Denial of the truth is the seed of all Ego Defense Mechanisms. The concept of denial is particularly important to the study of Addiction. Where denial occurs in mature minds, it is most often associated with death, dying and rape.
As one learns how to refocus one’s thoughts, one prevents overwhelming states of emotion from triggering impulsive behaviors and angry reactions. As one develops strong impulse control they are learning a form of ego discipline through applied patience. If we check in and find that we do not like what we may be feeling, we can learn better the reasons for that by further shifting into the observer mode. In our community, we call that process of observing as shifting from identifying with a thought or feeling by moving ourselves into the compassionate witness. As a Compassionate Witness we have no judgment of thoughts or feelings, we hold no judgment of what we are observing in the external, we only observe those thoughts and feelings in our self and others. When we can fully observe through our own Compassionate Witness, we then become neutral and centered. Then, we can immediately find relief from our inner anxiety, fears and a host of other thought distortions. This process is key to shifting ego defense mechanisms, thought addiction tendency and releasing the anxiety or fear of feeling emotional depth or pain. By continually using an ego defense mechanism to avoid facing the source causation of the anxiety or deeply rooted fear, (which is unresolved pain or trauma) we are only perpetuating the mental looping which uses denial of the truth in order to avoid feeling pain or discomfort.
- Denial: putting up a thought barrier and arguing against an anxiety-provoking stimuli by stating it doesn't exist. Refusing to perceive the more unpleasant aspects of the external reality.
Being OK and knowing that things are OK around you is the beginning of returning to the neutral state of the Observer Point. When we return to everything is okay, I am OK, it corresponds to a person who is relaxed and not feeling fear or anxiety. Learning how to free the mind of primal survival thinking by learning how to refocus back into neutral and Compassionate Witnessing, is the direct key to the continual expansion of consciousness and achieving mental and emotional freedom. Practicing the Relationship Mastery Guidelines skill set in our every day life is very helpful as a replacement guide to dismantle Ego Defense Mechanisms.
Rejecting Painful Truths
Denial, in ordinary English usage, is asserting that a statement or allegation is not true. The same word, and also abnegation (German: Verneinung), is used for a psychological defense mechanism, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence. An individual that exhibits such behaviour is described as a denialist or true believer. Denial also could mean denying the happening of an event or the reliability of information, which can lead to a feeling of aloofness and to the ignoring of possibly beneficial information.
The subject may use:
- simple denial: deny the reality of the unpleasant fact altogether
- minimization: admit the fact but deny its seriousness (a combination of denial and rationalization)
- projection: admit both the fact and seriousness but deny responsibility by blaming somebody or something else.
It is important to note what makes denial denial and not just refusal to admit to or accept a truth or fact rests in the degree of individual's awareness of the existence of the truth or fact. In denial, an individual does not see or is mostly unconscious of existence of the truth or fact. The choice to refuse reality, then, is unconscious as well. Refusal to admit to or accept a truth or fact differs from denial in that the individual recognizes or is conscious of the existence of the truth or fact but consciously refuses to accept it as such.