Defense Mechanism

Muhammad Abubakar Mir
3 min readMar 19, 2021


What is a defense mechanism or in other simple word how humans defend themselves? In today topic we will discuss it

Defense Mechanism?

An implicit psychological mechanism that decreases anxiety induced by unfavorable or potentially harmful stimuli is known as a defense mechanism. Depending on the conditions and frequency at which the defense mechanism is used, it can have safe or harmful implications.

There 10 most common Defense Mechanism:-

1- Denial:-

When an unexpected event happens that we never expected then our id and ego started to fight and as result, we deny that situation which is called denial. For example, a person slapped someone because he had some issue with him so, after slapping him he ran away and deny in front of others that he slapped.


The ego’s unconscious defense mechanism for preventing disturbing or harmful thoughts from being conscious is repression. Those thoughts that would cause the superego to feel guilty are often suppressed. for example, a student gets bad marks in his exam so he cries in front of his parent so his parent will not punish him.


Anna Freud suggested projection as a defense mechanism in which a person projects unwanted thoughts, emotions, and motivations onto another person. for example, Anna had a crush on Alex but he never says to Alex this as he believes that Alex also had a crush on her so, he will automatically approach her.


The redirection of an impulse (usually aggression) to a powerless replacement goal is known as displacement. An individual or an entity may be used as a symbolic replacement for the goal. For example, a teacher is frustrated and he will release his frustration by punishing his students.


Regression is a defensive mechanism in which the ego regresses to a more primitive stage of development in response to stressful circumstances. for example, some people start to eat their nails while facing some stressful event.


Sublimation is similar to displacement, but it happens when we are able to turn our negative feelings into positive and socially acceptable actions rather than damaging ones. for example playing sports


Rationalization is a defensive mechanism suggested by Anna Freud that involves a cognitive manipulation of “the evidence” in order to make an occurrence or impulse seem less dangerous. When we make excuses for ourselves, we do so on a reasonably aware level quite often. For example, most people say that there will be a bad happening when a black cat crosses your path.

8-Reaction Formation:-

Reaction forming is a psychological defensive mechanism in which a person goes beyond denial and acts in the opposite direction to what he or she believes or feels. for example, we see some people become angry when we did not accept their views so that person uses reaction formation.

9- Introjection:-

Introjection is that type of defense mechanism when a person puts some good qualities of another person into his ego for example soldiers follow the order of their commander.


It is that type of defense mechanism in which a person is disconnected from reality and associate it with the fantasy world.



Muhammad Abubakar Mir

🇵🇰 | Studying Clinical Psychology | Interest in Science, Psychology, Politics, and Criminology. For