Living in a World of Denial
Deny, Deny, Deny
Denial as a Defense Mechanism
Denial is clearly a pyschological defense mechanism. In terms of right or wrong, it can be either. It can never be both. The knee jerk reaction to accusations of guilt is to immediately deny. However, denial can be an extremely powerful tool to gain control of others. As a defense mechanism, denial allows the guilty to have momentary freedom from unacceptable or criminal behavior. Many prisoners of war struggle to stay the course of truth using denial of false accusations by their enemies. This supports the idea of the power of denial. It can support truth in some situations and just as powerfully support lies.
There are individuals who are quite skilled at denying facts and truth. Their talents often are observed as "neutralized denial." That is to say, denying guilt without actually alluding to one's part in the guilt. For example, those with obsessive/compulsive addictions like drugs, alcohol and gambling live in a world of denial of their problems. Instead, they choose to lay blame for their drunkeness, drug crimes and gambling debts on others. It is true that those in relationships with people with these disorders do become "co-dependents" in denial. Many men and women married to alcoholics compensate for their spouses drinking by covering up the drunkeness. Marriage to a drug addict can result in the co-dependent spouse becoming an addict such as in the case of many celebrities. They deny their their relationship to an addict requires far more professional help than they are capable of providing. These are neutralized denials due to the need to make excuses for unacceptable behavior. It's easier to deny a problem exists than to confront it headlong.
Denial Will Set You Free - NOT
Those who build their lives on the element of denial are comfortable with this mechanism. Many build an entire world around them that is real only to them. They truly believe that denial sets them free of any obligation to be responsible human beings. By denying this obligation, they know someone else will pull up the slack for them. There is always a "helpful" consort ready to "fix" the denier's difficulties for them. What there consorts don't understand is that helping the denier in any way to continue their denials only enables them to continue to move forward in that fantasy world they created. Sadly, they are able to pull others into their fantasy world of denial all too easily. Perhaps, it's because the denier's fantasy world is an escape from the harsh realities of everyday living that they manage to attract others as willing to deny truth and facts. All this shows is weakness of spirit to confront obstacles no matter how difficult they may be. So, yes. Denial is a mechanism based upon neurotic weakness.
How Close is Denial to Outright Lying?
The analogy of repeating over and over that which is borne of denial will eventually become truth is all too prevalent in society today. Denial is the new truth. If you are guilty, deny it. Deny it over and over and over until it appears to be the truth and forces others to believe it is the truth. In many cases, denial can be lying by omitting known evidence and facts of proof of an issue. Twisting and distorting words is the prerequisite for lies by omission. Some are quite practiced in the art of preeminent lies by omission. They set the stage by creating the scene with what they claim is substantiating evidence. They are unwilling to allow any inter-communicative reasoning or disagreement once they set upon the direction of lying by omission. Their predisposal to setting forth communication based on minimal facts that are easily distorted and then couching further statements are denials that precede outright lies.
Proving a Negative
Worse are the highly educated who try to insist it is possible to prove a negative. By simple use of word manipulation, authors and doctors of sociopathy claim you can prove there is a return of a herd of unicorns by simply altering the words used to describe their existence. This is the same issue with Big Foot, ghostly apparitions and the Loch Ness Monster. It is quite humorous to watch grown men in full regalia, including night vision goggles tramping, through the dark forest areas of some remote region looking for Big Foot or ghostly apparitions. What they deny is that evidence exists to the contrary and that science has resoundlingly disproved the existence of Big Foot, Sasquatch or the Yeti. It is as simple as taking DNA from samples these Big Foot searchers "find" and testing the hairs. Still, they would deny that science has proven them wrong.
The Know All, Never Wrong Denial Fest
It is practically an imperative that bloated ego is an ingredient in the denial mechanism. This is true for several reasons:
. The denier believes they have superior knowledge
. The denier believes they can never be wrong
This is the denial fest from which many with bloated senses of self feast all too frequently. The idea in debate is to present both pro and con and allow debaters the opportunity to support both of these elements. Deniers want no such opportunity because that might mean they must provide conclusive evidence or proof. To do that, completely obliterates their denials.
The reality is that while the denial mechanism is the chief operative of those who have created their own fantasy world, they also believe they are infallible. This is the first fault line in their weakness. Rational human beings always acknowledge their human predilection to fail or to err.
Consider the state of mind of many institutionalize mental patients. They create a fantasy world that exists only in their minds. They refuse to allow disagreements with their presupposed beliefs and may be quite fanatical to the point of irrationality and violent behavior. Irrationality, being the operative word here when describing the core of the denial mechanism. When denials are so extreme, they are easily viewed as irrational to reasonable, thinking human beings.
Observe children at play. The observer eventually sees the same behavior in young children who have not reached the age of reason as in those who live in their own world of denial for whatever reason. A child may act out in an irrational way due to lack of understanding of self-control. When an adult does this, it is considered extreme behavior and "out of control." We see this lack of self-control in addicts who seem not to have the vision required to know there are limits. We see this in many of today's most fanatical adults who find it impossible to control their need to dominate the world outside of their fantasy world.
As The Denial World Turns
To many rational human beings, trying to reason with deniers is akin to trying to understand a foreign language without prior training. As the denial world turns, the ability to decipher truth from lies becomes a more laborious task. Proof, facts and concrete evidence matter little to the insistent, constantly contradictory deniers. Sadly, when denial becomes the new truth, it is future generations who are faced with untangling the over-abundance of lies by omission and distortions of truth that exist in denial.