Defense mechanisms that ruin your relationship

Relationships are a constant work on feelings and trust in each other. This is not a given that will exist unchanged, but something that needs to be constantly worked on. No matter how warm the feelings are, even the calmest people have conflicts. At such moments, protective mechanisms are activated in us subconsciously, the purpose of which is to emerge victorious from the conflict, no matter at what cost.

If it often works as it should with unfamiliar people, then with loved ones, such a trick does not pass without a trace. Standing in a pose, you can ruin the relationship you have been building for years in a few minutes. Here are a few basic defense mechanisms that can ruin your relationship.

6 defense mechanisms that ruin your relationship

 1. Denial

Denial is one of the most popular self-defense mechanisms, which rejects the truth that actually exists and is broadcast by a partner. Usually, this mechanism is activated in cases when a person is ashamed or hurt to admit the rightness of another, especially if the truth hits his ego. Denial is bad because it does not require reflection and explanation, and this mechanism can be activated at any time.

The problem is that you will never come to the truth by denying the truth, to harmony with yourself. No matter how bitter the truth is, you need to accept it and not try to deny it. We are not saying that you need to agree with everything, but you need to accept the truth, at least in your mind.

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The protective mechanism of denial in a relationship is often responsible for the ruining relationship because the truth is revealed sooner or later, and the partner becomes hurt from the realization that he was deceived. Instead of denial, which makes you look like a stubborn sheep, take a breath, calm down and admit that this really is the place to be.

 2. Displaced aggression

Defense mechanisms that ruin your relationship

Often, when a person is dissatisfied with something, he shifts his anger and frustration from himself to his partner to protect his psyche and self-esteem since he is a less dangerous object from the point of view of psychology. Simply put, people begin to blame their partners for their problems, although the problems shifted to them are not their fault. In fact, the partner turns into a punching bag, which can be “beaten” as you like, and she does not dare to fight back.

Think about it, will you like it if such accusations fly in your direction? To not shift aggression to a partner, think logically about what leads to negative emotions to determine what really became the source of your anger and frustration. Often it has nothing to do with your partner, for example, when it comes to work.

3. Projection

The protective mechanism of projection usually occurs in cases when one partner accuses the other of something. Then something similar to mutual childish insults happens when one’s negative trait is attributed to a partner who does not have it. We subconsciously try to find this negativity in our partner to justify our own mistakes. Often this protective mechanism is combined with denial.

There is nothing wrong with projection if it happens positively. When you project warm feelings on a partner, it strengthens your relationship promotes better mutual understanding. But when you project negativity, no matter how thoroughly or trying to protect yourself in any way, it’s just shifting responsibility for your actions to another, no more. This is a young boy’s move, but not a man’s.

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It is very easy to avoid using a protective projection mechanism — it is enough to put yourself in the partner’s place. Would you accept his projection to yourself? Even if this is a reasonable projection, would it be able to settle the conflict, or would it lead to its aggravation due to hurt feelings? Most likely, the second option will be correct. Accepting your mistakes means that you are already on the path of correction.

4.  Avoidance

Defense mechanisms that ruin your relationship

Hardly many people like to admit thoughts or feelings that make them uncomfortable. Therefore, they often turn on the protective mechanism of avoidance during an unpleasant conversation when they metaphorically build a wall between themselves and the problem. But this does not solve the problem but helps to hide in the “house,” your world, where there are only rainbow ponies and unicorns. There are situations avoiding which you can solve the problem, but there are few of them. Most of the problems cannot be fixed by avoiding them.

Postponing a serious conversation with your partner for later, avoiding him by any means, you distance yourself from him, arouse his indignation with your childish act. The sooner you start solving the problem, the better it will be for the two of you. This will undoubtedly cause discomfort, but having solved the problem, you will be able to breathe easily, throwing off the burden of heavy thoughts and freeing your brain from the need to make excuses.

5. Victim’s position

The victim’s position combines the mechanisms of denial, projection, and avoidance. Also added to it is a state in which a person consciously or subconsciously tries to evoke sympathy pity, those emotions that overshadow aggression. The victim’s position works especially well for girls since their maternal instinct turns on. In attempts to protect their partner, they dismiss important issues that preceded the inclusion of their partner’s victim position into the background.

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Such a protective mechanism harms your relationship and your social status. You sink into a subordinate position in other people’s eyes; you look less courageous, like a child who has been offended by evil adults. The girl stops seeing you like a stone wall. Instead, there is a defenseless youngster in front of her, who is not crying or begging. Do not use this protection mechanism, even if there is a reason.

6. Escape from reality

Usually, this protective mechanism is activated when one partner accuses the other of his insolvency or insufficient efforts. Instead of turning on the mechanism of denial or projection, an escape from reality can work when the accused partner fantasizes about the problem, belittle it or embellish the prospects. These attempts to justify real problems with fantastic scenarios rarely lead to anything good.

Instead of turning on this defense mechanism, focus on how things are in reality and evaluate the chances of one outcome or another. No one forbids embellishing. Moreover, without fantasy, a person would not be a person. But do not go into the world of dreams, trying to escape from the problem or avoiding its immediate solution.

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