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Learn to lessen your primary defense mechanism | Type 8


Learn to lessen your primary defense mechanism | Type 8

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 Eight’s primary defense mechanism | denial
Denial is a defense mechanism by which Eights unconsciously negate something that makes them feel anxious by disavowing its very existence. These can include thoughts, feelings, wishes, sensations, needs, and other external factors that are unacceptable to the Eight for some reason. Denial comes in a variety of forms. A person may deny the reality of the unpleasant information altogether, admit that something is true but deny or minimize its seriousness, or admit that both the information and its severity are true but deny any personal responsibility for it. Eights exhibit denial on a regular basis, but they do so most blatantly when they feel anxious, vulnerable, sad, or intensely angry for long periods of time.

How to lessen denial
Reflect on the nature of vulnerability
Become philosophical and ask yourself some challenging questions: Is vulnerability really weakness? Who have I known or observed who was able to be both very strong and show vulnerability? Is my reluctance to be vulnerable actually coming from a place of fear, and if so, what am I afraid of? These are hard questions, but the answers can be illuminating. If you like to read or watch Ted Talks, author Brene´ Brown has clear and useful books and talks on this very subject.

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 | ginger@theenneagraminbusiness.com

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