Oral-Passive Personality

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Oral-Passive Personality

By | October 2012
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According to Freud, there are five psychosexual stages, including oral stage, anal stage, phallic stage, latency stage and genital stage. (Zimbardo, Johnson, McCann, 2008, p.446) Once people were born, they immediately entered the oral stage and it lasted nearly two years. In this stage, baby’s main pleasure originated from his or her mouth. They obtain such pleasure through sucking, swallowing and biting. If a child experienced problems in those stages, the situation of fixation would occur and stay long when he or she grew up as an adult. (Schultz, 2008, p.62) For example, chewing, smoking, nail-biting are the later fixated behaviors that appeared at adulthood. (Zimbardo, Johnson, McCann, 2008, p.448)

In a certain period of time, the baby has to abandon the initial source of satisfaction if he or she started to wean (Honig, Fitzgerald, Herb, 2001, p.262). That could cause a profound effect on the child’s personality in the future. Shergill (2010) stated, “If you, in the first eight months of your life, are often frustrated in your need to suckle, perhaps because mother is uncomfortable or even rough with you, or tries to wean you too early, then you may develop an oral-passive character. They often retain an interest in “oral gratifications”. (p.429) In other words, people who are too early to be weaned would be desperately in need with oral satisfaction in their adulthood. Consequently, the experience of gratification a child gains in infancy would lead to specific personality in adulthood. If the baby weaned either too early or too late, he or she will develop personalities like passiveness, dependence and gullibility.

In my case, my mother weaned me so early because she had serious fever the time when she was feeding me. Therefore, I started to have formula. Owing to the lack of oral gratifications in infancy, I also built up other fixated behaviors like sucking upon pacifier until primary school and biting straws when I was drinking.

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