10 Common Defenses You May be Using

Today’s blog 10 common defenses you may be using. Its our human instinct to protect overselves the painful realities that we may face and sometimes it may be even difficult for us to accept. Many of us use defenses too when we’re hiding from our true selves or try to prevent others from getting to close to us. Mostly we use defense when we don’t want to face our own feelings or the real motivations behind our behavior.

Defenses may seem helpful because it helps us avoid pain, but in an unhealthy way. If we rely heavily on our defenses we can distort our reality so much that it may become harmful.

Before I get started on the list of 10 common defenses I would like to start by defining what defense mechanisms are.

what are defense mechanisms

Defense mechanisms in a psychological sense, refers to habitual ways of dealing with our negative emotions, such as fear, and frustration etc. Defense mechanisms primary function is to make our life challenges more manageable. So, it distorts, manipulates or even complete denial of the reality of a situation to reduce the anxiety producing event.

Defense mechanisms was first introduced by Sigmund Freud the father of Psychoanalysis as part of the subconscious which is basically unknown to us and in order to make changes it needs a certain level of self-awareness.

Defense mechanisms defined by Sigmund Freud Psychoanalyst:

  1. Denial
  2. Repression
  3. Projection
  4. Displacement
  5. Regression
  6. Rationalization
  7. Sublimination
  8. Reaction Formation
  9. Compartmentalization
  10. Intellectualization

It is key to become more aware of our personal tendencies so we don’t let our defense mechanisms overtake our progress in life. Everyone uses some form of defenses that we may not even be aware of or perhaps we might notice them in others. Take a look at the list and ask yourself if any of these apply to your behavior.

10 defense commonly used

  1. Acting Innocent – Acting naive or sweet to avoid confrontation
  2. Acting Helpless or Dumb – Asking questions or appearing innocent to avoid responsibility
  3. Withdrawing – Avoiding confrontations by remaining quiet and avoiding others.
  4. Manipulating – Playing upon others to your own advantage.
  5. Projecting – Accusing someone else of the thoughts and behaviors you want to hide
  6. Sarcasm – Making bitter remarks to hide your true feelings
  7. Intimidating others – Threatening or screaming at others to scare them away.
  8. Glaring – Giving dirty looks or staring intently in order to intimidate others
  9. Denying – Refusing to acknowledge or believe an obvious truth.
  10. Rationalizing – Explaining feelings or behaviors in a way that makes them seem reasonable.

Every person has their own unique set of defense mechanism examples. However, most of them are common and easy to spot.

Like this post? Please feel free to comment below I would Love to hear your thoughts on common defenses you may be using.


Published by Coach Amy

BS, Psychology graduate, Certified NLP Master Practitioner, Certified Life Coach, training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) Certified Confidence Life Coach,

2 thoughts on “10 Common Defenses You May be Using

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