Sometimes we do not see or don’t need to see the problems we are creating in our own lives. If we admit that we are making bad choices, then we would have to do something about them.
Following are some of the ways we avoid taking responsibility:
1. Denial – This is when we don’t even know that we’re lying to ourselves. We refuse to accept reality and often act as though a painful experience did not or does not exist. This defense mechanism often begins in childhood and can carry on into old age. Projecting – When you accuse others of having unacceptable impulses that you are experiencing you project the thoughts onto what could be innocent men and women. People who endeavor often say what”should” be happening in the lives of others while minimizing their own participation in the identical thinking or behaviours. Stress is reduced as you concentrate on what other individuals are doing rather than on your own troubles. Rationalizing – This is when you’ve been irresponsible in some area but, instead of accepting and adjusting this, you use excuses to justify so you are not viewed negatively.
4. Intellectualizing – As in rationalizing, you come up with a justification for something that you did but instead of being emotional about it, you just distance yourself from the problem and carry on.
5. Regressing – In times of stress, you may revert to a younger country and act in a childish way. Repressing – When events or situations are difficult to handle, you could block all memory of them. If you don’t remember them, you don’t need to deal with them! Exercising – This is a means of using extreme behaviors to reduce your stress. Temper tantrums in children may continue into adulthood as forms of abuse.
It isn’t simple to be mature adults, particularly when we have been using defense mechanisms for most of our lives.
Accepting responsibility for our thoughts and actions can be facilitated by a number of things:
1. Awareness – This can occur when things are pointed out to us by somebody who we respect. A friend, spouse or colleague who cares might say the very thing that helps us to realize what we’ve been doing. Do not be upset with them. Thank them for helping!
2. Knowledge – At this time, all we know is all we know. Taking a program, joining a group or attending a class can provide us with information which will help us to understand things differently.
3. Skills – Learning approaches to deal with stress and problems differently will lead to different results.
4. Practice – Trying new techniques will lead to expertise and positive change over time.
5. Forgiveness – One of the most difficult things to do is to forgive ourselves when we realize how we have failed in a place. Consider how you would deal with a friend who’d done the same thing and apply that grace to yourself.
Change, for many people, is a frightening thing. But for those who are struggling, it can be a welcomed relief. If you really want to live a healthy life and build mutually-beneficial relationships, the first step would be to consider if and how defense mechanisms are interfering with the procedure.