lasts for three to five years.

During early life, when the child connects with the same-sex parent, the superego develops and becomes accountable for upholding moral standards. The morality principle serves as the superego’s operating principle, encouraging us to act in a way that is acceptable and socially responsible.

Depending on which component (the ego-deal or conscious) is active, the superego is said to be the supplier of rewards (feelings of pride and satisfaction) and punishments (feelings of shame and guilt).

The unconscious component known as the superego is where self-criticism and the voice of conscience (doing what is right) originate.

Though a person can occasionally be aware of their own morals and ethics, the superego contains several codes, or prohibitions, that are generally given involuntarily in the form of orders or “don’t” statements. It reflects society’s moral ideals to some extent.

Controlling the id’s urges, particularly those that society prohibits like aggressiveness and sex, is the role of the superego. It also convinces the ego to pursue perfection and shift its focus from pragmatic to moralistic objectives.

Development of ego

The following description of these stages is common:

  • The term “oral stage” often refers to the earliest stage, which is infancy. A newborn may learn to trust and depend on their parents during this time in order to survive.
  • Early childhood, the second stage, is frequently referred to as the anal stage. This is often the age at which kids start learning how to manage their bowels and bladder. Additionally, they might begin to feel more independent.
  • The term “genital” or “oedipal” usually refers to the third stage, which is later childhood/adolescence. Adolescents may start to become sexually conscious and have a sense of identity at this age.
  • Finally, as people become older, they may continue to develop their egos via a variety of experiences, like building relationships and engaging in worthwhile pursuits.

According to ego psychology, a person’s upbringing and life events can also affect how their ego develops. A nurturing atmosphere and happy childhood experiences may promote healthy ego development. On the other hand, challenges with self-awareness and personal development may result from unfavorable experiences and a lack of support. The ego can also be shaped by societal factors like expectations and cultural conventions.

How ego is involved in our life

The term “ego” entered psychology primarily through Sigmund Freud’s contributions. According to Freud’s theory, the ego is the aspect of the personality that acts as a mediator between the moral and social norms of the “superego” and the animalistic urges of the “id.” Interestingly, though, Freud’s vast body of writings contains no use of the term “ego.” He never made use of it. Instead, ego was a translation of “das Ich,” or “the I,” as Freud put it in his German writings. When you say things like “I dislike my mother” or “I decided to change jobs” or “I dreamt that my house was on fire last night,” Freud was essentially talking to that conscious, decision-making part of you that you see as “I.” That’s who you are—your ego.


Think about egoism, the desire to behave in one’s own best interests. Egoistically speaking, someone is just doing what they want to do, as we all do. When a motive is all about “I,” it is egoistic.


Or think of egocentricity. Over the years, egocentrism has also been applied in a variety of contexts, but ultimately, it refers to viewing the world and interpreting events from your own point of view. Because we are all essentially egocentric, we are unable to transcend our physical vantage point—I can only see the world from where I am physically located in space—or our subjective psychological perspective, which is shaped by our identities, experiences, objectives, beliefs, preferences, and biases. The ability to perceive things from other people’s perspectives varies from person to person, but we are all stuck in our own egocentric perspectives since we can only interpret information through the lens of our own experience.


Another frequent ego-word in psychology is egotism. Egotism is the tendency to value oneself higher than is realistically justified. We all have an egocentric and egoistic side, but we also frequently exhibit egotistical tendencies. Numerous research have demonstrated that people tend to have an overly positive self-perception.

Egoic, perhaps the most general name for ego-based concepts, is becoming more popular, but it is also the least used. The term “pertaining to ego” or “pertaining to I” is egoic. Egoistic intentions, ideas, feelings, and actions are responses when the focus is on me, myself, and me. An egoic response is one in which I play a major role. People’s goals, thoughts, feelings, and actions are frequently deeply ingrained with who they are—their I. They are actively considering their goals, actions, identity, and the opinions of others as well as how things are going for them. People are acting egoistically in these circumstances; they are very self-absorbed and their responses are entirely focused on themselves.

Ego psychology

Ego psychology may highlight the benefits of knowing and using your own inner resources as opposed to depending on outside assistance. By concentrating on your own personal development, you may enable yourself to grow stronger and more self-assured. With the help of Sigmund and Anna Freud’s ego psychology, you may be able to access your special talents and abilities. Additionally, you might be able to recognize your areas of weakness, develop resilience, raise your level of self-awareness, and lower your stress and anxiety, better control your emotions, and make wiser decisions. This might only be a hint of what this intriguing field has to offer. For those that investigate its possibilities, there might be a great deal more to gain. Anyone can achieve success with the right direction and assistance from a licensed therapist or experienced practitioner.

Functions of ego psychology

The following are examples of the ego’s functions:

  • Acting as a mediator between the outside world and the id, which might stand in for our unconscious impulses.
  • helping with problem-solving and decision-making
  • establishing one’s identity and self-awareness
  • allowing you to move about your environment and engage with people in meaningful ways

The ego can be an essential component of the mind rather than necessarily existing outside of it. It can function in tandem with other mental regions, like the id and superego, to help you make sense of your experiences and navigate the outside world. Your unconscious urges and desires are typically represented by your id, but your moral principles and goals are typically represented by your superego. Between these two aspects of the psyche, the ego may act as a mediator, maybe assisting you in balancing your desires with your principles and beliefs.

It might also be important to remember that an individual’s ego can grow and alter over the course of their lifetime.

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