Self-Deception as a Coping Mechanism Pt. 1

Self-deception as a coping mechanism in the context of surviving abuse involves consciously or unconsciously distorting or denying certain aspects of reality to alleviate the emotional and psychological distress associated with the abuse. It is a psychological defense mechanism that individuals may employ to protect themselves from the painful truths of their situation.

Here are a few ways self-deception may manifest as a coping mechanism in the context of abuse:

  1. Denial: The individual may deny or minimize the severity of the abuse, convincing themselves that it is not as bad as it seems. They may downplay the harm done to them or rationalize the abuser’s actions.
  2. Rationalization: The person may come up with justifications or explanations for the abuser’s behavior, blaming external factors or circumstances rather than acknowledging the abuser’s responsibility. They may convince themselves that the abuse is deserved or that it is a temporary phase that will eventually improve.
  3. Blaming oneself: The survivor may internalize the blame for the abuse, believing that they somehow caused or provoked it. This self-blame can provide a distorted sense of control or prevent them from confronting the painful reality of the situation.
  4. Creating false hope: In order to cope, individuals may create optimistic or idealized narratives about the abuser changing or the abuse ending. They may hold onto these false hopes as a way to maintain their emotional well-being and resilience in the face of ongoing abuse.

It’s important to note that while self-deception may serve as a temporary coping mechanism, it can also hinder the healing process and prolong exposure to abuse. Seeking support from trusted individuals, therapists, or support organizations can help survivors break free from self-deception, face the reality of their situation, and take steps towards safety, recovery, and healing.