We humans will sometimes do anything rather than to undertake the hard work of grief – then think we’re accomplishing something. These actions may make us feel a little better temporarily, but it doesn’t move us out of our despairing state. Following is a list of ways people attempt to cope with their situation without actually facing their grief.
• Act out – giving in to the pressure to misbehave.
• Aim low – to what seems more achievable.
• Attack – beat down what’s threatening you.
• Avoid – stay away from anything that causes you stress.
• Compensate – make up for weakness in one area by gaining strength in another.
• Deny – refusing to acknowledge that the event occurred.
• Displace – shifting an intended action to a safer target (like kicking the dog).
• Fantasize – escaping reality to a world of unachievable wishes.
• Idealize – playing up the good points of a desired action and ignoring downsides.
• Identify – copying others to take on their desirable characteristics.
• Intellectualize – avoiding emotions by focusing on facts and logic.
• Passive aggression – getting your way by passive avoidance.
• Project – seeing your own undesirable characteristics in others.
• Rationalize – creating logical reasons for bad behavior.
• Regress – returning to a child state to avoid problems or responsibility.
• Suppress – consciously holding back unwanted urges while ignoring the root cause.
• Trivialize – making something small when it is really something big.
How To Grieve»