Like most defence mechanisms that can be utilised, denial can make it easier for someone to function on this planet. By denying something, it can stop them from having to feel bad about themselves, allowing them to avoid pain.
Their view of themselves will then be protected and this will have a positive on their wellbeing. However, although this can protect their ego, it is also something that can do more harm than good.
Avoidance of Reality
For example, if someone has behaved in a destructive way but is unwilling to acknowledge what has taken place, it could have a negative effect on their life. If there were other people around at the time, these people may struggle to understand what is going on.
These people will have been there and witnessed it with their own eyes, only to be told that what they saw didn’t happen. If these people are their friends, they might not be for much longer.
The same thing can take place if someone was abused during their early years and ends up talking to their parent/s about what took place. This may be something that is still affecting their life to this say.
The evidence will be there but their parent/s will tell them that what they are talking about didn’t happen. This can be especially hard if someone is not in a very bad way, and expected their parent/s to validate what they went through and to be compassionate.
Out of Touch with reality
In both of these, along with every any other example, it is going to be clear that it is not possible for someone to face up to what has happened. Here, it won’t be a defence mechanism that they use from time to time; it will be a defence mechanism that is constantly being used.
Therefore, it might be appropriate to say that this defence mechanism has become part of their personality. And as it is now part of who they are, they are no longer aware of when they are in denial.
More than one
Someone like this is then going to be out of touch with reality when it comes to one part of their life. It could go even further, though, as they could generally have very little connection with reality.
In addition to what they are not willing to face, there can be a number of other things that they are not willing to acknowledge. Ergo, trying to get through to someone like this is going to be a bit like trying to get blood out of a stone.
If they were to accept something that they have denied, they could end up being overwhelmed with pain. Denying what has taken place externally is then just going to be a way for them to prevent the pain that is in their body from coming to the surface.
Ultimately, their need to avoid reality is going to be a consequence of their need to avoid themselves. Facing their inner wounds and working through them can then allow them to become a more integrated human being and to slowly face reality.
If someone can relate to this, and they want to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.