Defense Mechanisms

Defense Mechanisms
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  • Denial
  • smoking is awful for your health
  • i have it under control
  • Displacement
  • i cant believe i failed that test!
  • Projection
  • is it a minimalist painting?
  • you hate it! you've always hated me!
  • even though his friend warns him about the dangers of smoking, he insists it is not a problem and that he has it under control. he is not accepting the ego-threatening truth.
  • Reaction Formation
  • are you ready to go out honey?
  • he is angry about a bad test grade, but instead of making productive change he is taking out his anger on his tv. he is redirecting his feelings towards another object.
  • Regression
  • i know you're sad that alex broke up with you but maybe some dinner would help you feel better.
  • the girl in purple hates the girl in pink, so she assumes that the girl in pink hates her first, believing that the feelings she has toward someone else are actually held by the other person and directed at herself. 
  • Rationalization
  • the man is telling his wife that he is excited to go out when he actually does not want to, expressing the opposite of how he truly feels.
  • i'm so excited...
  • i just want to stay home.
  • the man is seeking comfort in food he ate before a painful event, returning to an earlier, comforting form of behavior.
  • i just want the pb&j sandwiches you used to make when i was in high school, before i met alex...
  • the woman with red hair is being optimistic about getting a new car despite the fact that she was in a car accident, coming up with a beneficial result of an undesirable occurrence.
  • that car accident was crazy last month! how are you doing?
  • oh great! now i get to buy a new range rover!
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