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Freud: Narcissism and Love Essay

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According to the myth, the nymph, Echo, falls in love with him but is denied and withdraws into a lonely spot and fades away, leaving behind her voice. The goddess Nemesis punishes Narcissus and makes him fall in love with his own reflection, which he cannot embrace; as a result, the boy becomes a flower. On the basis of this myth, many psychoanalytic theories have been created. There are two types of love in accordance with the work of Freud - narcissistic and anaclytic ones that determine the inner person’s world.  

One should note that there are many people which are being very charming, though Freud states that ‘the charm of a child lies to a great extent in his narcissism’ that means that every human being own a part of narcissism since the very childhood, particularly, primary narcissism. This is the initial concentration on the self with which all infants start and occurs from around six month up to around six years. This issue is known as a defence mechanism that is applied to defend the child from psychic damage during the formation of the individual self. Sometimes such defence mechanism does not have the source of sublimation to go into, that is why this kind of narcissism may remain with the kid for a longer period and transfer into the other narcissistic kind the secondary type that is the more 'normal' form, where older children and grown-ups look for personal gratification over the achievement of social aims and conformance to social values. It s interesting that in case if the secondary narcissism is not developed into the object-love, so in case of females women may feel to some extent masculine and develop even some masculine features of character. However, some degree of narcissism is common in many people. Sue this concern may become pathological when the narcissist lacks normal empathy and uses others ruthlessly to their own needs. Freud determines two types of love – anaclytic (love to the person who feeds or protects) and narcissistic (love to the self). Anaclytic type of love substitutes the primary or secondary narcissism in normal circumstances, and the person may sublime self-adoration. The main issue – is to detect this matter on the early stage in order to give the person another way of sublimation. Freud mention the repression as the result from ego. He states the following: “Repression, we have said, proceeds from ego…” This is really very essential to notice this issue at once as the society claims some ideals for the humanbeing to follow. These ideals are imposed for him and repress the person’s libido. This is derived from the herd instinct that a person may not always control. However, if it is strictly oppressed, then, the person form his actual ideal in himself (in accordance with libido theory), while other do not. Concerning this concern Freud states that “For the ego the formation of an ideal would be the conditioning factor of repression”. That is why this is very important not to repress one’s libido and impose the ideals, and as well to direct the person’s energy into some else except self. In the case, when the person remains in the secondary type of narcissism, this may become pathological and trigger even some serious consequences.

Freud has deeply analyzed the issue devoted to narcissism from the view of human sexuality with a treatment of the sexual life of infants, who receive pleasure from vital functions (i.e. eating and being defended) and who take as their first sexual objects those people who are responsible for these functions. Mainly, these people are their mothers (this may be considered as the anaclytic type of love). The psychoanalytic determines the child's libidinal investment in the mother an analytic object-choice, in which sexual instincts are attached to, and distinguished by, ego-instincts. He opposes this kind of object-choice with the narcissistic object choice that describes the development of those people whose sexual development has been disrupted: "homosexuals and perverts". The development of the theory of narcissism is strongly linked to Freud's observations of those whose sexualities do not express themselves in "normal" ways. It is interesting that Freud distinguishes some discrepancies in object-choices determined by gender. Males, in accordance with Freud, are, in general, ruled by the anaclytic object choice that triggers them to overvalue the object of their affections and to pursue women compulsively. This strong investment in the female derives from male's initial narcissism and the relevant intense investment in their mothers as providers for their narcissistic needs. As for women's object choice, it is not characterized by the same intensity as they incline concerning the narcissistic object selection. The researcher seems to imply that females enjoy a weaker tie with their mothers than do males. Particularly, attractive females invest a good portion of their mental energy in them that compensates for the fact that society limits their abiility to pursue men as sexual objects. Females like the passive position of being loved to the more active position of loving in keeping with this narcissistic investment in themselves.

It is important to note that Freud states on the social and cultural implications of this gendered difference in object choices. He argues that narcissism makes a person all the more attractive to a person who has engaged in an anaclitic object choice. Probably this may be a good explanation for the prevalence of the image of the unattainable females, or also, called the cruel mistress, and as well the allure of Narcissus himself in the myth. However, the researcher’s awareness that his description of the erotic life of females may be offensive to some readers is obvious in some paragraphs, and that many women make object choices in the manner of men. This hasty self-defence may be undone, for in it Freud argues that one way the female emerges from her narcissistic object selection into a "complete object love" is by growing a child, which serves to take women away from their narcissism. Also, it is essential that the researcher returns to his defensive posture later in the work and reiterates his awareness of lesbianism as an alternative mode of feminine object selection.

If to state something general concerning the behaviour of narcissists, so it should be stated that they communicate socially with others, though do not make relational social ties with others. Also, they reduce their communication mainly to non-human objects. As a matter of fact, narcissists frequently need to feel that they are the only good objects in the whole world and feel great envy that appears as narcissistic rage seeking to destroy the good objects of others. As a result, this leaves bad objects intact. Besides, it is interesting that the fear of extinction is very essential for narcissists. They frequently age badly and the signs of aging infuriate them.

To sum up, it is important to note that Freud proposes that the love parents feel concerning their children is a revival of the parents' own narcissism. The kid becomes the stand-in for the parents' egos, and their excessive and often blind indulgence of the kid can be analyzed in terms of the extravagance of their native narcissistic investment in themselves. For Freud, narcissism is mainly the investment of libidinal energy in the ego. In case when the narcissist loves another person, so this person is being some kind of his own reflection.

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