Part one: The Recipe from Hell’s Kitchen
STEP 1: Take a large helping of incompetent behavior.
STEP 2: Remove all the consequence.
STEP 3: Cover and allow confidence to rise.
STEP 4: Deny the existence of the deadly mixture until complacency sets in.
STEP 5: Put into PPE and send into an oven. When PASS Alarms ring the catastrophe will be ready.
Part two: refusal to admit or recognise
Denial is an outright refusal to admit or recognise that something has occurred or is currently occurring.
Repression is generally viewed as a destructive act.
That will never happen here….
When was the last time we had anything like that happen? ….
“Everything was perfectly healthy and normal here in Denial Land.”
― Jim Butcher, Cold Days
“The thing about denial is that it doesn’t feel like denial when it’s going on.”
― Georgina Kleege, Sight Unseen
“And that is how we are. By strength of will we cut off our inner intuitive knowledge from admitted consciousness. This causes a state of dread, or apprehension, which makes the blow ten times worse when it does fall.”
― D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
“Delay is the deadliest form of denial.”
― C. Northcote Parkinson
Part three: magical thinking
One form of denial was first popularised as a symptom of alcoholism. It is evident by negation of reality motivated by an overwhelming desire for something that is true to not be true.
Denial can be a good or at least necessary thing if it is part of a process that leads to acceptance.
It can also be extremely dangerous.
Hundreds of thousands may have been saved had the news of what was going on in the concentration camps not been met with the insistent disbelief of denial.
Modern denial goes hand in hand with magical thinking.
Part four: Denial and repression
From: Denial, http://abt.cm/1DHqFBM
“lf you don`t pay attention to it, it won’t bother you.
What would happen to someone who followed this advice?
It might work, to an extent.
Whatever was bothersome would possibly be a lot less so.
But there might be a cost as well.
lf we spend our lives avoiding things that are bothersome and unpleasant, we might also miss out on something important along the way. Something about that bothersome stimulus might be Iost—perhaps memory for details or other potentially relevant information.
That is, because our feelings and our thoughts are inextricably connected, what we try to do about our feelings might also affect our thoughts and memories in a number of ways.
Denial is probably one of the best known defense mechanisms, used often to describe situations in which people seem unable to face reality or admit an obvious truth (i.e. “He’s in denial.”). Denial is an outright refusal to admit or recognize that something has occurred or is currently occurring. Drug addicts or alcoholics often deny that they have a problem, while victims of traumatic events may deny that the event ever occurred.
Denial functions to protect the ego from things that the individual cannot cope with. While this may save us from anxiety or pain, denial also requires a substantial investment of energy. Because of this, other defenses are also used to keep these unacceptable feelings from consciousness.
In many cases, there might be overwhelming evidence that something is true, yet the person will continue to deny its existence or truth because it is too uncomfortable to face.
Denial can involve a flat out rejection of the existence of a fact or reality. In other cases, it might involve admitting that something is true, but minimizing its importance. Sometimes people will accept reality and the seriousness of the fact, but they will deny their own responsibility and instead blame other people or other outside forces.
Addiction is one of the best-known examples of denial. People who are suffering from a substance abuse problem will often flat-out deny that their behavior is problematic. In other cases, they might admit that they do use drugs or alcohol, but will claim that this substance abuse is not a problem.
Repression is another well-known defense mechanism. Repression acts to keep information out of conscious awareness. However, these memories don’t just disappear; they continue to influence our behavior. For example, a person who has repressed memories of abuse suffered as a child may later have difficulty forming relationships. Sometimes we do this consciously by forcing the unwanted information out of our awareness, which is known as suppression. In most cases, however, this removal of anxiety-provoking memories from our awareness is believed to occur unconsciously. http://abt.cm/1JesMC6
Part five: The positive and negative aspects of repression.
The positive aspects of repression
Repression can be a useful defense mechanism. Although repression is generally viewed as a destructive act, it is rightly called a “defense mechanism” because it defends us against psychological material which might indeed be dangerous if we don’t have the ego strength or psychological skills to manage certain challenges to the ego. For example, if a young boy must play the role of a “perfectly sweet child” to please his demanding parents, he might not know any way to survive except to deny his occasional anger; however, he could select the option of suppression if knew that he could secretly acknowledge — within the privacy of strong ego boundaries — both the anger and the unfairness of his parents’ demands.
The negative aspects of repression
Whether repressed or suppressed, the elements remain intact and energized; they continue to influence us (as explained below) while they push for expression. Although suppression can cause tension and conflict, repression can cause even more damage — particularly because our unawareness of it means that we have less ability to recognize the ways in which it is affecting us and harming us. (The following results also occur from suppressed material during the time that it is suppressed.)
Our perceptions are distorted
While the repressed material is in the shadow, it projects onto people and situations; for example, fear which has been repressed and then projected will color our perceptions of the world as a frightening place. Because we are not perceiving accurately, we acquire incorrect information from our surroundings, and thus we respond inappropriately; we react fearfully to situations which are not truly dangerous. Repression distorts not only our observations in this moment, but also our memories of the past and our expectations for the future.
Repressed material is not available for our use.
Every thought and emotion has a potential purpose — perhaps offering new perspectives, and some vitality, and a broader understanding of our wholeness (as we realize that we have the capacity for such a thought or emotion). When we repress, we are refusing these gifts. For example, if we deny our fear, we are not able to use the energy that is associated with it, nor can we have a full perspective on the dangers which are triggering the fear.
Repression prevents us from understanding ourselves.
For example, if we examine our “selfishness” (instead of pretending that it doesn’t exist), we might find the reasons for our behavior; perhaps we will realize that it is actually a reasonable response to people who are abusing our tendency toward generosity. And, in another example, if we analyze a thought of violence toward an offending person, we can learn much about our ego, our boundaries, our needs, our viewpoints, our projections, and other aspects of ourselves.
Repressed material remains unresolved
If we don’t even admit that an emotion or thought exists, we can’t take action toward a solution. For example, if we disavow our capacity for selfishness, we won’t look for the reason why it occurs, nor will we recognize the ways in which it is wrecking our friendships, and we won’t seek ways to maintain our dignity and boundaries while also being loving and generous enough to support those friendships.
Repressed emotions become difficult to express in a constructive manner
During their period of repression, they degenerate into primitive forms; for example, repressed anger can become resentment or bitterness.
Repression causes physical distress.
The repressed energy is lodged in the body, where it might be experienced as physical tension, physical numbness, lack of vitality, the physical (and psychological) symptoms of depression, diminished body awareness, and eventually illness. Massage therapists and other bodyworkers know that when their treatments release physical stress, the clients often feel an upsurge of emotions — the emotions that have been locked into those tissues.
Repression consumes energy.
The effort to keep material in the unconscious mind is like the effort to keep a buoyant object underwater; we are using energy to hold back the energy of the repressed elements. When repressed material is released, we might experience a feeling of lightness and freedom — and power, because the energy from the material and from our effort to repress it is now available for a constructive use.
Repression causes emotional numbness.
We repress by intellectually denying the reality of the emotion, and by desensitizing ourselves to our awareness of the movement and pressure of the emotional energy within us. The extent to which we repress one emotion or sensation is the extent to which we repress all emotions or sensations; for example, when we refuse to feel fear and anger, we also lose our capacity to feel happiness and pleasure.
The repressed material does not develop.
For instance, if we repress our anger, we do not learn how to express it properly, because we are denying ourselves the opportunities to practice the various ways in which the dynamics of anger can be used in an effective, civilized manner. Because we have not developed these skills, the anger — when it finally bursts out of its repression — has an immature nature, as in a “temper tantrum.”
The contents regress.
Not only do they not develop, they proceed in the opposite direction, becoming more primitive and unfocused. Anger degenerates into a general, vague hostility.
The contents become autonomous.
They seem to create “a life of their own.” Because the ego has denied its connection to them, it has no control over them, so they arise at inappropriate moments, and in inappropriate ways, often driving us into compulsive behavior; in that sense, they control us. As the ego makes plans and designs its life, the repressed contents seem to develop agendas of their own, as though plotting a way to express themselves — but their expression will necessarily be contrary to our will, as though an alien force is imposing itself upon us.
The contents are projected more intensely.
When we see people through a thicker projection, our perceptions of them become more distorted.(Refer to the chapter regarding projection.)
The contents can cause a reversal in our behavior.
Jung used the term “enantiodromia” to label the inclination of people to go from one extreme to the other, as when a seemingly sweet, harmless person suddenly indulges a violent rampage.
Part six: will denial make the problem better or worse?
Part seven: techniques for dealing with repression and suppression.
Develop self-acceptance, which is a willingness to view and experience reality.
Thoughts, feelings and emotions can be actively selected for the ones which may be used productively, while carefully suppressing those which need to be set aside for a later time.
Act maturely and decisively.