Learn more about the Freudian Slips Meaning
Freudian slips – also known as parapraxis – are fascinating events that reveal the presence of the unconscious in our daily lives in the psychoanalytic view. They happen in the form of speech errors, which in fact are involuntary manifestations that escaped from the barriers of the Ego – the conscious part of the mind – and end up emerging in uncontrollable manners.
Examples of Freudian slips
- forget someone’s name.
- call our partner someone else’s name.
- exchange or swap words during a conversation.
These speech mistakes seem to be very silly, however, in psychoanalysis, a significant importance is given to aforementioned occurrences since they are paths, windows to the unconscious world.
Table of Contents
Why do Freudian slips occur?
Our mind works by external stimuli, thus something external, caused this minor flawed verbal communication to occur that fled the control of the defense of the mind, and somehow seek to be expressed, seek a form of expression.
Hence, there was a need for such conversation gaffes to be involuntary verbalised for the reason of being unresolved emotional contents, repressed desires and thoughts not yet processed.
A Freudian slip is not accidental, in actual fact, it shows what the speaker is really thinking on an unconscious level.
How can the Freudian slips be interpreted?
The basis of psychoanalysis treatment is free association, transference and interpretation.
Interpretating a slip of the tongue requires a background history of the individual either by going through analysis, or simply knowing the person for a long time, which will provide clues of the real repressed contents by the unconscious.
What is the importance of the Freudian slips?
Understanding the occurrence of the slip of the tongue is a great opportunity to learn about ourselves, to acquire self-knowledge as they offer us a unique chance to access levels a lot deeper extent of our psyche, and to explore our desires, fears, insecurities and even our internal conflicts.
Analysing these slips in therapy can unravel the unconscious aspects of our existence and promote a greater understanding about ourselves. Parapraxis holds very valuable information leading us to a journey of self-knowledge and personal growth.
Learning more about our Freudian slips go beyond a simple correction of mistakes made, it is an invitation to a self-reflection, and unravel situations and mysteries of our own human nature through this internal exploration.
What is the function of the ego?
The ego is responsible for what comes into the consciousness working as a mediator between the impulses of the ID and the imposed conditions of the superego.
The ego also plays the role of a filter, selecting and organising contents that arrive in the consciousness. Furthermore, it controls the ID impulses checking whether or not these materials can take place according to the principles, values and conditions placed by the superego.
Due to the complexity and the variety of information that must be processed by the ego. It is possible that the ego is overloaded, dispersed or even overwhelmed by unconscious forces.
Thus, the content that should have been projected in a certain situation is replaced by another one making us think that there is a correlation between them, but there was an interference caused by internal conflicts, repressed emotions, unconscious desires that look for a way out.
The Freudian slips in the cinema
There are a few examples of the Freudian slips in the cinema where it shows how the unconscious manifests itself in art, movies, television and culture, revealing desires, conflicts or concealed truths.
Some films that explore it are:
- Psycho (1960) by Alfred Hitchcock
- The Sixth Sense (1999) with Bruce Willis
- Fight Club (1999) with Brad Pitt
- Inception (2010) with Leonardo DiCaprio
- Black Swan (2010) with Natalie Portman
What is the most famous Freudian slip?
It is hard to pinpoint the most famous Freudian slip as there are many examples frequently mentioned especially among politicians, celebrates and renowned people such as the ones below:
- Former US president, George W. Bush, accidentally condemned invasion of Iraq when he was referring to invasion of Ukraine.
- Angela Merkel confused Germany with the EU during a press conference when she said “It’s important for us to proceed with the German-Indian — or rather, the EU-Indian — free trade agreement.”
- Boris Johnson accidentally thanked Vladimir Putin for ‘inspirational leadership’ when he meant Zelenskyy.
- Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state of the United States, referred to George Bush as her husband.
Are Freudian slips real?
To answer if Freudian slips are real, it is important to understand that the founder of psychoanalysis, studied and categorised them into different types, such as slips of the tongue, memory lapses, reading or writing errors, forgetting or losing objects, etc. He believed that these slips could be interpreted to reveal what is hidden in the unconscious.
Therefore, in psychoanalysis, the Freudian slips are real and reveal what is in people’s unconscious. They are not accidents or meaningless mistakes, but manifestations of repressed desires, conflicts or emotions.