How To Deal With Denial
Denial is a coping mechanism commonly used when something happens that we really don't want to see. Doing this is actually quite natural. After all, we want to keep our lives in order, and we resist taking in information that we feel would result in a loss for us.
A certain amount of denial is actually healthy. For example, right now if you thought of all the bad things that could possibly happen in the important areas of your life, you would become anxious and depressed. Emotionally healthy people have the ability to focus on the things that are most encouraging and positive, thereby helping themselves stay motivated to deal with life. The truth is, this involves a level of denial.
However, beware of unhealthy denial. This happens when there is something that needs to be dealt with, but you choose to ignore it while it grows.
TYPES OF UNHEALTHY DENIAL
There are four basic types of denial that you may put into practice.
Think about it. You did see it, or you wouldn't be able to remember it after the fact. It's just that you screened it out of your awareness. You observed it, but you denied its connection to the real problem that existed.
· "I was born this way."
· "I got my temper from my father."
· "I've tried before, and I can't be successful."
HOW TO CONFRONT YOUR OWN DENIAL
If you saw yourself in any of these scenarios, and you realized that you are in denial about some behavior pattern that you really need to change, what can you do about it? Here are some suggestions.
Disappointments, setbacks, and unwelcome changes are a fact of life. Some people are able bounce back easily and actually become stronger as they meet the challenges of life. Others grow weaker and less optimistic as the experiences of life accumulate. What makes the difference between these people? One factor is the ability to be honest with oneself.
Do you have that kind of courage?
Dr. Bev Smallwood is a psychologist who has worked with organizations across the globe for over 20 years. Her high-energy, high-content, high-involvement Magnetic Workplaces (r) programs provide dozens of practical strategies and skills that can be put to work immediately to:
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