Intimacy Verses Isolation


A person usually undergoes difficulties in life known as developmental conflicts, if these difficulties are not resolved, causes the person typically to continue to struggle. When these matters are solved, the person can achieve psychological skills which can be helpful to the person for the rest of his/her life. Erik Erikson formulated the psychological theories of psychological development into eight stages from when one is an infant to when one is an adult. The different stage is characterized by the different psychological crisis which can have a positive or negative effect on one’s personality. In this paper, I am going to discuss the sixth stage of Erik Erickson’s theory of psychological development that is known as intimacy versus isolation.

The intimacy versus isolation stage is a stage that usually takes place during the early stages of adulthood in people, mainly between the age of 19 years and 40 years. At this stage, a person is faced by conflicts that are centered on forming an intimate, loving relationship with other people (Gross & McIlveen, 2016). Fulfilling relationships is the ultimate success at this stage while failure leads to one being lonely and isolated from other people. For one to be able to succeed in the next stages with a healthy personality and sense of self, one has to complete the intimacy verse isolation stage. The intimacy and isolation theory is usually characterized by several challenges that reflect that inhibit the formation of the intimate relationship, and one has to overcome these challenges to avoid isolation and loneliness in the future.

Challenges/Crises Faced By Individuals In Developmental Stages

The first challenge at this stage is the need to have a lasting relationship. This stage comes mostly when one has left the highs school and is no longer for a short term romantic relationship but wants a more intimate relationship. Usually, in this stage, a person is keen on making friends with people you can spend a lifetime together or close to them not just acquaintances (Malone et al., 2016). With many people joining this stage are joining or at the college and for those not joining college either picking a job to earn lively hood, many are keen to learn new skills in life and build connections that will help build their career. At this stage, someone is usually at the edge of becoming independent and not relying on the parent (Perez, Jennings, Piquero, & Baglivio, 2016). There are challenges that one goes through trying to understand how to exist in this life not like a child anymore. The idea of getting a job, family and being responsible lingers in someone one’s mind. With a single breakthrough on how to get by all and someone is ready to face life.

The second challenge faced by identifying personality development. At this stage you have a clear view of what is waiting for you, you need to build yourself not like the ideas you had as a child where you wished to live like a particular celebrity or achieving things without working for them (Luan, Hutteman, Denissen, Asendorpf, & van Aken, 2017). Here you are obsessed with identifying who is going to become, will you be achieving your goals or failing. Strategies are laid with the intention of achieving something great in the future — one experiment with different identities to test if that is where they fit. Without clear laying your personality and knowing what you will be working for and to be in life, one is left to be confused in life either never achieving his/her dreams or achieving them late in life.  Developing your personality is usually a challenge, but people still achieve it.

The third challenge is forging a relationship that will last longer and be of help in one’s life. It is hard to find good friends who one can rely on in life. At this stage is when one focuses on having a family and need a partner who will live with to have a happy family (Dadvand et al., 2015). To many, it takes many trials to get a husband or wife to have children with and live the rest of life with. We have seen the rate at which couples are divorcing; this is a clear indication of failure on this stage (Mcleod, 2018). Failure to identify your personality and get a partner to start a family with will results in family problems and maybe divorce. Good friends are those to have moments with, help each other in times of need and also celebrate with in times of happiness. It is difficult to find good friends especially these days when families are no longer united, and people live indecently. After dealing with these challenges will have an intimate relationship, happy family and will no longer be isolated.

Ways in Which Individuals Can Effectively Deal With Developmental Challenges

The challenges mentioned above are what can lead to someone not having an intimate relationship and living an isolated life. Overcoming these challenges is essential to ensure one lives a happy life and moves on to the next stage without personality problems that will affect him for the rest of the life (Malone et al., 2016). On the challenge of achieving a cognitive development, one notes to focus most on his strengths. As a young person is not able to determine what life as got for him/her, it is essential to identify what strengths one posse in terms of talent, skills and where one thinks he can fair well (Helles et al., 2016). There is no worse mistake than choosing a career you are not comfortable with, or you don’t love. This can lead to frustration causing failure in the career. Studying how the world is changing and changing with the changes is very necessary. The world is moving fast on incorporating computerized systems in all sectors one need to align with the field that will not be rendered outdated within a short period.

Overcoming the challenge of identifying your personality developed can be achieved by ensuring that your dreams are real. The primary challenge is usually dreaming beyond your ability which can cause frustration and one losing hope in achieving his goals. By identifying what you can be able to achieve with the skills you have or what you are expecting to acquire is the only way to overcome this challenge (Mcleod, 2018). The challenging of forging a long-lasting relationship is a great challenge that is hard but can be solved. You cannot forge an intimate relationship with people with studying their personality and their dreams and how they view life. It is wrong to forge a relationship with people whose thoughts and desires do not rhyme with yours. Always forge an alliance with likeminded people and who you think or believe they hold you in the same regard that you hold them. Caution, early planning, studying, plans and having faith in yourself are some of the actions that one need to observe overcome the challenges.

South Africa’s Unique Socio-Cultural Context Impacts

In South Africa still, gender roles play a significant role in the development and growth of a child from childhood to south Africa women are still regarded as less important compared to men (Gross,  & McIlveen, 2016). Women deserve less power with men required to be the leaders. The male is the dominant member with women expected to follow as men lead. As a South African boy grows up, he has higher chances of dreaming big like dreaming of being a leader or other careers that are meant for men (Theron, Liebenberg, & Ungar, 2015). A South African woman has limited chances since some jobs are not meant to taken by men. Even if a south African girl aspires to be a leader, she has limited chances of becoming one compared to a boy dreaming of becoming a leader. A South African woman has no say in choosing the right husband; hence she has no say when it comes to choosing a husband (Theron, Liebenberg, & Ungar, 2015). By being denied the chance to choose her life partner who she is going to make a family with she might end up living an unhappy life with isolation.

The culture of the people influences the children that are growing up in the community in different ways, the children learn from the community that they lived with hence they will gain the culture that their parents have (Huang, 2018). When a child is born they know nothing, the parents are the ones who teach the children what they want them to learn. Parents facilitate the development of the children, and therefore if they don’t want them to learn a certain culture, they will not teach them (Miraz, Bhuiyan, & Hossain, 2017). There are different stages of development of intimacy, and therefore the parents should teach the children about their culture in different developmental stages.

South Africa people have deep cultural beliefs that they have successfully passed to their children despite being influenced by other communities that have migrated to South Africa with their own culture (Huang, 2018). The Africans living in South Africa have kept their dignity through the culture because the culture represents who they are and the values that they have (Miraz, Bhuiyan, & Hossain, 2017). The social, cultural impacts of the young people that find themselves learning from the community are that they are installed with good moral values that the community values.  The learning individuals are able to know what the community expects from them while they are relating to other people.

There are concerns between different societies around the world where foreign people have brought their own cultures to other communities where the culture was against the culture of the local community (Gabriel, 2017). In such a scenario, there is conflict among people with different cultural backgrounds who both want their culture to dominate and be embraced. In such scenarios, the culture of the inhabitant community should be embraced because of they the natives of the land. However, some communities don’t mind embracing the culture of other societies where the cultures are not in conflict with the values of the people.


In conclusion, we can say that intimacy versus isolation stage is a physiological stage experienced by a person between the age of 19 and 40, and here one is determined to shape his/her life by forging an intimate relationship that will last a lifetime. At this stage, a person is faced by several challenges while seeking to establish cognitive, personality and relationship development.


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