no see, no hear, no talk
for escape!

PREVIOUS: Defense Mechanisms (#1)

SITE: “Types & Uses of Defense Mechanisms


ALL DEFENSES are used to avoid some form of anxiety
Acting out – coping with stress by taking actions, instead of actually feeling one’s emotions about the situation
Affiliation – compulsively turning to others for support, instead of being in charge of their life

Aim Inhibition – settling for a modified version of their original goal (as in “Those who can’t – teach”)
Altruism – gaining satisfaction by self-sacrificing service to others, or participating in beneficial social causes

Asceticism – the moral renunciation of certain pEnneagramleasures, to avoid the internal conflict associated with impulse-gratification
Avoidance – refusing to deal with or face an unpleasant person, object or situation

Compensation trying to make up for what one sees as personal deficiencies
Conversion – a repressed mental conflict turned into a physical symptom

Denial – unconscious need to refuse acknowledging important parts of oneself, of ones own experiences or of external reality, even though these things may actually be known or perceived
Displacement – shifting emotions or mental conflicts about one person or situation onto another. It’s ‘dumping onto’ one person what one feels towards someone else (kicking the dog instead of the boss)

Fantasy – a retreat into a dream world, mental drifting back to ‘better times’ or to an ideal place…. when concrete, adult action is needed OR when the current situation is experienced as completely hopeless
Idealization – making up a fantasy image of PPT (people, places, things), rather than seeming them realistically,
to deny aggressive or competitive feelings towards someone they love or are afraid of  (Enneagram defenses ↗️ )

Identification: model oneself on another’s persona, in place of developing a ‘Self’ of their own
Intellectualization – warding off unacceptable emotions & desires by only thinking about PPT rather than experiencing them directly

– imprint onto oneself another’s whole personality, (psychologically absorbing another person into the developing Self) to avoid directly expressing powerful emotions such as love, rage, hate, envy….
Isolation (not isolating) – cutting off from memory painful emotions caused by a distressing situation or trauma, so no longer trigger anxiety

– attributing to others ones own unacceptable but unconscious thoughts & emotions. Disowning unwanted parts of oneself by only seeing them in others, & then hating that person or quality
Rationalization – use convincing ‘logical’ reasons to justify an idea, emotion or action, to avoid recognizing the real but unacceptable underlying motive for ones bad behavior (like getting defensive)

Reaction formation – compulsively saying & doing the extreme opposite of what one really wants, but is afraid of (violently preaching against lust, while not admitting to being filled with sexual longing)  (CHART)
Regression – unconsciously retreating to the actions, feelings & beliefs of an earlier developmental phase when feeling threatened (tantrums)
Repression – keeping unwanted thoughts & emotions out of awareness, which can include forgetting actual painful or traumatic events, or those associated with painful emotionsprojective identification

Reversal – turning a feeling, attitude or behavior into its opposite
EXP: when masochism is replaced by sadism, love into hate….
Simple denial: unpleasant things are treated as if they don’t exist

Splitting – characteristic of borderlines, it’s the inability to hold in ones conscious mind both positive & negative qualities of the Self or others in a realistic whole (like loving & hating the same person or thing)
Somatization – when intolerable impulses or conflicts are converted into physical symptoms (suppresses rage into an auto-immune disease)

Sublimation – redirect id impulses (a socially objectionable desire or goal) into socially acceptable activities, while still retaining the original goal of the impulse. It’s considered the most “mature” defense. (Play football instead of fighting, make art instead of adultery)
Suppression – painful emotions & events are consciously ‘stuffed’ down.
Undoing – involves symbolically nullifying or voiding an unacceptable or guilt-provoking act, thought, or feeling

NEXT: Enneagram Strengths #1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.