Defense mechanisms are mental behaviors all of us employ to protect or defend ourselves from some "threat." More specifically, ego defense mechanisms are mental behaviors we use to "defend" our self-images. Aggressive personalities use a variety of mental behaviors and interpersonal maneuvers to help ensure they get what they want.
Denial – This is when the aggressor refuses to admit that they've done something harmful or hurtful when they clearly have. This "Who... Me?" tactic is a way of "playing innocent."
Selective Inattention – When engaging in this tactic, the aggressor actively ignores the warnings, pleas or wishes of others, and in general, refuses to pay attention to everything and anything that might distract them from pursuing their own agenda.
Rationalization or Minimization - A rationalization is the excuse an aggressor tries to offer for engaging in an inappropriate or harmful behavior. It can be an effective tactic, especially when the explanation or justification the aggressor offers makes just enough sense that any reasonably conscientious person is likely to fall for it. It's the aggressor's attempt to make a molehill out of a mountain.
Diversion or Lying – A moving target is hard to hit. Manipulators use distraction and diversion techniques to keep the focus off their behavior, move us off-track, and keep themselves free to promote their self-serving hidden agendas.
Shaming – This is the technique of using subtle sarcasm and put-downs as a means of increasing fear and self-doubt in others. It's an effective way to foster a continued sense of personal inadequacy in the weaker party, thereby allowing an aggressor to maintain a position of dominance.
Playing the Victim Role – This tactic involves portraying oneself as an innocent victim of circumstances or someone else's behavior in order to gain sympathy, evoke compassion and thereby get something from another.
Playing the Noble Role – This tactic is used to cloak their self-serving agendas in the guise of service to a more noble cause.
Seduction – Using charming, praising, flattering words or overtly supporting others in order to get them to lower their defenses and surrender their trust and loyalty. C
Projecting the blame (blaming others) – Aggressive personalities are always looking for a way to shift the blame for their aggressive behavior. Aggressors are not only skilled at finding scapegoats, they're expert at doing so in subtle, hard to
Which are your favorite covert or defensive tactics?