As a Guest Blogger for Simon Associates Management Consultants, I recently wrote about my experiences as an Enneagram Type 8, then found myself struggling with writing a second, follow-up blog. I finally realized that what I was experiencing was not typical writer’s block but the result of my Type 8’s natural defense mechanism: denial.
What is a defense mechanism?
A defense mechanism is a protective, psychological strategy whose function is to keep us within our own comfort zones. It is primarily triggered in uncomfortable or difficult situations in an attempt to reduce our anxiety or uncomfortable feelings.
The purpose of a defense mechanism is to maintain our self-image, and each Enneagram Type has a different one. In my case, my defense mechanism keeps alive my self-image of “I am strong and not weak.” Typically, our defense mechanisms operate automatically and unconsciously. Unless we are in observer mode, we aren't aware of when they are active.