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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

My Top 5 Defense Mechanisms

Maybe it's a bit more complicated than that...

The all-knowing’s on temporary leave. Meanwhile, I have been thinking about the defenses I employ in my life, because being home usually means arguing with my parents… a lot. There goes my Zen.

And even though it seems like I’m not really in control of those defenses most of the time, I do understand why they have occurred and how they have helped me so far. And why they will keep occurring unless I do something about it. Then again… how do you change something as intrinsic as this?

Anyway, here are the five ways I defend myself against the big bad world:

5. Rationalization: If something is logical, it must be true… right? Wrong. In feelings and life, there is little logic, even though we try to make sense of everything around us all the time. In fact, trying to take control of our lives often backfires because life’s about balance. You can’t control everything. And you can’t control anything or anyone apart from yourself.

4. Regression: When bad things happen, I get the need to go back in time and dig out things that calm me down. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I have my safety blankets: Harry Potter, Simple Plan, and Gilmore Girls, among a bunch of others. Those are things that have calmed me down in the past and I’ve employed them so often that now they feel like home… safety. They keep me sane in crazy times.

3. Sarcasm: My mother hates this about me, but I am just as sarcastic as my father. I don’t always go into the heavy aspect of it where it sounds like a verbal slap across the face, but sometimes I can’t help it. I hate it when people state the obvious. And I like to make something extremely dull into a funny thing. Because who doesn’t want to laugh instead of be all peeved and grumpy. I mean, if you’re gonna live, do it right. To me, funny feels warm and right. Funny makes everything easy and enjoyable. And sarcasm is a big part of that. Luckily, there are other sarcastic people in the world who know what I’m saying.

2. Self-irony: Oh boy. This is by far the most annoying thing about me… or the most amusing, you choose. I just… I don’t take myself seriously, at all. And I laugh at people who take themselves seriously. So instead of blushing and mumbling something when I do something stupid (if I had a nickel…), I choose to laugh it off. And not just laugh it off, but really get into how stupid I was for even doing it. Granted, people start thinking you’re somewhat stupid… But you know what, the people who know you, know you inside out and they are usually good judges of how stupid or smart you are, so there. I really don’t care what the rest of the Earth’s population thinks of me.

1. Denial: If something doesn’t exist in my head, then it doesn’t exist. Period. This is by far my biggest enemy and most loyal friend. When life gets too tough and when something is unthinkable, I deny it’s happened. When I fell in love for the first time, I denied it for two months. Needless to say, it exploded all over the place eventually, but I did manage to keep it at bay for a long time. Good for me… *sigh*

So… these are my defense mechanisms. Some of them are psychologically acclaimed as such, others are just things people do for various reasons. My reasons are to defend myself from people who try to change me. I like myself as I am, thank you very much. It might sound irritatingly arrogant, but I reckon I am as good as I can be with the tools I’ve been given by Nature and circumstance. So I don’t appreciate people telling me how I should act, or what I should do, say, etc.

I am who I am. Take it or leave it.

How do YOU defend yourself against people who don’t get you and things that go wrong in your life? How do you choose to act when confronted? What causes these defenses to rear their ugly heads? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!


Angela Scott said...

I'll take it. I like you just the way you are :)

I love me some sarcasm. It's a defense mechanism I go to too. I love humor (mostly at my own expense).

We all have a set of defenses we put into place to help us get through the day, the week, our life--it is what it is. You're not alone.

Ava Jae said...

Ok, you've totally weirded me out because 4/5 of those are me.

I rationalize everything. EVERYTHING. Nothing is safe from my rationalization.

I am the queen of sarcasm. It's actually a bad habit. But I can't help it sometimes, IT JUST HAPPENS.

Regression? Check. Mine usually involves extra amounts of hugs. But that's not so bad, who doesn't love hugs, right?

Denial...ah denial. I suppose my version of denial is connected to rationalization because when I realize I've done or said something stupid, I do this thing where I convince everyone else that I was right all along (thus denying that it was stupid in the first place. Sneaky, eh?) Heh. The games we play...

I'm not entirely sure what my fifth defense mechanism is...maybe retreat. If I'm really upset I'll isolate myself and drown in music. I have really fantastic surround sound headphones that do the trick.

That about covers it. And I'm still weirded out.

Andrew Kincaid said...

My defense mechanisms? I've basically adopted a new set in the last year or so.

The first thing I do is mindful breathing. It's an excellent way to calm myself and bring my scattered mind into focus. In addition, I try to meditate daily along with mindful breathing scattered throughout the day. Call it a mental immune booster haha

The second is compassion. I try to see a situation from the view of the other person, looking without judgment or malice. I have a hard time with anger, but it's hard to be angry when you see another person as a person.

Third is exercise. If something negative threatens to get the better of me, I hit the weights or go for a walk. Both clear my mind and remove excess energy.

Fourth is writing. I free-write when I'm upset (it's similar to psycho-analysis, but without someone there to point out when you've made a good point haha.) The physical act of writing and the non judgmental nature of the page helps to express and sooth the nastiest hurts.

Fifth? Science. Don't do this one as much, but it used to be I'd lose myself in scientific articles, especially astronomy because the subject is so huge that it really gives a perspective on whatever issues I happened to be facing at the time. Namely, the perspective that in the grand scheme of things, it ain't a big deal! haha

Kathleen said...

My biggest defense mechanism is sleep... When I'm upset, I take a nap, go to bed early, and wake up late...
Maybe it's a form of denial? lol=)

Kathleen said...

OH!! And I kill the kitchen... Well, I douse it bleach and use a wire brush on every nook and cranny... If I'm exerting physical energy, I'm not using a lot of mental energy... Yep ;)

Angela Wallace said...

I like you the way you are. :-) Can't promise I'll always understand you...;-)

Yes, I respond with logic a lot of the time. Why can't the rest of the world be as logical as me?

I can be self-deprecating. I think this stems from a need to please people, and if I feel that people are looking down on me, I will help them. (Not very logical am I after all, huh?)

Along with both of the above is the need to explain myself or justify things. My mother is trying to beat it out of me. She says I don't owe anyone an explanation ever for doing what's best for me. I'm working on that one. :-P

Carissa Elg said...

I adore this post. Just so you know… Gilmore Girls is totally a safety blanket for me, too. ;)

Jen said...

You don't need to be anything but yourself.

I don't know if you heard about the lifetime movie about J.K. Rowling (you can watch it on lifetime's website) but in that movie it portrays Jo as someone who wants to be writer, but through circumstance, delays sharing her gift with the world. She was afraid no one would like Harry Potter!

Anyway, what I guess I'm saying is, there's no need to defend who you are to your parents. If your happy with where you are, your parents should be to. Yes, they are trying to push you to be better (they don't want you to make their same mistakes) but I think you know what you want out of life, and you shouldn't make excuses for it.

Okay, I'm going around in circles now, but I hope you get my point. I think you are so totally amazing and you shouldn't ever stop being you :)

Lyn Midnight said...

@Angela You've got that right. But isn't humor amazing? I swear, if there is one thing that amazes me is humor... oh and music... what was I saying? :P

@Ava Yeah... you're freaking me out now too. I also drown everything in music. Stop that, I'll have nightmares!

@Andrew Jesus! How can you have such positive defenses? I want some too! I mean... how come I'm always the one with childish Freudian defenses while the grown-ups handle life properly. *pouts* lol

@Kathleen That is SO weird! I mean, I do sleep when I'm depressed for example, but I've never thought os sleep as a defense mechanism. This is fascinating to me!

@Angela You're mother's right. :P

I get the self-deprecating thing. And I am grateful you accept me as I am, lol. We are somewhat different, aren't we? Oh well. Most of my friends are completely different from me. Makes life fun.

@Carissa OH HOW HAPPY I AM TO KNOW YOU! Seriously, I can't talk about GG with many people. *sigh*

@Jen I know what you're saying. *hugs* I completely agree. I think... mostly, they want me to be better than them, but I have their genes for God's sake! :D

I did see the movie. It was very inspirational. I've always admired Jo for writing and dreaming despite difficulty. These are the truly strong people. I, on the other hand, like to procrastinate. Bleh.

Thanks everyone, for sharing this about yourselves. I love to hear from you, and I just love to think about how the brain works. I almost want to open up your heads and take a peek. :P

katherine said...

Violeta: With insight like this into yourself, you are freed by the way your defenses may sabotage you a little more. I think smart people like yourself (I think you're smart!) have a disability. They can think themselves into a place where they would not go if they relied on their feelings. And, if we are very feeling-based smart people, we can rely on our feelings, and let them bring us to a wall and stare at it, rather than our intellect, who might tell us how to get over or around it.

I'm really proud of you for knowing these things, and sharing them. We each are an expert on ourselves if we will learn. Sounds like you have and are benefited by the insights.

Leslie Rose said...

Rationalization rules! I can talk over, around, and through any situation until it morphs into something that works for me. It's an art form.

Marjorie McAtee said...

My defense mechanism? Humor, humor, and more humor! As an ex-boyfriend once said (when he was still my boyfriend), "Sometimes, if you're not laughing, you're crying."