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Deflection As A Psychological Defense Mechanism. Signs And Consequences - Society
Deflection As A Psychological Defense Mechanism. Signs And Consequences - Society

Video: Deflection As A Psychological Defense Mechanism. Signs And Consequences - Society

Video: Deflection As A Psychological Defense Mechanism. Signs And Consequences - Society
Video: 10 Psychological Defense Mechanisms 2023, December

When we are faced with life situations that bring discomfort, emotional pain and negative experiences, our body turns on the mechanisms of psychological defense. You can defend yourself unconsciously - in this case, physiological instincts are turned on. Or deliberately - with the help of their own experience. The essence of psychological protection is to maintain an adequate psychoemotional state, stabilize physiological reactions (increased blood pressure, surge of hormones), reduce anxiety and prevent the withdrawal into a state of passion. Psychological defense mechanisms shape actions and organize reactions. At the moment, there is no clear list of defense mechanisms. You can identify the main strategies that are included in a stressful situation. This is aggression, ostentatious peacefulness, passivity and deflection.

4 strategies to protect yourself from stress

  1. Aggression. This mechanism is turned on in order to get rid of an unpleasant situation as soon as possible. Even mental aggression can be enough to stabilize the condition. Of course, aggressive behavior can also be verbal and physical.
  2. Showy peacefulness and disposition. In order to eradicate the problem and improve his condition as quickly as possible, a person begins to show ostentatious peacefulness and complaisance. The goal is to finish "here and now" as soon as possible, even sacrificing one's own interests.
  3. Passivity. Here is the idea of the meaninglessness of any change. The inclusive passivity believes that in case of stress it is better to wait and not make unnecessary movements.
  4. Deflection. The most commonly used and most complex unconscious psychological defense mechanism. Deflection means leaving the situation "here and now" by avoiding contact, transferring feelings to a foreign zone that does not concern the current situation.

With the help of deflexion, a person relieves the emotional tension that can arise both during normal contact and during anxious communication. With the help of deflection, a person can move away from contact with society and with himself. Deflection is designed to preserve a person's emotional and cognitive resources.

With deflection, the person tries to bypass dangerous and traumatic moments with minimal losses, without communicating (as opposed to aggression or peacefulness). The person remains in fact in the situation, does not give out external signs of denial. But emotionally he is alienated, psychic energy is not wasted, the intellect is not used in full ordinary force. A person feels the reality of what is happening and can even be involved in it, but everything that happens around loses its emotional color. The situation is not bad, not good, it does not care or affect, it is blocked.

Why deflection?

This psychological defense mechanism is turned on when there is a feeling of distrust towards others (or oneself). A sense of security is lost, anxiety grows. This is usually based on negative experiences. There is a fear of experiencing pain again, and the body prefers to ignore and not participate emotionally in what is happening. For example, such a reaction may occur after suffering the death of a loved one. In the event of a repetition of the traumatic situation (another death), the person becomes emotionally indifferent, leaves the pain in order to "save".

In fact, during deflection, full contact is completely terminated. Only its external attributes and signs remain - laughter, conversation, small talk, ritual. A deflexive person can engage in long, resonant conversations with examples from the past that, in fact, have little to do with the subject of communication. The most capacious definition of such actions was given by Frederick Perls, who called such behavior "intellectual masturbation. " All conversations, automatic actions, ideas and memories are meaningless, a person is no longer "here and now", is already alienated from this society and situation.

Examples of deflexive behavior

  • When communicating with an extremely unpleasant interlocutor, you catch yourself thinking that the best way out would be a sharp verbal rebuff and even rudeness towards him. But your upbringing, reputation does not allow you to do this. Then you start to occupy yourself with "mechanics" - fiddling with your hair, picking your nails. That is, you abstract yourself from the situation by switching to yourself.
  • You are surrounded by a stressful situation both at home and at work for quite a long time. You cannot solve it constructively for various reasons (lack of fortitude, no such experience, fear). Therefore, you start drinking alcohol (stimulant) daily to relieve your discomfort.
  • You are at some kind of obligatory event where you feel out of place. You cannot leave according to the protocol, and it is extremely unpleasant for you to maintain a conversation. And you start talking about ideas and plans, not even your own. You joke, sometimes you answer inappropriately, but at the same time you are technically involved in communication. This is how you deflex.

Deflection occurs when:

  • The person smiles when discussing a truly sad situation.
  • The person eats very quickly and greedily.
  • The person is not joking, he tells jokes.
  • The person dramatically changes the topic of conversation when it comes to the most important.

Why deflection is dangerous

In the event that deflection turns into a constant style of communication, a person loses contact with society. The skill of healthy communication disappears, and the person is incapable of elementary necessary interaction. In communication, the whole meaning is lost, a person becomes asocialized.

How to correct

Within the framework of psychotherapy, which is recommended in such cases, a person learns to focus on himself, on his emotions, experiencing and not ignoring them. It is very important to breathe correctly, listen to yourself, grope and regain confidence. Re-develop communication skills. A person again learns to live his feelings, to share them correctly, without bringing himself emotional discomfort.