emotional wellbeing Mandy Kloppers

Social Psychology

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Social Psychology

“It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built upon a renunciation of instinct,” Sigmund Freud.

By stifling parts of what we are as human beings in order to fit a social norm, what damage are we doing to our internal lives? According to Freud, the process of socialisation leads us to suppress our underlying natural urges. Curbing individual expression is necessary to promote harmony within relationships and society but it also complicates our psychology. According to Freud, “any restriction of this natural aggressiveness directed outwards would be bound to increase the self-destruction…” So, according to Freud, one cost of participating in society is an unhealthy redirection of our instincts inward. Social psychology seeks to answer the question of how long term suppression of desires and inner personality characteristics affects society.

There are many legitimate ways in which we are permitted to release inner aggression and urges that are otherwise suppressed in order to blend in to society. Sport is one area where we are allowed to shout and show opposition to others. Rugby is especially good for releasing aggression. Thank goodness all those UK football fans have football to release their inner conflict.

On many levels, I have come across people who have found ways to deal with their various natural urges. I believe that the norms of society have been taken too far and this has resulted in a hidden world of porn, swinging, sex addiction, marital affairs, online trolling, animal abuse, emotional abuse of others, bullying, stress, anxiety, as well as other suppressed tendencies. We have to present a normal, conventional image to the world and this creates a disconnect. A person has their social side and they have their hidden side. I have no idea of the long term implications of this but it is fascinating nonetheless.

We are conditioned to only show parts of ourselves – the parts society finds acceptable. I am not saying that every person has hidden suppressed, dark desires but for those that do, many are not allowed to express it in a managed, safe way. This negative energy has to be dispersed somehow…

Society effectively inhibits and disallows a massive part of what it is to be human. Those that cope the best are the ones who find ways to meet these emotional needs that are suppressed. Whether it is through therapy, hobbies, sport, making things or exercise (to name a few), these adaptable beings tend to mentally stronger and more resilient when faced with stress and hardship.

Mandy X

Let me know your thoughts on ways in which society denies us from being our true selves and how this impacts us negatively 🙂

Reference:

https://www.personal.psu.edu/cpl2/blogs/digitaldialogue/2010/08/society-modifying-mental-life.html

Photo by JD Hancock

Mandy Kloppers
Author: Mandy Kloppers

Mandy is a qualified therapist who treats depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, trauma, and many other types of mental health issues. She provides online therapy around the world for those needing support and also provides relationship counselling.

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