When someone you know you’ve had an experience with… say an argument or even a kiss… When that someone acts like it didn’t happen… Pretending it didn’t happen in hopes that the situation will disappear is called DENIAL. Leave this person alone and go in the other direction. But if you decide you want to deal with them. Expect to hear phrases like, “I don’t want to talk about it or Stop being so needy or I don’t know what you’re talking about or I’m not going to entertain that”. Basically, denial is this person’s coping skill and THAT is not a good coping skill at all. This is funny. Denial and coping shouldn’t even be in the same sentence. If you’re denying you’re not coping. (wink)
That’s the way Linda speaks… Like the above paragraph. Now, let’s explore denial a bit further. When the demands of life require capabilities that seem to exceed our resources, when we feel the threat of loss and exposure, we experience anxiety. In an effort to avoid the pain of anxiety, we practice the deceptive art of denial. Simply put, denial allows you to put whatever the issue is “on hold”. As long as you don’t accept that something needs your attention then it doesn’t exist. You will resort to many other behaviors to justify your denial. Even blaming the person who wants you to acknowledge the situation and lying just to keep the other person from discovering the “truth” about you. The blame will often come in the form of making the other people feel guilty or bad for even asking you about a particular issue, like they’re crazy to even bring this up. And once the person in denial exercises these behaviors they strip you of any “right” you may have to get an answer. You may start to ask yourself if you’re even right for wanting an answer.
However, some people stay in denial because they just don’t have communication skills. Many of us go around expecting others to know exactly what we want without us having to say it. Try telling others exactly what you need from them AND ask what they need from you! I call this, “Giving Others A Road Map”. When you have a map you won’t get lost on your way to your destination. When you don’t give someone a map on how to deal with you, you set them up for failure.
So, let’s stop using denial as coping mechanism and learn to trust one another. Let’s set each other up for success!