A lot of our personality traits come from our surroundings during our developmental stages.
Everything from being kind to giving people a hard time comes from either what was taught to us directly or what we witnessed growing up.
Major part of it comes from our parents which gets bestowed upon us when we’re kids and our peer group who learnt from their home environment.
If we grew up understanding positive reinforcement, learning courage, learning discipline etc then we will show the rest of the world exactly that.
If we grew up learning ignorance, being rude, violent outbursts etc then we’ll have those traits in us somewhere deep-rooted. We talk about us and our past and what went wrong and how bad things happened. We use that as a reason to justify our negative actions. Or certain actions or words by another person or some situations give rise to a set of bad emotions that are attached to our past and we act out accordingly. It could be as simple as being pinched on the hand.
We took the feelings given to us in the early stages and gave it back to the world around us.
Sigmund Freud called it Transference.
Nowadays we even deliberately tell people “yes I’m aware of it” as a defence mechanism to avoid being told that we might be wrong. As if we were deploying countermeasures.
Now this may not be the case for everyone. Some do not become a product of their environment but plenty of us are and more people are judged and shunned aside because they’re not understood or they’re not yet aware of their own actions. We all need help with something or the other in our life.
The more responsibility we take of our life, or actions, the more we work through situations, the more empowered we become to rise above.
Denial is the first response that most of us have. Denial of the truth about our own actions or accepting the problems in front of us.
Some of us even project our frustrations onto anything else but the cause. We even expect other people to take responsibility for the problems that we are facing.
Rationalization is something that almost all of us do. Rather than taking responsibility for our own actions we justify them. How we are right, how our actions make perfect sense. How we think it was the best course of actions for us. We become selfish and irrational in the process of rationalization because we believe it’s easier that way because it protects us regardless of what it costs. And the cost is usually more pain and suffering.
There are several other stages in between of what a defense mechanism looks like and that would require getting to know the person a little bit more.