“My Defenses Are Down”*

Which of the following doesn’t belong?

1.         Defense Attorney

2.         Defensive Guard

3.         Health Defense System

4.         Defense Department

5.         Defense Mechanism

6.         Defensive Driving

As far as I’m concerned, the correct answer is 5. While everything else protects us one way or another (against crazy drivers or a flu epidemic, for instance), the ways we protect ourselves when we’re anxious can hurt, more than help.

Anna Freud, Sigmund’s daughter, defined ten ways we become defensive, including rationalization (you’re anxious that you may loss your job so you rationalize that your boss doesn’t know what he’s doing), rejection (you tell your sister she’s wrong when she advises you to be less emotional), and reaction formulation (you act completely opposite from the way you feel e.g. you detest a new colleague and you act like you love him).

If we didn’t have defense mechanisms, we might go crazy, as in kill our new boss or be haunted by self-doubt. But we can’t let our defense mechanisms subconsciously take over and prevent us from dealing with a problem.  A woman I know refuses to understand that she’s overly critical of her daughters, and they are starting to avoid her.

I work hard to sense when my defense mechanisms are rising to the surface. I try to stop myself by saying: “I am overreacting and not being realistic. I will not die if I act calmly when someone questions something I’m doing. I don’t have to keep debating if my friend doesn’t see my point of view.

One of the beauties of being FOF is letting your defenses down.

*Song from “Annie Get Your Gun”


4 Responses to ““My Defenses Are Down”*”

  1. Katherine Jennnings says:

    ARE YOU FAMILAR WITH ERICSON’S 5 STAGES OF CHANGE ?
    I WANT SOME FEED BACK CONCERNING THIS THEORY
    LET ME HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS.

    REPLY
    • Geri says:

      Hi Katherine,

      I didn’t know about Ericson, so I read the stages last night (there are actually 8 of them) and they are fascinating. We should discuss when we have brunch next week. I will do a blog on them.

      Geri

      REPLY
  2. Katherine Jennnings says:

    I need your signature is what a cashier should say when you return an item to the grocery store, NOT, you have to sigh this!!!
    I have to sign a piece of paper in order for you to give me back my money for an item I no longer want.
    NO I don’t have to sign this,
    Now you can give me back my money or you can deal with me deal with you!!!
    We have to choose our words more wisely now a days.
    “just so you know”
    people who judge don’t matter, and people who matter don’t judge”
    I need you to do me a favor Geri
    Please have a wonderfully peaceful week, please.
    See you Soon, and thanks for letting me share.

    REPLY
    • Geri says:

      Hi Katherine,

      Lover your comments. You are a smart cookie.

      G.

      REPLY

Leave a Reply