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5 Reasons for Using Defense Mechanisms


Defensive mechanisms are cognitive and affective processes. It shields one’s ego by falsifying the reality of your emotions, ideas, or actions. A person can avoid experiencing fear or distress thanks to these unconscious processes.

Defense mechanisms can be either overt or covert. Overt defense mechanisms include things like denial, repression, and project. While covert defense mechanisms include reaction formation and displacement.These mechanisms can prevent you from addressing ingrained issues that need conscious effort and a healthy lifestyle when employed regularly and over time.

These defense systems are inadvertent and unconsciously employed. They are frequently formed during childhood. Children often develop these defense mechanisms to protect themselves from conflict, stress, and trauma.

Connection of Defense Mechanism and Violence

There is a complicated relationship between violent behavior and defense mechanism.People have been taught that using non-violent measures to resolve disputes is the best course of action. However, some defense mechanisms might be sensitive to hostile emotions, while others avoid dealing with unpleasant sentiments.

The propensity for violence can be triggered by a need for vengeance against those who have wronged us. The youth may believe that since some of them received poor treatment from their parents. Not addressing this type of thinking immediately  might result in a life of abuse and criminality.

Having to experience this can cause distress in one’s overall wellness and health . A criminal defense attorney helps clients through difficult times in their lives. The best way to get through this tough time is by having someone on your side who knows what they’re doing. 

They can help guide you through the process. And at the same time, they will protect you physically and emotionally.

How to Use Defense Mechanisms

Defense mechanisms are unconscious psychological strategies to protect the ego. There are many types of defense mechanisms but the most common are: 

  1. Denial 

Denial is ignoring facts that don’t fit your sense of who you are or what’s happening in your life. It is pretending something isn’t true because it makes you uncomfortable or seems impossible to accept. There are two types of denial: passive, and active systems.

Passive denial systems allow an individual to avoid the truth without acknowledging it. Active denial manifests as a blatant refusal to acknowledge that something has occurred or is true. It cannot be avoided when someone chooses not to recognize something while being somewhat aware of it.

  1. Intellectualization 

Intellectualization is about making decisions based on logic rather than emotions. It is thinking about something in abstract terms instead of focusing on how it makes you feel.

It’s common to think of intellectualization as a technique to suppress unpleasant emotions and feelings. For instance, those grieving or upset at the loss of a loved one may attempt to rationalize their feelings. They will reflect on how their loved ones lived their entire life and passed away quietly. By doing this, individuals can avoid confronting their emotions directly.

  1. Repression 

Repression is a way of suppressing one’s thoughts, feelings, or memories from conscious awareness. It helps a person forget  traumatic experiences so they don’t have to deal with them.

A protective mechanism as repression shields the conscious mind from information that could be too upsetting to process. Those who are ignorant of the data being repressed are unable to disclose it consciously. Hence repression is seen to be an unconscious process.

  1. Projection

It is when you attribute your faults or feelings to someone else. For example, if you’re angry at someone for being late, but you’re also often late. You might project your behavior onto them and accuse them of being lazy or unreliable.

Projection can be used when someone has an impulse to act in a harmful way to themselves or others. It includes a person who feels angry but cannot express it outwardly. In this case,they project their anger onto others and become the source of their discomfort.

  1. Rationalization 

People can rationalize their actions or beliefs as a form of self-defense to behave. It is usually used as a coping mechanism to handle better about something you want to do but know is wrong or dubious.

It is when you explain away your actions by coming up with logical reasons why they were okay or even good. For example, your friend tells you they think your boyfriend is cheating on you. Instead of confronting your boyfriend, you tell yourself that your friend is jealous.

  1. Fantasy

A defense mechanism involves creating imaginary scenarios that distract from unpleasant realities. Fantasizing provides pleasure and relief from boredom, loneliness, fear, and other negative feelings. People may experience these scenarios as accurate for a brief period discovering them to be fantasies

A fantasy is a situation in which someone imagines themselves to be more potent than they really are. They might visualize themselves triumphing over rivals, winning competitions, or achieving impossible feats. They can feel more positive about themselves as a result.

Why Should You Use Defense Mechanisms?

  1. To Handle Emotions

If you don’t want to be hurt, it’s essential to have at least one defense mechanism up your sleeve. They’re a way to cope with your emotions and thoughts. The following are the reasons why you should use defense mechanisms.To alter and guard your emotions. Protect yourself from the pain of an unacceptable emotion such as anger, envy, or jealousy. For example, you feel jealous of another person’s success. You might rationalize their success by saying, “they have had advantages that I haven’t” or “they worked harder than me.” This allows you to avoid feeling jealous.

  1. To protect your self-esteem from being damaged:

For instance, someone didn’t say you made a mistake. Instead, they criticize you for it. You can persuade yourself that the critique was unfair because they didn’t comprehend the requirements for performing your job effectively. Thus, they need to know how challenging it is to perform well in that circumstance.

  1. To avoid responsibility for your actions:

It is done by blaming someone else instead, either directly or indirectly. It is through projection onto other people who remind us of those who have hurt us in some way.

  1. To deal with unacceptable impulses

When you have unacceptable impulses, it is important to deal with them healthily. Unacceptable impulses are not only dangerous. It can also lead to severe psychological problems. Defense mechanisms are ways of reducing the anxiety associated with unacceptable impulses.

  1. To repress painful memories

People often use defense mechanisms to help them cope with painful memories. For example, you have a memory of being bullied as a child and it upsets you. You might use denial to pretend that it never happened.

Final Thought

To summarize, defense mechanism systems are a necessary aspect of existence. They help you cope with life’s distressing events and allow you to function normally. When they become excessive, this can lead to a problem. It protects you from pain and stress. But it can also cause you to rationalize your behavior and make bad decisions.

It’s important to recognize when you’re using a defense mechanism. You get stuck in a pattern of reacting, in the same way, every time you experience something upsetting. Now that you understand their role in your life, you can become more mindful of your emotions. Hopefully, you can reduce their impact on your behavior.

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