Recognizing Defense Mechanisms
Have you ever dealt with a person who cannot handle the truth? You are not alone; there are thousands of us across the world who get frustrated at adverse reactions to honesty. Defense Mechanism is the term used to describe irrational behaviors to a truth an individual was unprepared to hear.
Defense Mechanisms can manifest itself in several ways, including the following:
These Defense or Coping Mechanisms commonly occur when people have trouble confronting a harsh truth.
The unaware person may deny or present signs of denial when they have an issue and blame it on circumstances outside of themselves, a common tactic among narcissists and the "sleep" or super "woke" population. Call someone lazy, and prove them wrong with facts, and at the end of the day, it will still be up to the individual to change. Change cannot happen without realization or self-awareness. Despite this, the person in denial will receive nudges from life (or the universe) until they are forced to look at themselves in the mirror.
Three quick ways to recognize when someone is in denial?
- They will not acknowledge a difficult situation
- They try not to face the facts of a problem
- They downplay the possible consequences of the issue
While denial might be useful and a tad healthy in some extreme cases, reality always wins in the end. According to Psychologist Carl Alasko, the next step after denial is playing the blame game. When we hit this low, denial evolves into blaming things outside of oneself; this is generally seen as a negative coping mechanism.
When the unconscious mind needs to hide unwanted thoughts, emotions, and/or ideas, repression occurs unknown to the conscious. Someone can be so affected by the truth that their unconscious mind distorts and hides it from conscious thought. Though clinicians these days argue over repression's validity, repression has still proven to be present among those who experience extremely traumatic experiences. For some, a traumatic experience could be receiving blunt constructive criticism. Instead of turning these criticisms into fuel, people turn to defense mechanisms such as repression to ease the pain that comes with acknowledging the truth. Repression is not the same a suppression; suppression is when a person is consciously aware of a thought idea or actively attempts to forget it.
It is common for air signs who have not developed a healthy sense of objective thought to express their insecurities in the form of projection.
Dr. Brenner defines projection as a basic, self-protective defense and process that occurs when "we" put part of ourselves onto other people, usually to "get rid of" something objectionable. When someone cannot accept a truth, they project qualities they refuse to accept about themselves, weaponize it and throw it onto others. It is important to recognize when this happens, or else the projection becomes perpetual between both parties. Scorpios' strong emotional resilience allows them to recognize when others project and immediately call it out. However, even Scorpio have their limits in regards to how much they can take.
Sublimation could be a mature coping mechanism, and among artists such as Drake is used to channel unwanted emotions, thoughts, and feelings into art. However, we seem to be frequented by people who choose to throw "subliminals" or side comments that are too easy for Scorpios to catch and thus address. For example, if you speak to a friend about "sloppy people" who cannot find their mouth with a spoon in front of a person who just spilled ketchup on their T-shirt, you are being subliminal at that moment. Gemini's are notorious for this; however, all signs do it (I just catch Gemini's the most, haha). These are the easiest "jabs" to pick up and respond to. When you respond too rashly, people (like Gemini) use it as an opportunity to victimize themselves, probably because subliminals can be taken in so many different ways when the story of the conflict is retold to others. It's important to recognize Sublimation when it is being used to provoke you into destructive acts and respond appropriately.
Compensation is another type of defense mechanism where people overachieve in one area to "balance it out" or make up for the lack of quality in another. This strategy helps people disguise inadequacies, frustrations, stresses, or urges by directing energy toward excelling or achieving in other areas. Overcompensating can be both positive and destructive. Overcompensating becomes destructive when, for example, a person realizes they are bad at socializing, so they depend on others to make social connections and introduce them; this is an example of under compensating. Compensation is important to keep in mind when exploring your natal chart, especially when looking at the elements. Some people have planets evenly distributed among the elements while others may have "little to no water in their chart," making them overemotional to the point they are clingy and have trouble letting go or doing anything independently.
Scorpios are intuitive and pick up on body and emotional language unintentionally in our spiritual journey's early stages. By recognizing some of the defense mechanisms, you will be able to respond in a way that is beneficial to you in the long run. Finally, we have a logical explanation for illogical behavior!