This week we circle back to the topic of Defense Mechanisms! We all got them whether we realize it or not and they are shaping the way we see and participate in the world!
Defense mechanisms are psychological strategies that are unconsciously used to protect a person from anxiety arising from unacceptable thoughts or feelings.Sigmund Freud
We being the conversation by discussing a bit about what defense mechanisms are and how pertinent they are in our lives. As avid students of the Enneagram discussing something such as Defense Mechanisms falls right in line with ego-development and how personality manifests through our ego-fixations! These mechanisms we use everyday are really no small thing, they have for so long kept us safe, but are also sometimes creating a fall perception of reality.
This week we focused in on two major defense mechanisms: PROJECTION and THINKING.
Macie was the first “teacher” explaining exactly what we mean when we say “you are just projecting”. Projection is the defense mechanisms by which a person has feelings, needs, desires or impulses inside of them that are so threatening or unacceptable to them and to their society/culture that what they attempt to do is attribute those qualities onto someone else, it is an attempt to externalize what is inside and project it onto someone else. An important thing to remember about defense mechanisms is they happen in our subconscious, so a person who is projecting is unaware that what they “see” in another person is really coming from inside themselves.
Reuven pops in for Reuvenation and shares a wonderful poem with us, even just the title itself is a piece of art: The Expiration Date on the World is not Quite the Same as the Expiration Date on my Prophylactic by D. A. Powell
Scott then takes on the role of teacher and shares about the defense mechanisms of thinking…which consists of both rationalization and intellectualization.
Rationalization refers to our attempt to logically justify something that is illogical or unacceptable, by resorting to some lame, but seemingly plausible reason but not an excuseAbhijit Naik
The last defense mechanism hit the closest to home as Scott shared how intellectualization works as a person denies any emotional feelings/impulses and focuses just on the fact. It seems to be the ultimate Enneagram 5 defense mechanism (along with isolation).
We close the night with some final thoughts, trying to emphasize how important it is to hold ourselves with grace as working towards consciousness comes with emotional labor. We invite y’all on the journey with us as we continue to try and see ourselves without judgment and without excuse. Catch ya next week as we discuss….THE ENNEAGRAM…get ready 8s! It’s all about you!