Thursday, September 1, 2016

15 Common Defense Mechanisms/Rationalization

Rationalization is the process of taking a traumatic event and then give meaning to it. Rationalization is an extremely powerful tool and is best used to bring sanity to a difficult situation. An example of this is not getting the job you wanted. You applied, had a great interview, are qualified, and yet they chose someone else instead. Your brain may justify this result by suggesting they needed to hire more minorities, or a different minority, which is why you didn't get the job. While this may seem logical to you, it is probably far from the truth and actually very irrational.

Rationalization: Rationalization is putting something into a different light or offering a different explanation for one’s perceptions or behaviors in the face of a changing reality. For instance, a woman who starts dating a man she really, really likes and thinks the world of is suddenly dumped by the man for no reason. She reframes the situation in her mind with, “I suspected he was a loser all along.” (

Have you ever had a friend that seems to have a made-up justification for everything that happens to them, even when it clearly was out of their control? This person is displaying a high frequency of rationalization, because they can't deal with the fact that the issue was a random, traumatic, or unforeseen circumstance. Another example of this could be justifying why you were in a car accident. Let's say a person was trying to merge and they didn't see you in their blind spot. They clipped your front end and now your car has serious damage, or worse can't be used. This clearly is not your fault and there is nothing you could have done to altar the outcome. Yet, you may justify the randomness by thinking if I had just gone a little slower then this never would have happened. This is a form of rationalization to justify the randomness of that moment.

Does rationalization exist in MLM??? You betcha! MLMers are constantly being told the key to their success is following the fool-proof system being taught by their successful upline. However, they are also told that failure is a direct result of their actions. This in turn leads to a strong use of rationalization as the MLMer is losing money. The MLMer may think it was their fault because they didn't listen to enough hours of tape, or they didn't attend enough meetings, or they weren't prepared enough to host the meeting. These are rationalizations to make up for the overwhelming factor that over 90% of all MLMers in all MLMs fail regardless of their efforts, and that .1% of MLMers ever reach the highest ranks (far from fool-proof numbers). Upline manipulates MLMers into triggering this defense mechanism to avoid being blamed, but it also helps to edify the upline because they are never seen at fault. It is a perfect tactic to keep MLMers loyal and keep upline powerful.  

1 comment:

  1. Amwayers rationalize, but they are not rational.