What Is A Freudian Slip? Does It Really Reveal Our Dark Secrets?

Last Update on November 17, 2021 : Published on November 17, 2021
Freudian Slip

The most common example of a Freudian slip is when your boyfriend/girlfriend accidentally calls you by their ex’s name. Happened to you? Well, you might have been a little too harsh with your partner for something that’s not technically their fault (sometimes).

Freudian Slip sometimes makes you say things that even you wouldn’t realise while saying. Do you know how the term, “freudian slip” came into being?

Sigmund Freud, while talking to a person, realised that he would often miss or drop saying one particular word while reciting a Latin phrase. He then observed that the word translated to blood and the young lad feared blood.

This is the reason he would unconsciously often skip using that particular word. Freud later started working on this unintentional mistake and finally declared it to be a Freudian slip.

Interesting? Want to know more about it? Read on….

What Is Freudian Slip?

What is Freudian slip

A Freudian slip can be referred to as a mistake of the tongue (verbal) and memory caused by the interference of the thought and emotions stirred in the unconscious mind. A Freudian slip is also known as Parapraxis.

It is believed the Freudian slips unconsciously make us reveal our hidden thoughts and emotions. Sometimes we want to eat something which you don’t have at home and you end up calling your salad by that something’s name.

Now you understand what a Freudian slip looks like? I am sure you must have a lot of Freudian slips. I have quite a few embarrassing Fruedian slips in my life.

Also read: What Dreams Tell About Our Mental Health?

Origin of Freudian Slips

Sigmund Freud, a psychoanalytic theorist, coined and discovered the Freudian slip. He has mentioned many Freudian slip examples in one of his books named ‘The Psychopathology of Everyday Life’.

Frued found out about the speech blunder during a conversation with a young man who was an active Freudian slipper. Freud believed that these slips happen when you are heavily influenced by the disturbing thoughts and emotion stored in the unconscious.

Sigmond frued claimed that these slips reveal what is hidden in the unconscious mind. It can be helpful for us to understand what’s actually making us feel the way we are feeling.

Also read: How To Activate Your Subconscious Mind to Get What You Want

Types of Freudian Slips And Their links To Our Thoughts And Emotions?

types of Freudian slips

1. Forgetfulness ( because of repressed thoughts or desire)

This type of freudian slip is like when you repeatedly forget something. Something like  forgetting someone’s name, or what some daily use thing is called, addresses, etc.

This can be because of repression. Repression is when your brain pushes some of the painful memories deep down into your unconscious mind. Our mind does this to protect us from the painful memories.

Since your mind is aware of those hidden memories in the unconscious, whenever you encounter a similar situation you face a strong interference by the repressed memories resulting in a Freudian slip.

For example you were not treated well by a teacher named Samuel. You might always forget someone else’s name or assess if it has the word Samuel in it. So whenever you can’t remember someone’s name in spite of them repeatedly telling it to you, there can be a hidden memory associated with it.

Another kind of freudian slip via forgetfulness can be controlled by your desire to not do something. It mostly happens when you don’t feel like doing something. It can be like forgetting to buy some medicines which are slightly painful or forgetting the grocery list, etc.

2. Speech blunders (spoken distortions)

This type of Freudian slips are the ones most people are aware of. In layman’s language they are also known as slip of the tongue. Spoke distortions are when you say something that you actually didn’t mean to say.

This unusually happens when your conscious and unconscious mind meet up at a bargain. These can be related to something that’s running through your mind or your mind has recollected some related memory.

Other reasons for a freudian slip

Other reasons for a freudian slip

Freudian slip doesn’t always have an underlying meaning associated with it. It sometimes just happens because of random reasons like

1. Suggestion

Our brain never leaves a chance to remind us of something that we really want to forget. Sometimes you say something that you want to forget but your brain pops it up in your awareness time and again, this is because of the power of suggestion.

2. Distraction

Remember when you wrote the lyrics of the song you were listening to while completing a project? That’s a Freudian slip caused because of distraction. Sometimes you say something completely different from what you want to and that’s because your attention is distracted.

3. Accident

We know a million words and it’s natural for us to mix up a few similar sounding or looking words. Therefore this kind of freudian slip happens accidentally. For example, instead of saying “we missed you”, you accidentally say “we kissed you”.

That’s all about Freudian slip and what it says about our thoughts and emotions. I hope you enjoyed reading this article. If you are interested in reading more such interesting topics, checkout other articles on our blog.

Thanks for reading

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati
Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur. She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively. Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’ Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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