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Behavioral Mechanisms

 

Explanations > Behaviors > Coping > Behavioral Mechanisms

Description | Example | Discussion | So what?

  

We cope with difficulties in various ways. Some are more positive than others. Here are various mechanisms that change how we behave.

  • Acting out: not coping - giving in to the pressure to misbehave.
  • Aim Inhibition: lowering sights to what seems more achievable.
  • Altruism: Helping others to help self.
  • Attack: trying to beat down that which is threatening you.
  • Avoidance: mentally or physically avoiding something that causes distress.
  • Compensation: making up for a weakness in one area by gain strength in another.
  • Crying: Tears of release and seeking comfort.
  • Displacement: shifting of intended action to a safer target.
  • Identification: copying others to take on their characteristics.
  • Reaction Formation: avoiding something by taking a polar opposite position.
  • Regression: returning to a child state to avoid problems.
  • Undoing: actions that psychologically 'undo' wrongdoings for the wrongdoer.

So what?

Behavior is easy to see and hence is a strong signal that you can read in others and that they can read in you.

When people act in certain ways that seem strange to you or seem to be directed against you, pause to think. These are often coping mechanisms and are not about you.

See also

Adaptive mechanisms, Anger

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