Defensive mechanisms are strategies and manners that are regularly used by people in order to protect, deny or ‘defend’ themselves from reality or certain situations. Most defense mechanisms are used unconsciously, without the person realizing about their usage at that moment. Even you – my reader have most probably used one of defense mechanisms at some point.
Overall there are more than 25 defense mechanisms; however, only 15 of them are more common. Some of the most common defense mechanisms are Denial, Regression, Acting Out, Projection, Reaction Formation and so on.
At this point, you might think that those mechanisms mentioned above sound too complicated. Nevertheless, I’m going to introduce you one defense mechanism which is well-known to you and regularly used.
I’m talking about humor. Many people don’t know that humor is a defense mechanism. In essence, humor is like a weapon of defense for a person. It is an unconscious mechanism which reduces the anxiety or stress caused by unexpected and embarrassing situations.
In essence, it helps us to cope up with those situations. If we can joke about a terrible news, uncomfortable situation or traumatic event, even if it may seem socially inappropriate, we should reach toward humor. In most cases, we will often find ourselves feeling that what’s happened to us isn’t so bad and that we’ll be able to get through it. Instead of focusing on what is upsetting or stressing, we should laugh at it and look the problem from a different perspective. We should always try to find a way to make light of whatever circumstances make us afraid.