Famous psychoanalyst, Sigmund Freud introduced many ideas that have left an indelible mark on the world of psychology. Among them was the concept of the ego as being the center of our sense of self and identity. The ego, he believed, forms boundaries around itself separating what is and isn’t part of it’s self schema. When the ego is confronted with distressing feelings that threaten the self-concept, it employs defense mechanisms as a means of psychological protection against lowered self-esteem, depression, etc. Freud’s daughter Anna expanded on these ideas in her book “The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence”.
Here I present to you a frivolous union of pop psychology and astrology to assess the defense mechanism each zodiac sign is likely to employ according to me.
Acting Out – Aries is a zodiac sign associated with impulsivity and intrepitude. It is also the first sign of the zodiac and as such is also viewed as the “baby”. Babies are immature, self-centered and temperamental – just like Aries. The Aries person is typically direct and confident but they also have a propensity for acting in immature ways when frustrated or emotional. When they are unable to articulate with words their anger or hurt, they may react in a physical way like punching walls, throwing objects or flipping tables.
Social Comparison – Being a sign that is known for it’s affinity for wealth, status and sensual pleasure, Taurus no doubt takes a special interest in living the good life. Social comparison is a defense mechanism whereby a person compares themselves to someone less fortunate in order to boost their self esteem or feel better about their situation. A Taurus with an unhealthy preoccupation with status and maybe an inferiority complex might be inclined to reframe their circumstances relative to those who are worst off..
Dissociation – Gemini is the sign of the twins which represent the sign’s highly dual nature. They can be coquettish going from hot to cold and switching perspective, mood and attitude without warning. Geminis are often accused of being two-faced and capricious. For this reason, it is possible that they may be guilty of dissociation, a defense mechanism whereby a person may disengage from themselves and slip into an alternate identity that is treated as a separate entity with a separate attitude.
Displacement – Cancer is an emotional zodiac sign and as such, they have a penchant for absorbing other people’s negative energy or harboring that of their own. They can build up negative feelings created in one bad relationship that carry over into their other relationships. For instance at work they may develop a lot of resentment they are unable to express towards a boss and at home that resentment may cause them to lash out in a disproportionate way over minor things.
Rationalization – Being a proud sign who’s ego is resistant to any and all attacks on it’s bearing, Leos may be inclined to reframe disappointment and rejection in a way that allows them to save face. For instance, they may meet and fall in love with a person they genuinely thought to be incredible and perfect but after being dumped by said person may later reframe their notions of them as having been suspect all along. Or they may look for a satisfying excuse to justify why it happened as a means of mitigating their sorrow over the relationship’s closure.
Repression – Virgo is associated with modesty and conservatism and they may be inclined to living a puritanical lifestyle. They are very judgemental and self-critical as well, in addition to being perfectionistic, anal and neurotic. Virgo is also the sign associated with the virgin which is to say that they try to hold themselves to a high, if not self-abnegating, standard. They may repress themselves for moral or religious reasons but also for health. Virgo is also associated with health and wellbeing and this may manifest in abstinence from an unhealthy diet.
Reaction Formation – Libras are all about harmony and they strive to maintain balance in their relationships with all people in their lives. They are nice individuals who care about their social status, public image and standing with people. But Libras also get unhappy and angry and despite their charming and friendly facade, they may harbor some unglamorous and dark feelings. They would rather conceal that side of themselves from others and instead of expressing those negative sentiments, they may deliberately mask it with an overly positive attitude that belies what they really feel.
Undoing – Scorpios are deeply passionate and sensitive despite their intense, forceful nature. They are capable of destructive rage during which they may say and do things to loved ones they will later regret not long afterwards. Following such episodes, they may try to overcompensate with desperate acts of sweetness to gain forgiveness or redemption in the eyes of those they hurt or wronged. In a fit of rage they may have lambasted another person’s intelligence only to later on say and do everything they can to nullify what they did and make amends..
Compensation – This is where an individual compensates for an area in which they are deficient by over developing themselves in another area. Sagittarius is a sign that is noted for being good humored with an optimistic outlook. They are often talented, confident and athletic individuals who are competitive and take great pride in their abilities. They are typically very open minded and if they discover that they are inadequate in some area, they will likely find something else in which they can excel and earn acclaim.
Compartmentalization – Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn which is associated with restriction, duty and structure. Capricorns are considered to be workaholics who are able to structure and regiment their lives to accomplish their ends. They are pragmatic and resourceful workaholics who will do what they must to achieve their ends. Sometimes their ambitions may supercede their moral rectitude and cause them to violate their own values. They might try to section-off that act as a special circumstance so as to avoid dealing with the cognitive dissonance and guilt it would create for them.
Projection – Aquarians are supposed to be eccentric, unorthodox and inventive visionaries. As such they are likely to see things with a unique and unconventional perspective that may or may not be practical or realistic. They may develop some paranoid and neurotic tendencies and may sometimes take themselves too seriously and have difficulty coping with their inner demons. They might be prone to unwittingly projecting some of their fears and negative aspects of the personality onto others without realizing it.
Denial – Pisces is ruled by neptune, the planet of illusion and fantasy. This is why the sign of Pisces is associated with escapism, fantasy and spiritual insight. It is a sign that is not always in touch with reality and often blinded by naive idealism. Pisces people are deeply sensitive and may have difficulty in coping with personal problems or confronting them honestly. Instead they may often choose to believe what they want to believe and pretend problems don’t exist or that they can resolve them in ways that are delusional and unrealistic.
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