Karen Horney, M.D.
Neurosis and Human Growth: The struggle
toward self realization. (1950)
Overview | morality | neurotic claims | origins of self-estrangement | tyranny of | therapy.
"the neurotic tries to actualize his ideal self with
regard to the outside world"
Horney's views of realization and of alienation.
" Forget about the disgraceful creature you actually
are; this is how you should be; and to be this idealized self is
all that matters."
"Since they are inexorable, I call them
'the tyranny of the should'."
"The inner dictates, exactly like political tyranny
in a police state, operate with a supreme disregard for the person's
own psychic condition--for what he can feel or do as he is at present."
"...the neurotic does not gain what he most desperately
needs: self-confidence and self-respect."
"Apparently for self confidence to grow, the child
needs help from the outside. He needs warmth , feeling welcome, care,
protection, an atmosphere of confidence, encouragement in his activities,
Instead, a combination of injurious influences prevents
a child's healthy growth.
Moreover the neurotic development, initiated by the early
unfavorable constellation, weakens him at the core of his being. He becomes
alienated from himself and divided."
the inherent quest for self esteem dictates either
a false or genuine sense of self worth, but neurotic pride is manifest
concerning imagined or wished for merits, or meritorious character
traits. The delusion comes early and is compounded by an inability
to distinguish real and imaginary. Social acceptance --as opposed
to sanctions-- of the prevailing ideals allow for a person with a
lack of self esteem to reinforce the self alienation and compensate
for the divided self by fabricating a delightful delusion to be perfect
and thus the alienation is compensated for by the development of a
fake sense of self worth, which Horney diagnoses as "neurotic
"...the strict cause and effect relation between
existing personal assets and the feeling of self confidence."
Even just "a quiet feeling of dignity"
"inner conflict within the Pride system"
"Among the three major solutions of the inner conflict within the pride system the self-effacing seems to be the least satisfactory one."
Greater subjective feelings of unhappiness
Faced with this situation personalities cannot but be divided
"Erotic love is the only thing that gives positive content to his life."
Oral-erotic stage, often called "parasitic love."
For the dependent minded personality "The appeal is as much in loving as in being loved."
"the longing for surrender and the longing for unity"
"but instead is spellbound by certain types"
Yet these are "but attributes for the lack of which he despises himself"
Overview | morality | neurotic claims | origins of self-estrangement | tyranny of | therapy | contents
Writing | writing from texts | how to approach writing | writing papers | writing & world views
Index | Site
Analysis | Population Index | Global
Warming Index | Nature Index | Brief