My name is Z. Allora and I want to thank the sexy ladies of Coffee & Porn In The Morning for allowing me space to ramble.
I think coping mechanisms can be both good and bad. They help people deal and function when under stress. People who are anxious tend to implement a ton of them. However, it’s important to remember that a coping mechanism is really symptom of a core issue that needs resolution. Therapists tend to encourage people to find the root cause and deal with it directly. Coping mechanisms can mask that there is an issue that needs to be addressed.
However, we all use coping mechanisms on a daily basis to get through the day. Some are healthy like counting to ten before ripping someone’s arms off and beating them in the head with it. Some are unhealthy like eating sugar when we are stressed.
One of my characters uses a bit of cross-dressing to deal the effects of a traumatic incident that happened years before. Usually it is just a scrap of silk here or a gender-neutral shirt there. But when faced with something that could possibly give him flashbacks to that horrible night in his past, he decides he needs a crutch to do exactly what he wanted to do. He acknowledged that cross-dressing wasn’t helping him progress further in his healing but at that point he didn’t give a damn. He gave himself a break and utilized his coping tool of choice. I think we all need to be kind to ourselves on occasion.
Here’s one of the most extensive laundry list of coping mechanisms I have ever seen. How many do you rely on to get through your day?
- Acting out: not coping – giving in to the pressure to misbehave.
- Adaptation: The human ability to adapt.
- Aim inhibition: lowering sights to what seems more achievable.
- Altruism: Helping others to help self.
- Attack: trying to beat down that which is threatening you.
- Avoidance: mentally or physically avoiding something that causes distress.
- Compartmentalization: separating conflicting thoughts into separated compartments.
- Compensation: making up for a weakness in one area by gain strength in another.
- Conversion: subconscious conversion of stress into physical symptoms.
- Crying: Tears of release and seeking comfort.
- Denial: refusing to acknowledge that an event has occurred.
- Displacement: shifting of intended action to a safer target.
- Dissociation: separating oneself from parts of your life.
- Emotionality: Outbursts and extreme emotion.
- Fantasy: escaping reality into a world of possibility.
- Help-rejecting complaining: Ask for help then reject it.
- Idealization: playing up the good points and ignoring limitations of things desired.
- Identification: copying others to take on their characteristics.
- Intellectualization: avoiding emotion by focusing on facts and logic.
- Introjection: Bringing things from the outer world into the inner world.
- Passive aggression: avoiding refusal by passive avoidance.
- Performing rituals: Patterns that delay.
- Post-traumatic growth: Using the energy of trauma for good.
- Projection: seeing your own unwanted feelings in other people.
- Provocation: Get others to act so you can retaliate.
- Rationalization: creating logical reasons for bad behavior.
- Reaction Formation: avoiding something by taking a polar opposite position.
- Regression: returning to a child state to avoid problems.
- Repression: subconsciously hiding uncomfortable thoughts.
- Self-harming: physically damaging the body.
- Somatization: psychological problems turned into physical symptoms.
- Sublimation: channeling psychic energy into acceptable activities.
- Substitution: Replacing one thing with another.
- Suppression: consciously holding back unwanted urges.
- Symbolization: turning unwanted thoughts into metaphoric symbols.
- Trivializing: Making small what is really something big.
- Undoing: actions that psychologically ‘undo’ wrongdoings for the wrongdoer. (1)
I have used ten… and that was before breakfast! But my favorite coping mechanism is fantasy. Escaping reality is a favorite of mine and I truly believe it has kept me relativity sane. It’s why I read and write and come to sites like this one.
What’s your favorite? Are coping mechanisms good or bad?
If you are interested in reading more about how my character uses cross-dressing and what is he using it for…
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