Frustration: Role of Frustration in Personality Development !
Frustration experienced during infancy and in later life becomes an important determining factor for the type of personality make up of the individual in question. When an infant reacts to interference, blocking and shocks, a pattern is set in his personality throughout his life.
In a classic experiment Wolf temporarily deprived the rats the use of their eyes and ears during infancy. Deprivation during infancy handicapped these rats throughout life. Following the views of Freudian psychologists it can be opined that early development of personality depends upon feeding, elimination, toilet habits and the way in which the child is reared and brought up and cared for.
In the process of socialization, while teaching the dos and don’ts of life and during the oral, anal and phallic stages of the psychosexual development, the child consciously or unconsciously meets a large number of frustrations.
A child who is frustrated usually in relation to feeding retaliates by attempting to bite. While longing for pleasurable union with the source of food, the child may yet in moments of frustration wish to destroy it. Extremely rigid and strictly disciplinarian parents make their child face a number of frustrations during childhood.
Such constant and continued frustrations spoil the personality of the individual by making him react to any minor frustration and disappointment in a very violent and maladoptive manner; such as by becoming over aggressive, hostile, non-cooperative and antisocial.
Sometimes he tries to withdraw as well as to regress from the reality and makes excessive use of various defense mechanisms. He feels detached, depressed and spends his time in fantasy and day dreaming remaining away from the realities of life. His personality becomes out and out pathological and unhealthy.
Frustration is undoubtedly a necessary condition of mental illness. Freud in this connection has remarked “Frustration is the most immediate, most easily discerned and the most comprehensively exciting cause of the state of neurotic illness… “. This implies that one cannot be drawn to neuroticism without being frustrated and specially people studying pathological states have found that most of the sexual frustrations are most frequently associated with neurotic states.
The way in which a frustrated person differs in his reactions and adjustments to life with that of a normal one indicates in the long run how important and distinct part frustration plays in the development of human personality.