What is Intimacy vs. Isolation According to Erikson?

Psychological development has been an essential topic to study among the psychologists. This science studies the behavioral development of the people throughout various stages of life. This is important to understand the true way of understanding how people actually behave throughout different situations.

One of the topics is Intimacy vs Isolation, the dilemma which the young adults face during their 19 to 40 years of age. These are the prime times of the people and they have to face many emotional developmental barriers throughout their daily routine. The conflict centers open into the lives of the individuals forcing them to make certain decisions as far as loving relationships, developing intimacy with the people.

intimacy vs isolation according to erikson

What is intimacy vs isolation?

On one hand, it is the ideology of intimacy issues with the people and establishing a strong committed relationship with the people. On the other hand, it comes to the failure which brings out the emotions of loneliness in the people and how can one get away with isolation? The overview of the concept revolves around the world of intimacy versus isolation.

The psychological development theory as formulated by Erikson is centered around the emotional and social development of a person at different points in his life. The intimacy versus the isolation stage is the sixth step in the individual’s developmental cycle.

The same goes for building deep connections and lasting relationships with people. The people who pas this stage, can develop a very unique set of skills that remain there for a longer duration in their lives. The other ones who might not be able to cope up with these problems face issues throughout their lives.

What happens when you don’t pass this stage?

Those people who pass this stage well in their lives, as discussed above, happen to develop strong relationships and bonds with the people around them. They develop an intricate set of skills that help them cope up with the misunderstandings during relationships.

On the other hand, those people who could not do the same, face failures like loneliness and isolation. The adult who face failure in this, have to struggle a lot just to establish a good romantic relationship.

They are unable to have a deep intimate relationship with their partner and the people have been fighting to win this over a lot.

This can be even more difficult as the people see other people around them develop good relationships and how easy the entire thing is with them.

These people often feel a lot very lonely and isolated. This might be a hard struggle for the people.

How to deal with isolation due to intimacy issues?

This problem is very big and should not be overlooked. A person who feels that he or she is not able to cope up with this situation, the person can feel free to talk and open up about their feelings. The person could also look for professional help just to be in good care.

Sharing is one of the most important steps for dealing with this problem. The person should accept the problem and help himself share it with other people. This is an important part of intimacy vs the isolation stage. There are several other tasks which you can take up for coming out of this problem.

The sharing helps in maintaining the self-identity of the individual. The person can always seek professional help if the situation occurs. The other step is bringing out the true potential as far as the closeness and the emotional intimacy is concerned. The intimacy can also be gained from friends and acquaintances rather than just the love partners.

The next step is making commitments and following them. When a person tries to force himself and tries very hard to stick up to the commitments, it is when the people start growing through this stage. The relationship will finally become a long term one. Caring for the people around you absolutely gain you some perspective about what actually happens with the others’ lives.


In all, the most important thing is to know what actually you are dealing with. The only way you can solve the problem of intimacy is when you realize the exact problem. The sooner you realize it, the sooner you will be able to accept it, and the sooner you will work on solving it.

Intimacy versus Isolation is the sixth stage in the emotional development cycle of a person. The people who are able to come over this menace are able to establish a strong intimate relationship with their partners but if they are not, they become lonely and they face the dark powers of isolation. In that case, they are suggested to seek necessary professional help.

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