Coping Mechanisms

Coping Mechanisms

We are complex animals living complex lives in which we are not always able to cope with the difficulties that we face. As a result, we are subject to feelings of tension and stress, for example the cognitive dissonance and potential shame of doing something outside our values. To handle this discomfort we use various coping methods.


Here Are Coping Mechanisms By Type:

Adaptive mechanisms: That offer positive help.

Attack mechanisms: That push discomfort onto others.

Avoidance mechanisms: That avoid the issue.

Behavioral mechanisms: That change what we do.

Cognitive mechanisms: That change what we think.

Conversion mechanisms: That change one thing into another.

Defense mechanisms: Freud’s original set of self defensive mechanisms

Self-harm mechanisms: That hurt our selves.


Here is a Full List of Coping Mechanisms:

Acting out: not coping – giving in to the pressure to misbehave.

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.

Denial: refusing to acknowledge that an event has occurred or that we are responsible for it.

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  make believe.

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.

Projection: seeing your own unwanted feelings in other people and attributing your unwanted actions to others.

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, as in minimalizing.

Undoing: actions that psychologically ‘undo’ wrongdoings for the wrongdoer.

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