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Denial is almost always associated with substance abuse. However, it is one form of a defensive system that people use in everyday life to justify their behavior. For instance, you take a 2-hour lunch rather than the allotted 1 hour, telling yourself you deserve it because they don’t pay you enough to begin with, maybe you forgot that you accepted the compensation they offered when you hired on. Denial is just one of many types of defenses one uses to justify and continue their behavior.


• SIMPLE DENIAL: A person denies that the problem exists when it’s obvious that it not only exists but others also recognize the problem. It’s as if no one sees the elephant in the room.

• RATIONALIZING: A person makes all kinds of excuses and justifications for their behavior. Even though the explanation doesn’t fit why something happened in the first place; “If you lived with her/him you’d drink too”.

• MINIMIZING: A person doesn’t deny the problem exists but minimizes the seriousness of the problem. “I only drink beer not the hard stuff.”

• INTELLECTUALIZING: One having all the knowledge in the world about a problem but never sees how it relates to them.

• BLAMING: The behavior isn’t denied, but the cause of the behavior is placed on a person, place or thing.

• DIVERSION: Changing the topic of conversation when the subject is threatening to their problems.

• HOSTILITY: A person displays anger or irritability towards others when their problems are brought to their attention.

The thing to keep in mind is when one is utilizing a defense they believe it, it is not a lie. It protects our conscious mind from experiencing or minimizing quilt.