Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Defensive actions against change……..

“Protect me and save me;
keep me from defeat.
I come to you for safety.
 May my goodness and honesty preserve me,
because I trust in you.”    Psalms 25:20-21  GNT

Many people have a negative association with change, as if pain is necessary in order to allow us to change.

The Holy Spirit will help us change when we need to change, He will help us be strong when we need to be strong, and He will be there to help and comfort us through each of life’s battles . . . if we ask Him.

It is a wise man who recognizes his human weakness and so welcomes any exposure of his sins.  That man will grow in wisdom, knowledge, and godliness.  

May all who read these posts have the grace to identify and forsake the defensive attitudes that could be used to avoid taking responsibility for change.

Here are some more of our common defensive actions:

Denial is a willful refusal to even consider one’s contribution to a problem or to acknowledge there is a problem.  It is a dangerous form of self-deceit which fosters lying. 

Guilt projection means disavowing personal responsibility by casting the blame onto someone or something else.  Those who hold others responsible for their own mistakes and failures may have the “everyone owes me” mentality.  Those who feel the world is in debt to them may employ some method of “emotional manipulation” to make others feel guilty or responsible for their difficult situation.   They may even have the audacity to become angry at those who fail to take adequate responsibility for them and are often thoroughly unappreciative for favors given them.

Emotional manipulation is an individual’s attempt to control the confronter by manipulating their vulnerable emotions and insecurities.

They withdraw by retreating into themselves or giving off the “silent treatment,” the individual will attempt to punish and manipulate the confronter with guilt.   Sulking and pouting are plain attempts to manipulate others and can serve to change the direction of a conversation.

They will use charm to resort to playing up their “attractiveness” to soften their confronter’s anger or intensity.    This may include premeditated actions such as enhancing one’s appearance, i.e.: clothes, hair, changing their tone to soft spoken, seduction, flirtations, laughing when a person is not funny, and using charm for their own personal gain, flattery and emotional security.  

Whining is a method many people have learned to manipulate others by drawing them in emotionally with stories about their difficult life. What sounds like a sobering story of pain and misfortune to a compassionate listener, can be nothing more than a disguised appeal for pity.   Someone who has mastered this method of manipulation can cause a confronter to soften up on the confrontation or keep the subject away from the real issues.

Emotional outbursts: By an intense outburst of crying a skilled manipulator can redirect a conversation in two ways:  

    Tears can evoke compassion and halt further confrontation.   Attention then                              becomes focused on the hurt and “to-be-pitied” condition of the crier.  The confronter can even be manipulated into an apology when this technique is used “properly”.

    Tears can fool the “conviction-resistors” themselves.   They become so preoccupied with their “distress” that they will no longer focus on what has been said.   For many this form of self pity is a standard defense act which consistently prevents them from accepting the confrontation of others.

Departure is an attempt to play on the confronter’s insecurities and fear of hurting the emotionally fragile and they will suddenly storm out of a conversation.  They are playing games, “If you really love me you will follow,” or possibly, “You have really done it now----I am hurt!”  If successful, they can actually evoke an apology from the confronter.

 Jesus is our Hope . . . Although there are times we may feel alone and abandoned; He will “never forsake you or leave you”.  The Bible says the true child of God will find suffering in this life.   Each of us will have our faith tested.

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