Defense mechanisms are manners in which we behave or think in certain ways to better protect or defend ourselves. Defense mechanisms are one way of looking at how people distance themselves from a full awareness of unpleasant thoughts, feelings and behaviors (Grohol, 2007).
In my opinion, I think that defense mechanisms are basically natural instinct; you do whatever it takes to survive. Otherwise, they are learned from family, friends, media, and or teachers.
Some defense mechanisms that I use and get in the way are rationalization, acting out, and projection.
Rationalization is putting something into a different light or offering a different explanation for one’s perceptions or behaviors in the face of a changing reality (Grohol, 2007). For example, I used to rationalize not leaving my ex because of the kids. When in reality staying with him was even worse for them. Through my experiences, I will never rationalize someone else’s or my own bad behavior to make it okay.
Acting Out is performing an extreme behavior in order to express thoughts or feelings the person feels incapable of otherwise expressing (Grohol, 2007). I just realized that I have been using this defense mechanism lately. It is very hard for me to talk about what happened to me face to face. I just recently got into a relationship. I have been friends with this person a long time and he was even there for me through all the funerals and calling hours. I think that even though my daughter’s and step daughter’s death was almost two years ago, I am just coming out of shock and I just can’t seem to express my mixed emotions of devastation, anger, regret, and guilt. So I’ve been picking fights and becoming upset about the smallest things with my significant other, like not putting the dishes away or something. I’ve even thrown some temper tantrums just like a little kid! It does feel good for a moment to cry and be able to yell, but then I feel...
References: Grohol, J. (2007). 15 Common Defense Mechanisms. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2013, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/2007/15-common-defense-mechanisms/
Please join StudyMode to read the full document