What are the common defense mechanisms?

In a defense mechanism person reacts to the situation indirectly by attack, compromise, withdrawal and selection and choice. The only difference is that they do not want to expose themselves openly or directly. They are as follows

1. Denial of Reality

The person doesn’t face the situations and follows escape to protect from facing. e.g. The person may fall sick.

2. Fantasy

The person may gratify the frustrated desires in imaginary achievements i.e. day-dreaming.

3. Compensation

The individual may compensate his failure in one area to the other area which covers up his weakness by emphasizing desirable trait for the other area. e.g. A weak student in studies may be very active on grounds and in sports.

4. Identification

In this mental device a person may identify himself with other ideal, model or follow the values of some influential personality.

5. Introjection

In this strategy the person incorporates the external values and standards into ego structure and is not at their mercy.

6. Projection

The person place blame for difficulties on others. e.g. Failure student may blame teacher that he did not teach well and hides his not doing study properly.

7. Rationalization

In this strategy the person attempts to prove that his behaviour is ‘rational’ and ‘justifiable’ and thus worthy of self and social approval. e.g. A failed student appears for second attempt, face tough paper because he did not have study but blames teacher.

8. Repression

A person prevents unconsciously dangerous and painful thoughts from entering consciousness. e.g. A student worried about preparation of examination forgets hall ticket.

9. Reaction Formation

In this mechanism a person prevents dangerous desires openly and use them as barriers. e.g. A desirous smoker may refuse cigarette openly by saying ‘No’, it is injurious to health.

10. Displacement

This leads the person to discharge pent up feelings of hostility. e.g. A professor having quarrel with his spouse at night may vent it on his students in morning.

11. Emotional Insulations

A person may withdraw himself into passivity to protect self from hurt.

12. Isolation

The person cut off affecting change from hurtful situations.

13. Regression

The person may involve into less mature responses and lower aspirations.

14. Sublimation

The person gratify frustrated sexual desires in substitutive non-sexual activities. e.g. a person may engage into sports, arts and science etc. An unmarried woman may join kindergarten to sublimate her desire for children.

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