My last blog topic was about blind-spots and low and behold; I have seen a new one of my own! I receive a daily meditation topic unique to my personality structure and yesterday's insight was about defense mechanisms.
A defense mechanism is something we create to protect ourselves, for those times we feel threatened in some way. Do we want our defenses pointed out to us? No way! But, if we are to grow as human beings, running on autopilot will not support us.
So what's the remedy you ask: Going against our instinctive defenses, of course. Sounds like fun, huh? Keep in mind that we have created our defense mechanisms over a lifetime to keep us feeling secure. Unless we make an effort, we don't notice when we're utilizing a security strategy, it's simply automatic, and our egos like it that way.
For instance, I'm pretty well versed in denial as a defensive strategy, especially of my physical limitations, so when my foot began to hurt a few years ago after months of exercise without a day off, I knew it would eventually pass. Wrong! I broke my foot. I denied my physical limitations, and finally, my body took control and said: "Guess what, if you're not going to listen, I'll stop you." If I had been listening rather than denying, I would have avoided months of almost no activity.
Now, I'm learning to recognize when I deny my responsibility when things begin to break down (such as relationships and myself) and do the inverse of what I'd prefer. It turns out I like myself more when I thoughtfully choose my actions and words, and I have a whole lot fewer regrets.
Do you know your emotional defense mechanisms? Some of the common ones are: blaming, redirecting, projecting, rationalization, denial, repression, withdrawal, displacement, judgment, criticism, passive-aggression, introjection, and isolation.
What will it take for you to notice when your defense mechanisms (blind-spots) take over and then do the opposite? And what benefits might arise from going against what's comfortable when emotional defenses show up?
Learner and sharer of all things healthy, active, esteem building, growth promoting, witty and Hawaiian