The other day I was contacted to be the test speaker for my Toastmaster’s Club. I barely know what it means. But my friendly Grammarian gave me the idea to write about this script.
Me, Myself and I
Sigmund Freud is a very famous psychologist. According to his famous psychoanalytic theory of personality, there are three elements of personality–the id, the ego and the superego. They are the functions of the mind. Psychologically, these three personalities are very much alike three different persons with different identities. Id, is the unaccessible part of us. It is our instincts, everything that we inherit at birth. It is responsible for our basic drives and knows no judgements of value: no good and evil, no morality. It precedes Ego, and can be described only as a contrast to the ego.
Ego, on the other hand, is the part of id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world. The ego represents what may be called reason and common sense. It is realistic if compared to id. It acts based on conscious awareness. It comprises personality structure that includes defensive, perceptual, intellectual-cognitive and executive functions.
Freud thinks that super-ego aims for perfection. It can be thought of as a type of conscience that punishes our misbehaviour with feelings of guilt. The super-ego works in contradiction to the id. It strives to act in a socially appropriate manner, whereas the id just wants instant self-gratification. The super-ego controls our sense of right and wrong and guilt. It helps us to fit into society by getting us to act in socially acceptable ways.
Let me give you an example.
Here, is my favourite M&Ms that are supposed to melt in my mouth. My id, is pre-programmed to monitor my well being. I like to think that we are all born with the instinct to survive, to stay alive. So when our blood sugar level is low, we need a boost to get the sugar level back to the normal again. Or, when our mood is affected, we need to increase Serotonin in our brains to make us feel happy again. So my Id said to me, “Faith, look for M&Ms, in double quick time.” when I was feeling quite stressful last week.
However, right after my Id said so, my Ego reported, “M&Ms contains 210 calories for each servings. It’s nutrition grade is D, and it means ‘it’s bad food for your health’. The nutritional breakdowns of the M&Ms are Fat and Carbs. 90% of M&Ms is fat. Excessive fat in the body leads to weight gain.” Nonetheless, I think my Ego is always at the losing end whenever it collides head on with my Id. This is because it always sounds like a monotonous robot that spits out numbers and statistics that I normally would just brush aside. It is also because the nature instinct is so strong, the urge is indispensable, and the craving undeniable, that I “subconsciously”, without myself knowing, add a giant pack of M&Ms in my shopping basket when I was in the mall doing some marketing for my weekly supply.
Luckily, I have my Super-ego. When I “accidentally” found out that, ow, I have a giant pack of M&Ms, and before I could even open it up, my Super-ego dictates, “I, despise you for being such a weakling, to succumb to the temptation and to forget the magic number 1.62. The Golden Ratio in the perfect body. I think your waist-hip ratio is nearing 0. If you are going to take that M&Ms you are going to end up fat and ugly, and boyfriend-less.” My Super-ego always leaves me feeling so guilty that I almost have to drive straight to the Cathedral and look for Father Paul, “Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.”
Thus, even though it is said that chocolate is always a woman’s best friend, I have decided to give it a break. And of course, that is why you see my pack of M&Ms today. And you can have all of it. Er.. I’m quite sure that is definitely not my Id making the statement.