Rus Articles Journal

Protective mechanisms of mentality - for what they to us?

Difficult situations, problems... Which of us does not ask himself the questions “how to be?“ and “what to do?“ We set. And it is frequent. And we try to resolve the developed difficulties somehow. And if it is impossible, then we resort to the help of others. There is no money - will get, there is no work - will look for. But all this externally. And here with internal problems it is more difficult. There is no wish to admit them often even to himself. Painfully. And it is unpleasant. And excessive self-criticism and self-flagellation all the same will not help.

People differently react to the internal difficulties. One suppress the tendencies, denying their existence. Others - “forget“ about the event injuring them. The third - look for an exit in a self-justification and indulgence to “weaknesses“. And the fourth try to distort reality and are engaged in self-deception. And all this is so sincere: sincerely “do not see“ a problem, sincerely “forget“ about the reasons... But to what way people would not resort, protecting the mentality from painful tension, they are helped with it by protective mechanisms.

What is protective mechanisms?

Protective mechanisms - system of such mechanisms which try to reduce to minimum the negative, injuring the personality experiences. These experiences are generally connected with the internal or external conflicts, conditions of alarm or discomfort. Mechanisms of protection help us to keep stability of the self-assessment, ideas of themselves and about the world. Also they can act as buffers, trying not to allow very close to our consciousness too strong disappointments and threats which are brought to us by life. When we cannot cope with alarm or fear, protective mechanisms distort reality for the purpose of preservation of our psychological health and ourselves as the personality.

So, we will consider some types of protective mechanisms.

Replacement - the most universal remedy of avoiding of the internal conflict. This conscious effort of the person to bury in oblivion the frustrating impressions by transfer of attention to other forms of activity. In other words, replacement - any suppression which leads to a true zabyvaniye of the corresponding mental contents.

One of striking examples of replacement can consider by

anorexia - refusal of meal. It is constant also successfully carried out replacement of need to eat. Usually “anoreksivny“ replacement is a consequence of fear to grow stout and, therefore, badly to look. In clinic of neurosises the syndrome of nervous anorexia to which a thicket girls of age of 14 - 18 years are subject sometimes meets.


During the pubertatny period brightly express changes of appearance and a body. The made-out breast and emergence of rotundity in the girl`s hips are often perceived as a symptom of the beginning completeness. And, as a rule, begin to fight against this “completeness“ strenuously. Some teenagers cannot openly refuse the food offered them by parents. And on this as soon as meal is ended, they right there go to the toilet room where and manually cause an emetic reflex. It on the one hand exempts from the food threatening to replenishment, with another - gives psychological relief. Over time there comes the moment when the emetic reflex works automatically on meal. And the illness - is created. The initial etiology is forced successfully out. There were consequences. Let`s notice that such nervous anorexia - one of difficult curable diseases.

Rationalization is a finding of the acceptable reasons and explanations for the acceptable thoughts and actions. The rational explanation as the protective mechanism is directed not to permission of a contradiction as conflict bases, and to removal of tension at experience of discomfort by means of quasilogical explanations. It is natural that these “justificatory“ explanations of thoughts and acts are more ethic and noble, than true motives. Thus, rationalization is directed to saving the status kvo to a life situation and works for concealment of true motivation. Motives of protective character are shown at people who, on the one hand, it seems, do not allow real motives to consciousness, but, on the other hand, allow these motives to be realized, but under the beautiful, socially approved facade.

can be the simplest example of rationalization justificatory explanations of the school student who received the two. It is so offensive to admit to all (and to in particular) that itself it is guilty - did not learn material! Not everyone is capable of such blow to the ego. And the criticism from others, people, significant for you, is painful. Here also the school student justifies himself, thinks out “sincere“ explanations:“ The teacher had it bad mood, here he the two also placed all for anything“, or “I am not a favourite as Ivanov, here it to me also puts the two for the slightest flaws in the answer“. So beautifully explains, convinces all that trusts in all this.

the Projection - subconscious attributing of own qualities, feelings and desires to other person. This protective mechanism is a consequence of replacement. Thanks to replacement of an inclination are suppressed and tired out again inside. But here they do not cease to exert the impact. This internal conflict remains that is there is a possibility that this conflict will escape outside, will “be published“. And to beat itself, to press the desires - it is difficult and sick. In this case, the desires which are forced out at themselves are projected on another. And the individual, “without noticing“ the desires, sees them at others, hotly condemns and is indignant concerning their existence in other person.

the Projection is easier carried out by

easier on that whose situation is similar to projecting. So, the neigbour - the old maid - will hotly condemn the dismissed youth (especially girls) with its sexual addictions (she - just it is it is deprived, and desires and passions somewhere in depth to soul wander). But even more hotly she will condemn the “girlfriend on a shop“, same lonely, as well as she:“ Character it such awful that nobody in marriage took and at it has girlfriends of no presents, here and one cuckooes all life“.

On the same mechanism of a projection the wife who is actually internally ready to fool around will be jealous him of each skirt. And will declare the husband the ladies` man rather, than admits to himself the hidden desire to obtain the novel on the party. Not for nothing the most terrible owners suspecting all and all idle persons.

of People, using the protective mechanism a projection, it is often convinced of others dishonourableness though itself it is in secret inclined to it. Sometimes regrets that did not deceive people when there was such opportunity. It is inclined to envy, to search of the negative reasons of success of colleagues, people around. About such people speak:“ In others eye notices a mote, and in the and logs does not see“.

Denial is an attempt not to take events, undesirable to itself for reality. Ability in such cases “to miss“ the unpleasant endured events in the memoirs is remarkable, replacing them with fiction. As the protective mechanism, denial consists in derivation of attention from morbid ideas and feelings, but does not do them absolutely inaccessible for consciousness.

So, many people are afraid of serious diseases. Also will deny rather existence even of the very first obvious symptoms, than will see a doctor. And on this the illness progresses. The same protective mechanism works when someone from a married couple “does not see“, denies the available problems in matrimonial life. And such behavior not seldom leads to a rupture of the relations.

of People which resorted to denial just ignores realities, painful for it, and works so as if they do not exist. Having been sure of the advantages, he tries to draw attention of people around in all ways and means. And at the same time sees only the positive attitude towards the person. The criticism and rejection are just ignored. New people are considered as potential admirers. And in general, considers himself as the person without problems because denies existence of difficulties / difficulties in the life. Has high self-esteem.

Identification - unconscious transfer on the feelings and qualities inherent in other person and not available, but desirable for. This mechanism helps assimilation of social norms, with understanding of the person the person, with empathy people each other. So, this mechanism works when the teenager wishes to resemble the Hero chosen by it. Acts, traits of character of the Hero it identifies with the.

the Known role is played by identification in the Oedipus complex. Small children gradually mature. And the most bright examples of adults from which it is possible to copy behavior of a manner etc. are relatives. So, the girl unconsciously tries to resemble the mother, and the boy - the father.

Regression is a decrease to more primitive ways of reaction (behavioural, emotional). The person has a regression to that personality or those psychological structures which he had at earlier age when life, allegedly, was more satisfying. Generally it is shown in a stressful situation. Most often this type of protection is peculiar to infantile people of neurotic type who are inclined to regression on an oral phase of psychosexual development, i.e. on receiving calm from food, drink, smoking, sucking something etc. They seek to involve the relatives surrounding people in the solution of the problems, shifting responsibility for it to them as more seniors.

Jet educations - the behavior opposed to desire. Emergence of jet education is initiated by the conflict between desire and a ban on its satisfaction from internal “censor“.“ The censor“ forbids even to think of this desire, all work is directed to replacement of a subject of satisfaction of desire. Thus, there is an obvious or unconscious inversion of desire, the behavior is replaced on opposite, with the return sign. An example of it is manifestation of “tenderness“ to girls by teenagers. On the one hand such behavior is exposed to sneers, at the same time the teenage period - time of the first love. For this reason on the mechanism of jet education the love and tenderness of the teenager is transformed to the behavior externally opposite to love, derganiye type for braids.

Isolation is an office of the psychoinjuring situation from related sincere experience. Replacement of a situation happens as if unconsciously, at least does not contact own experiences. Everything happens as though to someone another. Isolation of a situation from own Ego is especially brightly shown at children. Having taken a doll or a toy animal, the child in game can allow it to do and to tell everything that is forbidden to him: to be reckless, sarcastic, cruel, to swear, deride others, etc.

Sublimation is the most widespread protective mechanism when we, trying to forget about the injuring event (experience), switch to the different types of activity accepted for us and society. Sport, intellectual work, creativity can be a kind of sublimation.

the Introjection is a process as a result of which going from the outside mistakenly it is perceived as the events inside. So, small children incorporate various positions, affects and forms of behavior of significant people in their life, giving in the subsequent it for the opinion.

As we see

, mechanisms of protection is a way by means of which we protect ourselves from internal and external tension. They are formed originally in the interpersonal relation, then become our internal characteristics, that is these or those protective forms of behavior. It is necessary to notice that the person often applies not one protective strategy for resolution of conflict or weakening of alarm, and a little. But despite distinctions between concrete types of protection of their function are similar: they consist in ensuring stability and an invariance of representations of the personality about themselves.