Learn to lessen your primary defense mechanism | Type 7
After our most recent 9-part blog series on the topic of how our defense mechanisms serve as guardians of our type-based ego structures, many people asked for ideas about how to work with and lessen our defense mechanisms. This new 9-part series responds to that request. Please note that we all use many defense mechanisms, each type has a particular defense that arises when we are the most throttled, anxious, sad or angry. In addition, defense mechanisms serve a protective function, so it is neither realistic nor even desirable to try to remove them completely, lessening them and relaxing them, however, can be beneficial in reducing our ego-structure’s hold on our development and transformation, both psychologically and spiritually.
The Seven’s primary defense mechanism | rationalization
Rationalization is the defense mechanism by which Sevens explain unacceptable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a way that entirely avoids or obscures their true motivations, intentions, or the effects of the behavior. They also use rationalization to ease the pain and discomfort of others. When Sevens rationalize, they use positive reframing, justifying their behavior by explaining it in highly positive terms as a way to avoid difficulties sadness, guilt, and anxiety, as well as to avoid taking personal responsibility for what has occurred. In fact, they reframe so frequently, they do not perceive it as a rationalization. Instead, they perceive this as the way they always think.
How to lessen rationalization
Ground yourself from your head down to your feet
Being and feeling grounded helps us feel centered, whole and aligned. Have you ever noticed that your energy is so high, your feet may not be on the ground? Literally, of course, your feet are on the ground. But figuratively, you may not feel connected to the earth. Instead of learning how to ground starting with your feet, Sevens do better grounding starting at the top of their heads and then moving their awareness and energy down to their feet, making sure to not skip any part of their body as they move downward. You can do this visually through imagination or somatically through your senses. Do this activity until you feel like you ‘get it,’ enjoy the process and the journey, and then do this every day at least once a day. It’s short and fun, but also so beneficial.
Ginger Lapid-Bogda PhD, the author of seven Enneagram-business books, is a speaker, consultant, trainer, and coach. She provides certification programs and training tools for business professionals around the world who want to bring the Enneagram into organizations with high-impact business applications, and is past-president of the International Enneagram Association. Visit: TheEnneagramInBusiness.com | firstname.lastname@example.org