Social Question

GloPro's avatar

What defense mechanisms do you use?

Asked by GloPro (8306points) July 6th, 2014 from iPhone

Are you aware of your own defense mechanisms? Have you ever tried to control them?

If you aren’t aware of them, here is an easy list of defense mechanisms. Find yours, and share!

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23 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

My imaginary world is the biggest shield.

I can alter the reality a bit so that I feel better emotionally. But even the imaginary world can be affected by the reality. My world can sometimes reflect the reality. It’s an “alternative reality”, everything just goes in my way.

Escapism much eh?

Coloma's avatar

Regression would be at the top of my list. Being a student of personality theory, my particular type regresses under great stress, where I am right now. My extroverted and enthusiastic personality reverts to more introverted, I feel lethargic and unmotivated, sad, can’t muster my usual enthusiasm and cheerful outlook. I become convinced everything will stay terrible forever and can’t generate any enthusiasm which is a hallmark of my personality.

Being a future oriented type and very much an idea generator and options open personality the worst thing that can happen to me on a psycholgical level is to feel up against a wall, unable to generate creative solutions to my problems, or, all options are equally shitty. lol

My temperament style is known to be one of the most hardy in terms of coping with stress and challenges, very low levels of hypertension and heart disease in the ENTP makeup, but…..when we go down it is really cause for worry simply because we are very resilient and adaptable types.
I’m there now and it is amazing to compare my current state of mind to past times of being at the peak of my self actualization and operating from my best self.
It sucks to say the least.
Nothing worse for a freedom loving and creative visionary type to lose their vision, we’d rather be dead than feeling trapped and stagnant and out of options.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I prefer my own, it’s called a 12 gauge.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Regression and acting out at times.

anniereborn's avatar

I’m thinking all of them but “acting out” and “denial”, unless I am in denial about being in denial. HA
But in all seriousness, yes I am sure I use the rest.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

@Coloma I really and truly understand that “up against the wall” feeling! It is something I am going through AGAIN and the feeling of not being in control is painful. Pressed against a wall and at the mercy of fate! Awful feeling!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

Well, none of this has anything to do with me, but I’ll give it a shot. Personally, I think defense mechanisms are for the weak, the bedwetter type. I might pee my pants when a custom’s launch suddenly appears out of nowhere and fires one off my bow, but that doesn’t really count because that‘s a perfectly natural reaction, not neurotic or anything, is it?

And punching a hole in the wall is just chickenshit. If somebody pisses me off, I punch them, not some fucking wall. It’s easier on the knuckles and I don’t know the first thing about drywall, anyway, other than it’s a pain in the ass. Punch the wall. That’s just fucking stupid. But don’t get me wrong, I really am a pretty nice guy, not really violent or anything. Well, not violent unless some motherfucker deserves it.

But not women. Women are different. If you’ve ever broke one’s jaw, even if she deserved it, you’d never hear the end of it. They can smart off all they want and get away with it, man. They can say shit no man could get away with, no man would even have the balls to say to another man. And they just fuck with your head like that. Then they go off and laugh about it with their little pissy girlfriends. Big fucking joke.

Like my wife. She’s such a bitch. It’s weird. The bitchier she gets, the more I want to buy her things. Can’t figure that one out. Fuck it. She’s good in bed, is good to our kids—so what’s there to figure out? Overthinking some things will just fuck things up even more sometimes. Everything’s cool.

That’s what the cat is for. I just kick that fucker every time Linda pisses me off. Therapy. His name is Ziggy, as in Sigmund, as in Freud. Little bastard keeps me out of jail. And it’s cool how that fucker always lands on his feet. I read once that a cat’s joints are loosely connected or something so they can withstand incredible falls and impacts. Amazing animals. That’s why I like cats. Fucking survivors. So, it really doesn’t hurt Ziggy when I kick him. It’s like that is what he’s made for. It’s his job. Anyway, he always comes back for food and then I make it up to him. When things cool down we have our quality time and I pet him, feeding him kibble. What a dumbass. Ziggy’s my bitch, ha ha.

Nah. None of this defense shit has anything to do with me. I’m as normal as everybody else I know. We all have our quirks, sure. Hell, look at the TV, the reality shows. Those people are batshit crazy next to me, Linda, and our friends. Hey, we have nice cars and live in neighborhoods with clean lawns. Not like some of those crazy assholes. I make good money. My kid is the star pitcher on his Little League team and my little girl brings home straight A’s. Linda’s got an ass on her you can bounce quarters off of. What do I need defense mechanisms for? Nobody can touch me. I got it all.

Coloma's avatar

@ZEPHYRA Yes, it is. The worst and made even more difficult when you have a measuring stick from the past, knowing what it feels like to be so completely in congruence with your true self.

Coloma's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus What!!!! I’m hoping your diatribe is tongue in cheek and not foot in cats ass. This has to be humor, please say it’s so. :-/

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@Coloma I think I covered all the defense mechanisms rather well, no? And in the order in which they were listed.

Yes, it’s satire. But I suspect there are a lot of people out there like that. A few minutes in Sodahead taught me that.

Coloma's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Haha..whew…for a minute there I was thinking ” OMG!” lol
Yes, fine satire, and yep, spot on, you just described a lot of guys out there. A lot of up de-nile without a paddle. haha

Paradox25's avatar

I’ve outgrown several of them. The only one I think I tend to use is #13, sublimation. Sometimes I think this is a good thing, but at other times I’d have to ask myself what the drawing line is concerning what’s the undesirable or not. I’m not the biggest fan of a vanilla-type existence either.

Coloma's avatar

I also use sublimation, especially humor, although I am humorous by nature period.
I’m also assertive, sooo, looks like one primitive and 2 mature defense mechanisms, not too bad, could be worse. haha

Dan_Lyons's avatar

I use humor and logic. If those fail I am pretty fast.

longgone's avatar

Projection, repression, rationalization, un-doing, compensation. I consider some of those very helpful, and am perfectly fine with using them. Projection doesn’t seem healthy, but the others…

@Espiritus_Corvus Nicely done. Did you get all of them?

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

@longgone Got them all in the order they were listed. The most difficult was Reaction Formation which is the only one I think I’ve never employed. Never even thought of it. That’s the one where the guy buys his wife more stuff the bitchier she gets. For her it becomes rewarded behaviour and she has every reason to just ramp it up because his offerings get better the worse she behaves. He is given even more motivation to physically hurt her, but those thoughts become increasingly morbid, way too dangerous, so he does just the opposite and compensates accordingly in a socially acceptable manner. When she finally pushes that one button he thinks he’s hidden away securely from everyone, she’ll either get a Ferrari or a cruel death. It depends on whether or not he rolls with the punch or decides life isn’t worth the bullshit anymore after she pushes it. What a horrible cycle, huh?

Except for Reaction Formation, I think I use them all now and then. Defense mechanisms slow things down in order to give one time to absorb them. Like denial. When you get hit with a wall of shit all at once, denial helps you to take it in parcels, in digestible pieces until you’re able to take it all in, comprehend it, work it out.

Defense mechanisms are extremely important, I think, and we take them on for very good reasons. Sublimation has gotten me through many work-related meetings with real assholes without losing my job. Compartmentalization has enabled me to save a person’s life while breaking the law. Sometimes you just have to say fuck it and just go for it. And then never tell anyone, not even your spouse. It was then, just that one moment you tell yourself, that special circumstance. You compartmentalize and move on to the next thing.

I think these things become a problem when you use them to non-confront problems completely, rather than facilitating confrontation and survival. I really never paid much attention to textbook psych, though. It always creeped me out. And then seeing how hamfisted these theories were used in practice by absolute dolts with medical degrees just turned me off completely.

I’m probably batshit crazy and don’t know it. But if this is what batshit is like, then it’s just fine with me.

GloPro's avatar

I try to sublimate as much as possible, which I think I intertwine with denial and compensation. I get busy in healthy ways and stay that way in an attempt to divert my attention. When people ask I just pretend to be really into whatever activity I’ve chosen, and whatever is bothering me hasn’t crossed my mind (Don’t be silly, I haven’t thought of Gregory in forever. I just love going to the gym twice a day because it makes me feel good and I love being in amazing shape for myself. I could care less if he said I’m looking better than ever and he never should have been such a dick. Pardon me, I really need to be off to the gym before I drink this whole fifth. Feel free to bounce quarters off of my ass as I go.)

Unfortunately I have had issues with acting out, but I think that has to do with having ADHD and a problem with impulse control.

I compartmentalize like a champ. One area of my life can have absolutely nothing to do with the other.

There are very few I don’t think I do from that list. Even those I’m sure my friends would come up with examples of.

longgone's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Well done! I’d like to give you multiple GAs!!

cookieman's avatar

2, 3, 5, 9, 10, and 13.

ucme's avatar

The arse end of a pool cue, mostly.

talljasperman's avatar

I’m in all 5 stages of grief all at once. + Dissociation and Regression and Assertiveness.

linguaphile's avatar

Denial, Disassociation, Intellectualization—I live with complex PTSD… had to disassociate to survive but use this mechanism less these days.

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