Denial is the state of not handling issues head-on. It can be temporary, for example, pushing something aside to deal with it later during a traumatic experience, or it can be more long term and hold adverse effects if you never deal with your problems at hand.
Types of Denial
There are various types of denial, and many problems that can arise from denying that your problems exist. The solutions are specific to the kinds of denial you are dealing with. Denial of Ownership
Denial of ownership refers to blaming others for the problems that you have. “I wouldn’t have done that if you didn’t provoke me.” “You made me do that.” By denying ownership, you lift the responsibility from yourself and place it on someone else, therefore not holding yourself accountable for your actions. Denial Of Reality
Denying the reality of a situation, an example of this is sticking with an abusive friendship or relationship hoping that someone will get better over time because they hold promise, or you like them, or you want to see them get better.
All we can hold on to is the information we are given at the moment. Feelings aside, take a conscious look at the actions that are taking place. Words are just words, and it usually takes something big for people to change their ways. If red flags or problems arise, work on getting out of the situation. Shooting The Messenger
This refers to getting upset with an outside party noticing and relaying an issue to you rather than focusing on the problem at hand. This can potentially severe your relationship with this person and make people not want to relay potentially valuable information to you in the future.
The Definition of Insanity The definition of insanity is doing something over and over again, expecting the results to change. By denying the outcome of an event or circumstance, it prevents you from trying or coming up with a different solution to tackle your problem.
Learn to take accountability for your actions. The only control we have is on our reaction to a situation and what we do. If you don’t have a set of morals, work on developing those and viewing conditions in more of a third-person sort of lens. View it as if it doesn’t involve you.
If someone came to you with this issue, how would you handle it? If this is difficult for you, perhaps talk to a friend to gain clarity and help with a situation since they are the third party and don’t have to pretend. Viewing a problem from different perspectives can limit the amount of denial you hold in your life.
The Issue With Living With Denial
The main issue with living with denial is the avoidance of responsibility. Only you can control the outcomes and situations in your life. This does not mean you can physically mold together everything you want your life to be in a perfect package, but you can adjust the sails on your ship to work on heading in the right direction.
By not taking control of your life, you allow others to control it for you and become a product of your environment rather than a catalyst in situations. This can lead to depression and other adverse psychological outcomes.
Living With Denial Doesn’t Have To Be Permanent
If you have been living with denial, understand that you can change. There are steps you can take every day to head towards a more fulfilling life and handle your problems head-on.