Episode 019 – 7 Defense Mechanisms We All Use

In this episode, Joseph explains the defense mechanisms that are built into us as human beings. Though they are intended to protect our ego and state of mind, they often end up damaging our relationships and pulling us further into blame and anger. Tune-in as Joseph uncovers the 7 most common defense mechanisms we all use to protect ourselves. His greatest hope in opening this discussion is that we become aware of our defenses and understand our ability to develop healthier ways to respond or deal with emotions, especially when involved with difficult interactions.
Time Stamped Show Notes:
● 00:01 – Introduction to Mind Your Mind Podcast
● 00:22 – Today’s episode is about the 7 defense mechanisms we all use
● 00:45 – Defense mechanisms are ways to protect our ego
● 01:00 – “Defense mechanisms protect us but also blind us at the same time” – Joseph Tropper
● 01:11 – Defense mechanisms tend to blind us from our own parts
● 01:51 – The 7 defense mechanisms we all use:
o 02:05 – Denial or “cognitive dissonance”—we deny negative things said about ourselves to protect our ego
o 02:57 – Regression: an adult could have a 5-year old temper tantrum; they regress to an earlier stage of behavior instead of dealing with a problem the adult way
o 04:21 – Disassociation: we zone out from things we don’t want to focus on because those events or situations hurt—how much am I present in the moment, and how much am I disassociating from the moment?
o 05:33 – Compartmentalization: we ignore one piece of information that doesn’t relate to rest (ex. compartmentalize one bad action of parents that doesn’t fit into our perfect view of them)
o 06:49 – Projection: we project past experiences with people into our new relationships and then try to protect ourselves from perceived threat
o 08:12 – Reaction formation: when you oppose something that you actually endorse
o 09:00 – Intellectualization: “don’t feel, just think”—this is when you blame other people for our problems or the situation that we contributed to
● 09:39 – “We are complex human beings”—they are mechanisms that are built-in to protect us, but they often blind us
● 10:02 – Therapy, or any outside perspective, can help guide us to better be aware of our blind spots
● 10:44 – Please leave us a comment on Mind Your Mind and a review on iTunes
● 10:55 – End of this week’s podcast!

3 Key Points:

  1. Defense mechanisms are built-in ways we try to protect our ego—the problem with these mechanisms is that they often blind us from our behavior.
  2. Speak to an outside party who can call out our blind spots and help us to become aware of them.
  3. There are harmful ways designed to protect ourselves, but often fail us; our defense mechanisms have a way of hurting our relationships.

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