Make sure you know these 6 defense mechanisms that are doing you disfavor.
1. Denial is described as a person’s inability to accept the truth. People frequently turn to this defense mechanism in moments of failure, heavy loss, and addiction. They refuse to believe that someone they care about is gone, or insist that an ex will eventually return to them. If a person is struggling with alcoholism, they may deny that their drinking habits are negatively impacting their job or social life.
2. Regression is one defense mechanisms that occur when a person is feeling anxious or uncomfortable, unconsciously choosing to revert back to a previous state of development. Many people equivocate childhood as a time of security, so they start to exhibit old behaviors, such as clinginess and refusing to adhere to their responsibilities. Adopting past mental states inhibits future progress and maturation.
3. Displacement occurs when a person redirects thoughts or impulses for one person or object, and instead chooses to take out their frustration on another individual or object. For example, if an employee is frustrated with his boss, he knows he cannot yell at him or he will be fired. Instead, he comes home and yells at his family, propelling his anger onto them, even though his family has done nothing wrong.
4. Repression occurs when a person unknowingly blocks off negative thoughts and unacceptable impulses. The human mind is not perfect: our memories can be altered and fabricated to prevent discomfort. Repression is often utilized in times of death or assault. No one is expected to accept trauma immediately, however we eventually need to face previous conflict to learn how to properly cope with our suffering.
5. Lashing out is a defense mechanism commonly observed in adolescents. When an individual feels ignored or mistreated, instead of vocalizing their discomfort, they engage in reckless behavior. This can include physical violence, talking back, adopting unhealthy habits, and using insults as a form of defense.
6. Rationalization is one of defense mechanisms that occur when a person tries to justify their actions, placing the blame off of themselves. For instance, if a student performs poorly on a test, they will insist it was because the professor did not teach the course material properly. By refusing to accept blame for our actions, we fail to recognize the areas we need to improve on, preventing future growth.