Defence Mechanisms: You Might Be Using Them Unknowingly

After all, those slips of the tongue are not always accidental

22 Nov, 2022

Kashish Sharma

The Dark Unconscious

A famous theory in Psychology holds that our unconscious mind holds animalistic instincts and immoral motives that can never be accepted by the society we live in.

Source: Thehealthsite

Hidden from us

These animalistic desires are buried deep inside our unconscious and interestingly they are hidden from us as well.

Source: Thehealthsite

Unseen battle

When these unnatural desires come into conflict with our learned morals and principles, they might cause anxiety and guilt. Next time, don’t be surprised if you don’t know why you are feeling anxious.

Source: Thehealthsite

Psychological barriers

Our mind tries to protect us from this unseen battle that brings up anxiety and guilt. It does that by putting up defences or barriers. It can be taken as a sort of disguise game.

Source: Thehealthsite


Sometimes your mind will push a painful memory deep inside your unconscious. Sometimes they might try to come out in form of accidental slips of the tongue.

Source: Thehealthsite

Reaction formation

Sometimes our minds might develop an opposite reaction to our unconscious thoughts. If a person might act too overly pious, they might unconsciously hold themselves as impious or impure.

Source: Thehealthsite


Sometimes we might just project this anxiety onto others. A person who might have abandonment issues might blame it on others, calling them unfaithful and non-trustworthy.

Source: Thehealthsite


Rationalizing is an intellectual way of dealing with these hidden anxieties. For instance, covering the insecurity and suddenness of someone’s death with some medical or spiritual logic.

Source: Thehealthsite


Sometimes when the conflicting figure or thing is too difficult to confront, we might shift our anger onto a weaker figure or event. A mother who heard an earful from her boss might take the anger out on her children.

Source: Thehealthsite


Sometimes a person might regress to older patterns of behaviour. For instance, on the arrival of a baby, the elder sibling might retreat to baby talk.

Source: Thehealthsite


It is the supreme form of defence mechanism. Mostly practised by artists or scientists where the unacceptable sexual impulses might be redirected to some creative venture like creating a work of art.

Source: Thehealthsite

Thanks For Reading!

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