Eidetic Personifications

Not all interpersonal relations are with real people; some are eidetic personifications: that is, unrealistic traits or imaginary friends that many children invent hi order to protect then self-esteem. Sullivan (1964) believed that these imaginary friends may be as significant to a child's development as real playmates.

Eidetic personifications, however, are not limited to children; most adults see fictitious traits hi other people. Eidetic personifications can create conflict hi interpersonal relations when people project onto others imaginary traits that are remnants from previous relationships. They also hinder communication and prevent people from functioning on the same level of cognition.

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