Monday, September 12, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Assertiveness

Assertiveness is the term used to describe people who are both good listeners and good communicators. Usually people fall closer to one end of the spectrum or the other, and it is important to realize the positives and negatives associated with these traits. A good listener is someone who can hear and understand people with empathy, while a good communicator is someone who can give direction and confidence to the people around them. These are both very important traits, and must be carefully balanced to achieve the assertive defense mechanism. As stated in previous sections, there are pro's and con's to most defense mechanisms, and they all strive to be as helpful as assertiveness.

Assertiveness: Assertiveness is the emphasis of a person’s needs or thoughts in a manner that is respectful, direct and firm. Communication styles exist on a continuum, ranging from passive to aggressive, with assertiveness falling neatly inbetween. People who are passive and communicate in a passive manner tend to be good listeners, but rarely speak up for themselves or their own needs in a relationship. People who are aggressive and communicate in an aggressive manner tend to be good leaders, but often at the expense of being able to listen empathetically to others and their ideas and needs. People who are assertive strike a balance where they speak up for themselves, express their opinions or needs in a respectful yet firm manner, and listen when they are being spoken to. Becoming more assertive is one of the most desired communication skills and helpful defense mechanisms most people want to learn, and would benefit in doing so. (

Have you ever had someone that you could come to about anything, and they would be able to give good advice on the subject? Usually this is a parent, mentor, or teacher, but these traits are found in many other people as well. These people are there to first listen to the concern, internalize and understand the concern, then give a response based on experience. An example of this could be confiding in your parent about a problem with bullies at school. The parent will first listen to the issue, then console the child, and finally give helpful advice to help make an adjustment for the future when dealing with similar situations. If the parent is only a good listener, then they can be there for the child's needs, but they cannot help to prevent the situation from occurring again in the future. A parent that is only a good communicator will ignore the child's emotional needs, and only give a list of ways to deal with the problem. Striking a balance between the two is necessary to completely handle the situation.

Do MLMers use assertiveness??? Probably some, but for the most part, an emphatic no. MLMers tend to be on both ends of the spectrum, rather than having a healthy balance in the middle, and they do this on purpose to create programming. It is important for the downline to be good listeners and never question or speak up about their concerns. While it is important for the upline to be emotionally separated from the downline to show superiority as they continue to give orders and repeat programmed messages from their uplines. Assertiveness in MLM will often be confused with aggressiveness and upline uses aggression to keep their downline in form.

This concludes the segment on common defense mechanisms, and we will be moving towards classical vs. operant conditioning for the next couple of articles.

I have also had requests to publish guest articles and public stories. I am hoping to move forward on that in the near future as well, and help to break down and understand some of the common underlying themes. 

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