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  • Writer's pictureSiti Aisyah

Self-Awareness: Recognising our Defence Mechanisms

Self-Awareness: Recognising our Defence Mechanisms

I recently had another counselling session to place heavy burden off my chest and discuss how I can cope with the way some people treat me. I have to admit, counselling has really been helpful in building my self-awareness. I did a reflection to attempt to arrive to an objective conclusion on why someone was treating me badly and not realising it, and why I was reacting in a certain way. So we discovered together that when someone gets into an argument with me, or is simply projecting their anger or hurt onto me, I tend to just give in to them and find any means to make them happy or please them. And later on, I would withdraw myself and bottle my emotions to avoid confrontation and just hoping these same people would realise their errors. I’d end up feeling awful, but I wouldn’t tell these people about it. This indicated that my defence mechanism comprised of avoidance, because I would just refuse to deal with it and just want things to be pleasant.

So then I took a leap in being objective in my viewpoint towards the person who was treating me badly, whether they knew it or it was all unconscious actions. When people read this, obviously at surface we would be thinking altogether, “How can this person be mean? Why can’t this person be kinder?” But in my reflection and discussion with the counsellor, we both thought up reasons why this person acted this way towards me. From the things that happen to this person, like losing a family member, to deducing their defence mechanism. And it was then that I realised how this person was in denial as a way to cope with grief. Always trying to seem like they were fine and accepting of what happened, and wanting to appear in control of their own emotions. What we all aim to achieve is putting that full trust in Allah and remembering that He is in control of our problems, but that is indeed a difficult process to achieve for many of us. So this person projects some of the normal stress in life onto me because I am a close friend, and tries to convince everyone and themselves that they are fine. This shows that this person is only a troubled person with a denial and displacement defence mechanism. Not mean, not ill-hearted, just human with a defence mechanism.

So one step to building your self-awareness is to realise your defence mechanism. There are many articles on Google search that we can read to understand ourselves better. Once we realise our own toxicity and flaws, then we can all work on ourselves to improve our character to be the healthiest Muslims we can be, InshaAllah. ☺️💗

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