The faces of denial.

September 30, 2011 — Leave a comment

This is part 1 of the Treatment series.

Denial is not a river in Egypt. Denial is as natural as the sin you were born with. Genesis records the first sin and coupled with the sin was denial. It’s a human symptom of a problem.

When confronted about our issue we seize control by denying that the problem exists. There are many faces to denial. Denial is much more than lying; it’s a masquerade party of many human devices.

1. Minimization. This face of denial seeks to shrink the symptoms of your problem. Perhaps you claim you just take pills when you’re in pain, or claim to be a functional alcoholic. In both examples, all you have done is minimize the glaring problem.

2. Blaming. This facet of denial is as old as the bible. When Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the snake; their blame didn’t take away the fact that they had allowed temptation to bring forth sin. We can blame our parents, our past in general, or our present circumstances. However, no matter the validity of our argument: we are responsible for our own selves now.

3. Projection. In this section of denial, an individual seeks to put their issues off on somebody else’s shoulder. A man might claim that his wife nagging causes him to seek the arms of another woman. A woman may claim that her husband is verbally abusive; therefore, she must binge and purge to please him.

4. Intellectualization. By using facts gained from Google, anybody can produce statistics that will prove their problem isn’t a problem. This might be the guy that has all kinds of out of context scriptures to validate their issue. Dialogue and debate is the name of this game. Through twisting and turning phrases and facts: the person in denial feels vindicated.

5. Compliance. A very common form of denial. A person just goes along with whatever discipline or treatment that is prescribed. They aren’t going into treatment because of personal conviction; they are being compliant.

6. Diversion. The most ugly of all the faces of denial, individuals seek to turn the spotlight on everybody but himself or herself. They defer their problems by pointing out your flaws. If you are kind enough to confront your loved one, and they are using this mode of denial, get ready for a personal onslaught of insults. “What about your kids? You are a horrible mother.” “You drink too much too. Why don’t you go to treatment?” Diversion is divisive.

Denial is deadly. It slowly suffocates the life out of your conscience. Denial and personal development are opposites that do not attract. Be honest.

Question: Which one of the faces of denial have you used in the past? How did you overcome it?