Today, we talk about denial.
Very similar to repression, it also works by excluding unacceptable thoughts and feelings, but goes further in actively denying them.
“It’s not as bad as it seems” so the event and its consequent emotion are belittled, and assume a different connotation.
A very relevant example is the denial many of us experience towards the climate crisis. It is a natural reaction to something as umbearable and huge as the environment degradation, and, as any other defense mechanism, is there to protect our psyche.
It’s important to give it therapeutic ‘attention’ because what is good for our psyche is not always good for our wellbeing, for our community and for society.
Denial of this state, and the micro-denials that come with it, lead to inaction.
“It’s not as bad as they are portraying it”, “It will be alright” and “There is nothing I can do that will make a difference” are all forms of denial. Optimistc, naive or pessimistic, the goal is always removing something from our sphere of control.
Embracing that control means also embracing a certain degree of powerlessness. This is the complexity we need to progress, and this is why the simplicity of denial can be so effective sometimes.
[Read the article of the Guardian]