Monday, June 29, 2009

Identify your Defense Style:

Identify your Defense Style:

When events and interactions make you aware of a feeling that you have labeled as bad, hurt or angry, you will to defend against it in the same way you that you choose to respond to your parental environment. Your experience has taught you that using this defense will block or diminish how bad you feel. The defenses most typically used in intimate relationships are avoidance, denial, and acting out [turning a feeling into behavior]

Feelings triggered by intimate relationships where people defend:

Rejection or abandonment,Guilt
Hurt.Shame or humiliation
Feeling unlovable or unworthy,Failure
Loneliness, Jealousy
Emptiness, Numbness or deadness
Feeling drained, Feeling wrong or bad
Feeling controlled or engulfed, Sadness
Fear, Loss

Identify your Defenses
Avoidance Defense

§ Turning Away: You turn your focus to outside relationships family, friends or instead of your partner
§ Turning off: This defense uses coldness and emotional withdrawal to protect from painful feelings
§ Triangulating: This involves adding a third person to the dyad. You begin to invest romantic or sexual energy in someone outside of your relationship
§ Addiction: Addictions to food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, shopping and virtually any form of excitement as a way of coping with painful feelings.
§ Compulsive Activity: Workaholics, projects, hobbies, sports and virtually any enterprise that siphons time at the expense of the relationship.
§ Giving up: This defense involves stopping all effort, going on strike or waving the white flag of surrender

Denial Defense

§ Showing Nothing: There are two version of this defense;
§ In the first, you fear rejection and avoid revealing anything about yourself. In the other version it involves situations where you feel hurt and angry but do not let your partner know they got to you.
§ Compliance: In this case the effort is to be perfect, pleasing, placating. Accommodating. To be what ever the partner wants. The hope is if you are perfect then no one can hurt you. At the root of this is feeling unlovable.
§ Competing: This defense requires that you be better than you partner is; a better parent more creative, more generous to compensate for deep feelings of unworthiness
§ Boasting. This defense is very closely associated to competing but it is more brazen. The effort is to block feelings of unworthiness by constantly pointing to evidence of ones value.
§ Distracting: In this defense, you derail attention from
any situation or issue that triggers painful feelings. Rather than experiencing the feelings one would change the subject
§ Forgetting: You let important, but disturbing things slip out of your mind. If example someone admonishes you and you begin to feel badly about yourself you would handle the painful feeling by promptly forgetting everything they said.

Acting Out Defense

§ Attacking: This defense turns pain into anger either verbal or physical. You push painful feelings, like helpless, inadequate, or powerless, away with anger.

§ Passive aggressive: This defense acts out anger indirectly. The idea is to hurt your partner in a way that will not trigger blame or backlash. Blaming another is central to this defense.

§ Fault Finding: In a defense you act out hurt or angry feeling by criticizing, ridiculing. Or sarcastically belittling your partner. Finding fault is passionless anger.

§ Revenge In this defense you act out hurt or angry feelings by consciously planning strategies designed to hurt your partner at some future time.

§ Demanding: People who are fearful of rejection, abandonment, or hurt often cope by demanding. They act out their fear by requiring that a partner provide a high degree of support, help or attention. Another version of the demanding is over control. This strategy is often used jealousy is a factor The jealous partner seeks to diminish their fear by monitoring and controlling the relationship

§ Self-Blame: This defense can be summarized, as “You are right I’m awful." You cope with your fears of rejection by rejecting yourself first. When you are excoriating yourself the other person may take it in like a form of manipulation rather than an honest admission.

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