<|\ Defense Mechanisms /|>

Defense mechanisms are "deceptions" that we use to avoid facing issues
of fear, guilt, failure, emotional pain, or embarrassment.
"He that covereth his sins shall not prosper:
but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy"  (Proverbs 28:13).
Anger = is the use expression of anger (voice tone, cursing, facial expressions, body jesters, aggression, violence) to control the situation.  (Having a temper tantrum).

Analyzing = is an attempt to explain the cause for your failure, believing that that may resolve the issue.  "I have thought long and hard on the problem and believe that it must have been precipitated from my exposure to too much violence on the T.V."

Arguing = is bringing up a controversy to side track the other individual. "My position is that ....don't you agree that I am right?" (While knowing quite well he/she will disagree.)

Blaming = is laying the judgment for your problems upon someone else.  "I could be a good husband if wasn't for my wife.  It is all her fault."

Compensation is to excel in one area to cover their inferiority in another.  "I know that I am not too great at math, but I do really good in art class."

Compliance = is giving in to the wishes of another to avoid confrontation.  "O.K., I will do whatever you want."

Defiance = is daring others to prove that you are wrong.  "I challenge you to show me in the Bible where it says that smoking marijuana is wrong."

Displacement is the transferring of a strong emotion from it precipitated object to a safer or more acceptable substitute.  (The husband becomes angry at his boss at work then goes home and gripes at wife.)  "I know that I am angry at the boss, but I just don't know why I am taking it out on you."

Distortion is the changing of the shape of a reality to make it more acceptable.  "Officer, I really was just trying to keep up with the other traffic."

Explaining = is explaining the problem in minute detail, thinking that that may resolve the problem.
"I first began to look at pornography when I was eight years old.  Then when I was ten, I found some of my dad's girlie magazines.  When I was fifteen, I met this girl that was really into pornography and we looked at it and acted out some.  Then when I got a computer ....."

Excuses = is the use of logic that may appear to be acceptable to avoid an issue.  "I think you can find someone more skilled than I to choose for the project."

Fantasy is using daydreaming or your imagination to escape from reality into a fictitious world a world of success or pleasure. "When I find myself in a bad situation like this, I just like to imagine that I am on a warm beach, sun bathing with the sound of the waves washing away my problems."  (This may develop into schizoid fantasy).

Humor = is making a joke out of a grave or hurtful situation.  (Laughing to cover fear or pain).
"It was just a joke. :-)  I was just kidding."

Idealization and Identification is the over estimation of desirable traits in another. (to idolize).
"I would love to be like that person.  She does everything so well."

Intellectualization is the avoidance of unconscious conflicts by the excessive use of an intellectual guise of words, thoughts, or debate. "The current research by Dr. So and So from such and such university shows that the reason why people like get so depressed is because there is a chemical imbalance."

Introjection is to assume responsibility for events outside their realistic control.  "It's all my fault that our marriage was a failure."  A surviving passenger of a plane crash says, "If I hadn't wore this green shirt the plane wouldn't have crashed."

Isolation is the splitting off a strong negative emotion or mental image from the individual's consciousness. (Being out of touch with one's emotions.  In extreme cases there may be MPD.)
"I really feel sad, but I can't figure out why."

Judgmentalism = is placing others on a lower spiritual level to cover one's own spiritual inadequacies. "If you would get some counseling yourself, then I think that I could handle the situation."

Justifying = is trying balance your wrong with the wrong of others.  "I wouldn't have to take so many tranquilizers if my husband wasn't angry all the time."

Lying = is a blatant lie to cover one's back.  "No, sir.  I wasn't speeding.  I have never broken a traffic law in my life."

Manipulation = is trying to indirectly blame someone else for your difficulty.  Then trying to get the other person to straighten up so that you can.  "If you will quite bringing home all that fatty food, I will go on a diet."

Minimizing = is an attempt to make the problem smaller than it really is.  "It was only a one night stand.  It only happened that one time."

Projection is when you attributes your own feelings or thoughts to someone else and often passing judgment on the other person.  "I would never do something like that.  You must be the one with the guilty conscience."

Questioning is the means of firing questions at the potential intruder to keep him from bringing up threatening issue in your own life.

Rationalization is way to avoid facing responsibility by bending the truth. "My parents did not mean to be bad parents ... they did the best that they knew how."

Reaction Formation is when one does exactly the opposite of what they desire to do.  (A drug addict may joining an anti-drug campaign.) "We really need to put all those drug dealers out of business."

Regression is the reverting back to an earlier stage of immaturity.  "I rather just set here and pout."
"Have you ever tried putting soda straws up you nose .... it is fun."  (In more serious cases, the adult may take on the personality of a child.)

Repression is the involuntary exclusion of unwanted thoughts or feelings from the individual's consciousness.  "I just can't remember how I felt that day when that happened.  I just don't feel anything."

Self-deception = is deceptive thinking that is usually vocally expressed.  "I don't need anyone's help.  I can quit drinking anytime that I want to."

Shouting = is using a loud voice to try to control the situation.  "Don't tell me to shut up!!  I will say what I want to say!!!"

Silence = is using silence to protect yourself from talking about the problem.  This is often the case with men in marriage.  When confronted with the issue, the individual may just walk away or stand there and say nothing.

Somatization is the unconscious changing of a strong negative emotion into a bodily disease or abnormality.  "I just feel too bad to go in to work today ... I probably have a fever."

Suppression is the voluntary exclusion of unwanted thoughts from the individual's consciousness.
"I just want to forget that whole experience."

Sublimation is redirecting the emotion into a more socially productive activity.  "Here is a really neat short story that I have written about a woman having a sexual affair."

Threatening = is using aggression to avoid facing an issue.  "Don't ever bring up that topic again or I will make you wish that you hadn't!"

Undoing is an attempt to make up (atone for or reverse the guilt by doing good in the place of the evil.   "Please take this gift.  It would really make me feel better after all that I did to you."  (Of course, the undoing may become generalized involving others as well.)

Withdrawing = is deliberate removal of one's self from the situation.  "This is the last straw...  I can't stay in this situation any longer.... I am leaving."

Note is some fashion of the other, each of these defense mechanisms are nothing but than LIES to keep from facing the truth and responsibility.
Some Defensive Expressions that we may use:

1. "Leave me alone!"  (withdrawal).

2. "I don't want to talk about it!"  (closed converstation)

3. "Well, it happened a long time ago."  (implying it doesn't matter anymore).

4. "It wasn't all that important."  (belittling the act).

5. "They made me do it."  (blaming others or a personal wrong act).

6. "There was no other way out."  (justification of wrong).

7. "It was just a little white lie."  (putting evil on a scale).

8. "He / she does not deserve forgiveness."  (trying to balance the scale).

9. "It was only a one time experiences."  (rationalization)

10. "You just don't understand my situation."   (situational ethics approach).

11. "I couldn't help it, I was having a bad day."  (blaming situation type excuse).

12. "I just lost temporary control." (trying to balance evil with good).

13. "Everyone does it."  (using comparison).

14. "I am just human."  (indirectly blaming God).

15. "My opinion is just as good as the next person."  (no absolute right).

16. "They deserved what I did to them."  (trying to balance the scales).

17. "It all your fault."  (blaming others without accepting personal responsibility).

18. "Somebody needed to put them in their place."  (pride covering revenge).

19. "I don't have a problem.  You are the one with the problem."  (shift of blame).

20. "It was just a practical joke, O.K.?"  (denial of intent to do harm).

21. "Can't you take a laugh?"  (shift of blame).

22. "Well, no one is perfect."  (general comparison to shift the point away from guilt).

23. "Everyone needs to let off a little steam sometimes."  (excuse for anger & violence).

24. "Who is it to say that I am wrong?"  (no one has authority or no absolutes).

25. "I have the right to do anything that I want."  (authority unto ones' self).

26. "I just needed a pick-me-up."  (excuse for using drugs).

27. "I can't help it.  My parents were that way."  (denial of personal responsibility).

28. "You just need to get with the times."  (implies that moral absolutes change with time).

29. "I say, if it feels right, do it."   (morality based upon emotions).

30. "Why should I suffer and they can do what they want?" (comparison of privileges). 

Some Scriptural examples:

1. When Adam and Eve sinned.  They tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves.
    "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons"  (Genesis 3:7)    "And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself" (Genesis 3:7).

2. When God confronted Adam, he blamed God indirectly for giving the woman to him.
    "And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat" (Genesis 3:12).

3. Aaron blamed the people when Moses confronted him.  "And Aaron said, Let not the anger of my lord wax hot: thou knowest the people, that they are set on mischief" (Exodus 32:22).

4. Aaron tried to reshape the situation, by say that the golden calf just came out rather than saying he also used an engraving tool.  "And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt" (Exodus 32:4).    "And I said unto them, Whosoever hath any gold, let them break it off. So they gave it me: then I cast it into the fire, and there came out this calf"  (Exodus 32:24).

5. Saul at first denied that he had done anything wrong.   "And Saul said unto Samuel, Yea, I have obeyed the voice of the LORD, and have gone the way which the LORD sent me, and have brought Agag the king of Amalek, and have utterly destroyed the Amalekites" (I Samuel 15:20).

6. Saul also tries justify himself by saying that what he did was for God.   "But the people took of the spoil, sheep and oxen, the chief of the things which should have been utterly destroyed, to sacrifice unto the LORD thy God in Gilgal" (I Samuel 15:21).

7. The lawyer attempted to justify himself by bringing a question into the situation.   "But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?" (Luke 10:29).

8. Abraham lied about his wife being his sister to protect himself.   "And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah" (Genesis 20:2).

9. Jews used judgmentalism against the man who was healed from his blindness.  "They answered and said unto him, Thou wast altogether born in sins, and dost thou teach us? And they cast him out" (John 9:34).

10. Gehazi, Elisha's servant, said that he went "no where" when Elisha questioned him when he had followed after Naaman to receive a reward.    "But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither" (II Kings 5:25).

11. Cain tried to confuse the issue when God questioned him about Able.   "And the LORD said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9).

12. Nabal accused David of being rebellious to justify his not helping David.  "And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master" (I Samuel 25:10).

13.  Saul displaced his anger which was toward his wife upon Jonathan, his son.  "Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother's nakedness?" (I Samuel 20:30).

14. The people denied robbing God.   "Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings" (Malachi 3:8).

15.  When Samuel confronted Saul about not waiting, but making a sacrifice himself, Saul said that he really didn't want to, but he had to force himself.  "Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering" (I Samuel 13:12).

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray,
and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways;
then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land" (II Chronicles 7:14).
Note: Repentance is one of the first steps toward receiving healing.
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