Feelings and Defenses 1

Feelings are a normal part of the human experience. You can't get away from them, but people do fight to hide them by using defenses. Our primary feelings are: Angry, Sad, Afraid, Lonely, Ashamed, and Guilty. Each of these have many others feelings that branch from them.

Some ways people try to hide these feelings are by defending through explaining, intellectualizing, and minimizing. When people use these defenses, others might see them as trying to be superior, arrogant, controlling, or manipulative.

For example, a person who feels guilty and ashamed of a mistake they made that hurt someone might use the defense of explaining or minimizing to hide how bad they feel.

When we expose our emotions, we feel vulnerable. When we feel too vulnerable and feel we need to protect ourselves, we will use defenses to not let others get too close.

Remember it is healthy to feel emotions. Pay attention to the defenses you use that might block you from close relationships. Check in tomorrow for more!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW, LCAC is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.  Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.