First off Thank you all for your well wishes! My wife is home and doing well. The surgery went well and she is moving around.
Now down to business once again J Today will be more on the Neurotic Defenses.
Intellectualization is when a person just focuses on the facts, distancing themselves from the emotional aspects of a situation. This is part of the next defense, isolation, and is a way a person isolates him/herself from a situation. I see this much more in men than women, does not mean it doesn’t happen in women.
Isolation is separating feelings from ideas and events. I have talked to a lot of young children who will just give the facts about a horrendous abuse situation and show absolutely no emotion about the event. They separate themselves emotionally from the event so that it doesn’t hurt. If we can move ourselves away from emotions and no longer feel, we also no longer have to hurt. This is very sad to me but understandable.
Rationalization (making excuses) is a person convincing him/herself that all is well and that no wrong has been done by using faulty reasoning. A person will make convenient excuses for the situation or behavior. It is a way to get away from responsibility. Now days I see this behavior a lot for our children who are now becoming adults. It seems that that our children are given excuses by society ranging from bad parenting to mental and health problems. This does not mean that they are not valid excuses only that if that is all they are given then there is a chance that they will always use them. For example ADHD is a real problem and definitely causes a lot of stress in a child and adult’s life but it is manageable and with help the person can become an amazing person. It is important for them to see their weaknesses but to also see their strengths and that they can succeed.
I think I would like to use rationalization in a story to show a person going from not being able to succeed but to one who does succeed. I also think that a good comic relief could have the intellectualization defense mechanism in a dark humorous situation. He could be the sidekick who always looks at the horrible events without any emotion. Think of the show “bones” the main character drives me insane with her lack of emotion but tweaking her personality and the situation a little I could see some humor there. I don’t know I will have to think on that one just an idea.
How would you use these defense mechanisms in your characters?