As the neurotic personality progresses, due to the continued failure to resolve one’s conflicts, an idealized image is formed. In addition, the neurotic individual externalizes their anxiety. Horney suggested that the real self contains an innate trend toward self-realization. However, in the neurotic individual, this energy is turned toward realizing the idealized image. The neurotic individual then embarks on a search for glory, which includes neurotic claims. The neurotic claims then lead to a powerful compulsion known as the tyranny of the should. As this dysfunctional state continues, neurotic pride leads to self-hate, the two phenomena being opposite sides of the pride system. This conflict between the real self and the pride system is the central inner conflict. Horney felt that psychoanalysis needed to be re-evaluated because in many cases it was ineffective. Her most radical suggestion involved the possibility of teaching people about self-analysis. Fromm believed that the freedom associated with modern societies had alienated us from the natural order. Consequently, freedom had become a psychological problem, resulting in alienation and anxiety. Individuals who feel anxious and alienated seek connection by any means, according Fromm, including submitting themselves to authoritarian regimes. Fromm encouraged practicing the art of love, or a deep concern for others, as a way to feel connected without surrendering one’s personal freedom. In his extensive study of a Mexican village, Fromm believed that psychodynamic principles could be used to study the social character of groups. He also felt that the evolution of groups, or societies, over time reflects a type of social selection. Both Horney and Fromm believed that Zen Buddhism and psychoanalysis shared common elements, and that each discipline could benefit from studying the other. They attempted to incorporate these ideas in ways that might enhance interpersonal relationships in our everyday lives. The Psychology of Women, the Stone Center Group, and Human Relations Although Karen Horney was the first female psychoanalyst to openly challenge Sigmund Freud’s theories regarding the psychology of women, she abandoned this line of work when she came to the conclusion that culture was a more significant issue than gender in determining the psychology of women. Of course, that decision is based on separating gender from culture, which is not something that everyone would agree with. In the 1970s, the Stone Center was established, as a group of pioneering women began the work that led to a theory on the personality development and psychology of women based on a combination of seeking and forming relationships within a cultural context. This work continues today, and the theory is being expanded to include the personality development of all people, women and men.
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- Fall '13